The Essential Email Marketing Metrics Everybody Should Know

When you think about email marketing metrics, there are so many numbers and percentages to track to understand the overall success of your email marketing that you can easily get lost. If you have questions, where to start and what to follow, I would say as always start with your goals. A specific email campaign will be successful only if you know what you want to reach from it.
Today I will talk more about the general metrics which are common to follow and email marketing KPIs.

How to know which email marketing metrics to follow?

Here are some examples of your email marketing goals and how metrics change according to what you are aiming for.

Lead Generation

Many bloggers, small companies and other promote newsletters, webinars, ebooks to create a relationship with people who could be a real product or service user. 

Having a goal “lead generation,” it might not make sense to focus on metrics like purchases because these subscribers may not be ready yet to place an order. Alternatively, we want to follow the level of engagement those people have with additional content. 

Actually, you might even prioritize tracking the “unsubscribe rate” to be sure that the content you share resonates with your future customers. After all, you don’t want to damage the email list, promoting irrelevant content.

For lead generation goal, you can follow metrics like:

  • Open rate;
  • Click rate;
  • Conversions;
  • Unsubscribe.

Lead generation campaign aim designed to drive engagement with additional content.

Customer Acquisition

Here, your whole focus is on metrics that track purchase behavior. For instance:

  • Purchases;
  • Conversion rate;
  • Purchase rate.

Obviously, you should track metrics like open rates and click rates because without opening the email, people won’t see your message. Although, more emphasis should be on a purchase behavior measuring the overall success.

Customer Marketing

When email marketing goal is customer marketing, you might worry less about metrics like click rate and instead focus:

  • Engagement;
  • Usage metrics
  • Metrics that tell you actual actions that your email helped influence.

Things like click rate don’t mean anything these cases, because even if the click rate is high, but the email didn’t inspire product usage, it eventually wasn’t a success.

Email marketing service

To track email marketing metrics, you’ll need a trustworthy email marketing provider. I am using Mailerlite for 3 years now and with at least 4 different clients, and I am delighted with their service. The whole interface is extremely user friendly, and I never had problems with them. 

I recommend you to try their free plan and to check it out yourself.

Let’s now continue with the essential email marketing metrics.

Email marketing metrics you should follow

Open rate

Open rate is the leading email marketing KPI, and it is essential to understand how well your subscribers are getting your messages. Basically, the open rate follows how many subscribers opened the email you sent.

Also, open rates can give you insight into the success of your email subject line. For instance, studies show that subject lines that use subscribers’ first names are 26% more open. 

The average email campaigns open a rate is 17.8%. If you manage an email campaign with open rates greater than that, you know you are doing something right. But it would be better if you compare open rate results with your industry because some specific fields have way higher results than others. For example, people tend to open more emails from banks, government, or hospitality services rather than news and entertainment. 

I found tremendous and legit statistics from Campaign Monitor:

Check your industry and compare where you are right now. 

email marketing

Here are some tips on how you can improve your open rate metrics:

  • Personalize the subject line;
  • A/B test different variations of the subject line;
  • Try different sender name variations;
  • Play around with sending times.

Click-through rate (CTR)

This is another popular metric that can help you learn how your campaigns are performing. Click-through rate measures how many people clicked on the specific links in your email. For instance, if you included a link to a promotion, the CTR would measure what percentage of people clicked on those links.

When creating an email campaign, add links throughout the email in places which are eye-catching and create call-to-action button that subscribers can click on. This will increase the click-through rate.

Conversion rate

The conversion rate will assess how many people completed a specific action that you wanted them to complete. For instance, if you included a link in your email for people to participate in a sale, the conversion rate would tell you what percentage of the subscribers who clicked the link made a purchase.

Don’t confuse conversion rate with purchase rate because conversion rate can vary according to your goal. For example, if your goal is to increase an ebook download number, then it will be your conversion rate. The conversion rate doesn’t say only about customer’s purchases.

Purchase rate

Different from conversion rate purchase rate is all about how many subscribers completed the action from an email campaign and actually bought your product/service.

Bounce rate

The bounce rate is crucial in email marketing the same as in SEO. Bounce rate estimates how many subscriber email addresses didn’t receive your email. There are two types of bounce rates:

  • Soft Bounces: Commonly occur due to the problem at the recipient’s server. It tracks temporary issues with email addresses.
  • Hard Bounces: that means email is invalid or non-existing email addresses.

Poor bounce rates damage sender reputation. Ensuring high deliverability can make the difference between your recipient receiving your email, or the email getting into spam. Actually, measuring bounce rates against open rates will tell you the quality of your subscriber lists. If you have a high percentage of hard bounces, your list may be full of fake email addresses, old email addresses, or addresses with mistakes in them.

Unsubscribe rate

If you have a high rate of unsubscribes, something is wrong, and you find the reason. For instance, if you tried something new with email campaigns and it resulted in a high number of unsubscribes, that would let you know you may need to undo the changes.

Also, understand that unsubscribes happen sometimes, and they don’t always mean you need to change your techniques. Maybe those people were just not your future customers; it didn’t resonate with them. Consider changing what you are doing only if the number is higher than regular. The average unsubscribe rate is 0.1%, so keep it in mind. 

List growth rate

The list growth rate is the metric to follow the rate at which your mailing list is growing. You can count this by taking the number of new subscribers minus the number of unsubscribes, and then divide that by the total number of email addresses on your list, and then multiply it by 100.

It’s natural to experience some reduction, so focus on ways to grow your list and find new loyal subscribers continually.

Spam score

It can be truly annoying and sad for your emails to get marked as spam, especially if you spend a lot of time building it, although it’s essential to pay attention to spam complaints. If this spam score gets too big, your email service provider may take action against you and even block your account.

Don’t forget that people might think that your email is spam if you make many grammar mistakes, so go on and download and a Grammarly extension for your browser to fix all your mistakes and make your emails clear and professional.

Opening time

Opening time lets you understand your subscribers better, and it is a great metric to track. Knowing when they’re opening your emails can lead to meaningful boosts to your open rate.

Perhaps your emails have a much higher open rate on Tuesday mornings than on Sunday afternoons, with this information you can understand when you send out your newsletters and increase your open rates.

Overall ROI

This metrics tells you the overall return on investment for your email campaigns. Calculate this by taking the money you made in sales from the email campaign minus the money you spent to perform the campaign, divide that by the money invested in the campaign, and then multiply that by 100. Email marketing has the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel. So that’s why you should definitely start using it for any type of business.

I personally recommend using Mailerlite as an email provider measuring your email marketing success, and here are my reasons:

  • They ensure that your email will reach your subscribers;
  • They offer a generous free forever plan; you can send 12,000 emails every month for free;
  • They have an easy to use drag and drop email crafting system;
  • They offer great landing pages, popup builder.
  • They have beautiful and responsive templates;
  • You can automate your emails;
  • Many more.

Try Mailerlite, and maybe you will be happy with them the same as I am – Mailerlite.

Why is email marketing important for SEO?

None of the channels in a digital marketing world exist in a vacuum. They’re all connected in some way, and understanding those connections can help you maximize your results on each.

Email marketing greatly resonates with email marketing, but if the potential impact of email marketing to SEO is not clear yet then here are the main reasons why you should start email marketing:

  1. Attract qualified traffic to your website. That’s quite the obvious benefit of email marketing, but the emphasis here should be on qualified traffic or visitors who are likely to make some sort of conversion.
  2. Improve website engagement. Email marketing drive traffic that is likely to spend time engaging with specific resources and pieces of content.
  3. Develop a More Targeted Content Strategy. So, for example, if you notice that your audience response particularly well to a specific headline within an email newsletter, you might opt to test that headline as the title for the corresponding page on your site.
  4. Turn great performing emails into new content for a website. If you create unique email content for your subscribers, for example, some tips and advice on specific topics, and if you see that people are engaging more with it, then you could create content which you tested that will work for your website.
  5. Encourage social shares. By getting your content in front of a large targeted audience, you increase the opportunities each piece has to be shared on social media platforms.

If you are still searching for the perfect SEO tool, then I highly recommend to test a free trial of Semrush and see for yourself how you like it. Semrush perfectly works for my needs and my client’s needs.

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, how big it is, if you want to be in the business on the Internet you have to know at least basic SEO, Semrush will give you advantages and possibilities to create better content and to engage better with your targeted audience.

To wrap up, I just want to stress that email marketing is not dying, and it will not happen in the near future, so I recommend investing some time and energy in it. Just follow the metrics listed above, and you will understand your target audience, and you will understand what type of content to present them. Good luck!

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Email marketing metrics what should everybody should know

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