Email marketing can be a super-effective way to engage with subscribers who are already interested in your brand. In fact, according to an eMarketer study, email marketing ROI on average is 122%, a return four times higher than any other digital marketing channel.
But, it can take time to master (and keep up) with best practices. Before you start outlining your email marketing strategy, you’ll need to define how to measure the success of any campaign or eblast you send out.
Below is a list of 8 email marketing metrics that can help you determine which metrics you’ll need to use to evaluate your email efficacy.
How do you know if your emails are reaching your intended audience?
To measure this, take a look at your email deliverability. Email deliverability rate is the percentage of emails that successfully arrive in a subscriber’s inbox.
If you want to keep a high level of deliverability, monitor metrics such as a high bounce rate, high unsubscribe rate, and your sender reputation score.
As Campaign Monitor says, “Successful deliverability equals successful email marketing.”
Deliverability Rate = (Number of delivered emails) ÷ (Total number of emails sent) x100
2. Open Rate
Open rate is one of the most simple, yet most important KPIs for measuring how many subscribers are engaging with your emails.
It’s also the KPI to look at when measuring the success of your email’s subject line and preview text. After all, if subscribers don’t find your subject line interesting, they likely won’t open your email. And if they aren’t opening the email, the rest of the KPIs will fall off a cliff.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your email open rate, try personalizing the subject line with the recipient’s name. Or, test out the addition of emojis combined with your copy.
Experian found that email subject lines with an emoji increased open rates by 56%, as compared to text-only subject lines, and SuperOffice states that including a recipient’s name in your email subject line increases open rates by up to 18.30%.
Email open rate: (number of emails opened / number of total recipients) x100
3. Mobile Open Rate
According to EmailMonday, mobile devices account for 49% of all read emails, and in some industries, that number can reach up to 78%.
Additionally, looking at your mobile open rate vs desktop open rate can help you pinpoint if there are any mobile-specific updates to consider. Everything from the design template, subject line, and email body copy can look different on mobile devices so it’s beneficial to make sure your email templates are responsive on mobile as well as desktop.
Mobile open rate is calculated the same way as total open rate but segments only mobile users to uncover additional insights.
Mobile open rate = (Number of emails opened on mobile) ÷ (Number of total recipients on mobile) x100
4. Click-Through Rate
Once the user has opened the email, click-through rate (CTR) is one of the first KPIs you’ll want to monitor. CTR is a big indicator of whether or not the content inside your email is compelling and resonates with your intended audience.
Seeing a solid open rate but click-through rate is super low? That could likely indicate that the subscribers who were excited to open your email didn’t find the offer enticing, or may have found something different than they were expecting.
Click-through Rate: (Total clicks OR unique clicks ÷ Number of delivered emails) x 100
5. Conversion Rate
Many emails or email campaigns are created for the sole purpose of getting subscribers to take a certain action. Some examples include a link click, resource download, or sign up. This metric is crucial when running campaigns and can serve as a benchmark for how efficient email is for you as a marketing channel.
The conversion rate is defined as the number of users who took a specified action out of the total number of emails delivered.
Email conversion rate = (Number of people who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) x 100
6. Link Clicks
Link clicks are pretty straightforward – they are links within your email that subscribers click on. Just as CTR is a great high-level metric to assess engagement, link clicks help you deduce which pieces of content resonate with your subscribers.
Do your subscribers prefer ebooks and tutorials? Maybe they’re more fond of blogs or webinars.
Different types of industries may yield different results.
For example, Content Marketing Institute says, “79% of B2B marketers find email to be the most successful channel for content distribution” whereas for B2C marketing, Convince and Convert claims “Shopping cart abandonment emails sent 1 hour after the user leaves your site are the most effective, converting 6.33% of shoppers.”
Drilling down and digging into these links can help optimize your content and email strategy over time.
Links Clicks = Number of users who click on specific links within an email.
7. Bounce Rate
Bounce rates can be divided into two categories: hard bounces and soft bounces.
Soft bounces are normally associated with a problem on the recipient’s server.
Hard bounces are invalid or non-existent email addresses.
Having a high bounce rate can lead to a low sender reputation score, which can easily land your emails straight into the spam folder. Once your sender reputation score declines, it can be an uphill battle to recover.
“Only sending emails to subscribers who have opened or clicked one of your emails in the last 6 months will help you decrease the number of emails that end up in the spam folder,” says Chris Murphy of St. Joseph Communications.
Bounce Rate = (Total number of bounced emails ÷ Number of emails sent) x 100
8. Unsubscribe Rate
Unsubscribes are super easy to measure. Your email service provider (EPS) will show you the count of unsubscribes for a given email.
You’ll want to monitor your unsubscribe rate for a few different reasons. When testing out new campaigns or tactics, the unsubscribe rate can tell you if that campaign or content missed the mark with your audience.
On the flip side, some marketers don’t see unsubscribes as a red flag. Unsubscribes could help refine your email list down to those that are truly engaged with your brand.
Unsubscribe rates can vary by industry, and even company, so it’s recommended that you monitor your unsubscribe rate monthly to know what’s normal for your organization.
Unsubscribe Rate = (Number of unsubscribed emails) ÷ (Total emails delivered) x 100
9. Subscriber List Growth Rate (Bonus Metric!)
Did you know that your email subscriber list naturally decays roughly 22.5% each year?
Many marketers mistakenly use the ‘set it and forget it” mentality with subscriber lists, but it’s important to keep steadily building your list, as well as to audit existing lists.
Easy ways to grow your subscriber list is to add call-to-action to emails, such as “Subscribe to our Blog” or “Join Our Newsletter”, and adding an opt-in checkbox on lead capture forms to give users the opportunity to subscribe to emails or newsletters.
List Growth Rate = ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) x 100
Depending on what industry you’re in and what the goals of your email marketing strategy are, you’ll be able to use a customized mix of these metrics to measure the success of your campaigns.
Be sure to build a solid foundation and track essential metrics like open rate and click-through rate, as well as the health of your subscriber list. After you’ve covered the basics, create a set of goals to help refine your email marketing strategy. Then continue to monitor your results month over month.
Eventually, you’ll start to see trends within your email engagements and campaigns, adding to the glorious insights you’ve already collected from the metrics above.