7 Email Marketing Metrics For Better Performance


Gone are the days when Email Marketing was treated as an optional marketing channel. Now, organizations both large and small rely on emails to generate new leads and conversions for their businesses. The potential of Email marketing has skyrocketed in the recent times with optimized mails directly landing in mailboxes of prospective customers. While there is a brilliant email marketing strategy behind all this, the smart tracking of key metrics and data should not be ignored at any cost.

Marketing metrics are the most critical to understand the performance from your email marketing efforts. Some metrics and parameters are more essential than others and have to be tracked continuously for making email marketing a real success.

1. Open Rate

The Open Rate is among the first metrics to be tracked by email marketers. It is essentially the number of recipients who open your emails. So, what is Open Rate: The percentage of customers who open your emailsHow to Calculate: (Number of emails opened by recipients / Number of emails sent) * 100Example: (5000 emails opened / 10,000 emails sent) * 100 = 50% Open Rate

Open Rate signals marketers if their emails are landing on folders they want them to land. Sudden drops in open rates indicate that mails sent might be landing in spam/junk folders of recipients rather than inbox and promotions.

2. Click through Rate

The Click through Rate or CTR is one of the important metrics that marketers track for outgoing mails. This is a day-to-day email marketing metric that is tracked for effective strategizing and results.

What is CTR: Click through Rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or many links in a sent mail.

How to Calculate: (Total no. of unique clicks / Number of emails sent) * 100

Example: (1000 unique clicks / 10,000 emails sent) * 100 = 10% CTR

The CTR is a parameter that is vital in A/B testing of emails. This gives the result as to which variant of an email performs well and which doesn’t. The measure of a good CTR varies from industry to industry. For the e-commerce industry, an average CTR between 1.5% and 2% is considered good.

3. Conversion Rate

The Conversion Rate is a metric that tells how many customers took an action you wanted them to take with your email. This can be things like downloading an eBook, shopping online, answering survey questions and more.

What is Conversion Rate:  The percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link in your email to complete a desired action.

How to Calculate: (Number of Recipients who completed a desired action / Number of emails sent) * 100

Example: (500 recipients completed a desired action / 10,000 emails sent) * 100 = 5% Conversion Rate

4. List Growth Rate

The growth of the email marketing list is an indication of how well your mails are received by your target audiences or how well you are able to convince your website visitors about the value proposition of your product.

What is List Growth Rate: The rate at which your email marketing list continues to grow

How to Calculate: {[(Number of new subscribers) – (Number of unsubscribes + spam complaints)] / Total number of email subscribers in your list} * 100

Example: {[(100 new subscribers) – (50 number of unsubscribes and spam complaints)] / 10,000} * 100 = 0.5% List Growth Rate

If you are in a niche industry where a big marketing list matters a lot, then List Growth Rate is a vital metric to track every month. While there is a natural decay in your subscriber list every year, you have to counter this with newer subscribers added to the list month after month.

5. Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is another metric that must be carefully noted and never ignored. This indicates the number of people to whom emails are sent but bounce back. All these bounced emails go waste if you don’t keep a check on the bounce rate.

What is Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails sent to recipients’ mailbox that could not be successfully delivered.

How to Calculate: (Number of emails bounced / Number of emails sent) * 100

Example: (100 emails bounced / 10,000 emails sent) * 100 = 1% Bounce Rate

There are two types of bounces – hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard Bounces happen when the email address of the recipient does not exist, is invalid or closed. These kinds of bounces should be immediately noted since all these emails are considered ‘bad’ by Internet Service Providers (ISP) and results in a poor email sender reputation. Too many hard bounces make you look like a spammer in the eyes of an ISP.Soft Bounce are temporary bounces that happen since a recipient’s mailbox is full and cannot accept more emails. The server of the recipient might hold these undelivered emails and try sending them back once the problem clears or you may send these messages to soft bounces.

6. Complaint (or) Abuse Rate

Complaint Rate is a lesser discussed metric in email marketing. However, if left unchecked this can totally turn the tables on your Email marketing strategies and goals.

What is Complaint Rate: The number of people marking your emails as spam in their mailboxes.

How to Calculate: (Number of subscribers marking your mails as spam / Total number of subscribers) * 100

Example: (1 subscriber marking your mails as spam / 10,000 total number of subscribers) * 100 = 0.01% Complaint Rate

The ideal complaint rate should be around 0.02%. However, care must be taken to not let these rates go above 0.05%. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are critical about this score and a poor Complaint Rate can make all your future mails go straight into the “Spam” folder of recipients.

A good practice is to have the “Unsubscribe” button visible for the user, so if he wants to opt out of your communications, he/she can easily do. A hidden Unsubscribe button often leads recipients to flag emails as spam.

7. Return on Investment (ROI)

Like all marketing campaigns, Email marketing too finally comes down to Return on Investment. The ultimate purpose of Email marketing is to drive sales and make a profit. If your return on the initial investment is higher, then you are profitable from the Email campaigns.

What is Return on Investment: The total return on your investment (or) total revenue divided by total spend.

How to Calculate: [(₹ in sales driven - ₹ invested in campaign) / ₹ invested in campaign] * 100

Example: [(₹10,000 in sales - ₹1000 invested in campaign) / ₹1000 invested in campaign] * 100 = 900% ROI

The ROI points if your marketing campaigns are on the right track towards profitability.Get smart with the marketing metrics you are tracking and ensure that your mails are received by recipients who love reading and engaging with them. The performance, health, and progress of your email list will determine success through Email marketing campaigns.