The 9 Email Marketing KPIs You Need to Track for Success

The 9 Email Marketing KPIs You Need to Track for Success

Let’s say you want to launch an email marketing campaign. 

After all, email is, without a doubt, an integral essence of digital marketing.

31% of B2B marketers believe that email marketing is the best strategy to nurture leads.

59% claim that email marketing results in the highest ROI.

Bearing this in mind, depending on what you want to achieve, you need to set realistic, measurable goals to set up your campaign. 

You also need to know what email marketing strategy works with your audience and what doesn’t.

In this blog, we discuss the best email marketing KPIs you need to track to analyze your email journey!

But first, let’s discuss the basics!

What are KPIs?

KPIs are measurable goals that help brands visualize their performance. These metrics can be various elements of a campaign, like…

Are people opening your emails? Are they clicking on your links? Or are your emails just getting marked as spam and going straight to the bin?

Monitoring trends in your data will help you understand if your campaign is truly effective. 

How You Can Drive Email Marketing Strategy with Analytics

To get the most out of your email marketing, you’ll need practical, easy-to-understand KPIs to track. Most marketers don’t have time to spend their days pouring over email data in spreadsheets.

Many marketers focus on fundamental email metrics like the number of subscribers, opens, and click-through rate.  

But to be truly successful, and understand deep-level analytics you need to take a deep dive into the world of analytics.

Your genuine goal of email marketing strategy should be about building long-term relationships with your readers, maintaining a healthy email list, optimization, and engagement trends. 

Focusing on the metrics that matter can help you build an authentic relationship with customers, maximize returns on the investment of your email campaign. This will help you save time and energy by sending the most relevant, tailored information to your most engaged subscribers. (= minimum unsubscribers, higher retention rate!)

How Do I Know Which Email Marketing KPIs To Track?

Depending on the industry you belong to, and what are the goals of your email marketing campaigns, your metrics, and benchmarking percentage will differ.

It’s crucial to decide on these goals before you develop an email marketing campaign.

It’s best to approach email marketing analytics with a customized approach. Build a strong campaign foundation. Develop relationships with your users. Provide value. 

Starting out, you can measure the core metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate.

Over time, you can add in other email marketing KPIs that best suit your strategy. 

If your goal is to bring in more people to your website or blog readers or use your free tools, then Subscriber List Growth Rate will be the most optimal KPI to track.

Just as you want to grow your email list with new subscribers, you also want to keep track of people that don’t care about your emails. This concept is called “Graymail.

Although it’s not technically spam, it’s very close to that. It hurts the deliverability of overall emails.

You’ll begin to see trends with your email marketing campaigns. With these results, you can analyze which campaign was more effective with a certain target audience.

Further Reading: 15 Amazing Benefits of Email Marketing No One Ever Taught You

The Email Marketing KPIs You Need to Know and Track

Now, let’s explore 9 email marketing KPIs that you need to track in-depth. These are definitely worth the read, so buckle up! ????

  1. Bounce rate
  2. Email Delivery Rate
  3. Open rate
  4. Unique Open rate
  5. Click-through rate
  6. Conversion rate
  7. List Growth Rate
  8. Overall ROI 
  9. Unsubscribe rate

1. Bounce Rate

Are your emails even making it to your customer’s inbox? This metric measures the rate of emails that were successfully delivered to the user’s inbox.

Two different kinds of bounces that may occur:

  • Soft bounces result from temporary errors that occur to valid email addresses such as a problem with a server or a full inbox. 
  • Hard bounces, on the other hand, are permanent and result from invalid or incorrect email addresses.

After the diagnosis of a failed delivery, return-to-sender will be sent back.

A high bounce rate may indicate that your subscriber list has old or fake email addresses. This usually happens if people do not clean out or buy their list. 

How to Calculate Bounce Rate:

How to Calculate Bounce Rate

You can aim for a bounce rate of around < 2%. While bounce rate may not directly correlate with your goals, ensure that there’s no 

2. Email Delivery Rate

This metric is also used to point towards the deliverability to the recipient’s inbox similar to bounce rate.

Where bounce rate focuses on rejected emails, the delivery rate measures the successful emails that made it into your inbox.

How to Calculate Email Delivery Rate:

How to Calculate Email Delivery Rate

3. Open Rate

This metric refers to how many email recipients opened the email you sent. 

This depends on how intriguing your subject line is, and what your company, and brand has to offer.

Note: If this metric is low, you need to reevaluate your subject lines and email list. 

(Note: You should aim for an open rate of at least 20%!)

So, how can you improve your subject lines?

  • Do they grab your attention?
  • Use emojis! ????
  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Make them wanna know more…

How to Calculate Open Rate:

Let’s talk about how you can calculate this rate:

How to Calculate Email Open Rate

Further Reading: How to Improve Your Email Open Rate

4. Unique Open Rate

Your unique open rate calculates the unique individuals who opened your email.

How is it different from a regular open rate? 

If one of your customers would open the same email twice, it will count as “one” unique open, but two total opens. 

This metric may refer to the opening time. If the user went back and opened the email again, this might indicate that the original opening time wasn’t ideal. Or perhaps, your content was so interesting that they couldn’t get enough of it! ????

How to Calculate Unique Open Rate:

How to Calculate Unique Email Open Rate

5. Click-Through Rate

This metric tracks the % of users that clicked on one or more links in your sent email.

This is usually the most important goal for email marketers. To get people to click on what you’re promoting. May it be a recent infographic, blog post, or video. 

As long as your clickthrough rate is high, this shows that your subscribers are interested in learning about the content you’re providing.

Try to keep your click-through rate above 4%.

How to Calculate Click-Through Rate:

How to Calculate Click-Through Rate

6. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate indicates the number of subscribers that clicked the email link and took the desired action.

The desired action could be anything, from downloading an ebook, signing up for a podcast, or registering for a live training session.

Since conversion rate is directly interlinked to the call-to-action, this metric is particularly essential to determine if you’re achieving your goals.

If you have a low conversion rate, it might mean that your email marketing funnel is inefficient. If it’s high, it means everything’s good! People like to read your content, are interested in what your brand has to say!

An interesting thing to note here: Email marketing campaign average ROI is around 124%. Which is way, way higher than social!

How to Calculate Conversion Rate:

How to Calculate Conversion Rate

7. List Growth Rate

This metric refers to the rate at which your email list grows. With this, you can analyze how fast you’re expanding your audience and growing your reach. 

How to Calculate List Growth Rate:

How to Calculate List Growth Rate

Further Reading: How to Grow Your Email List: 10 Best Practices to Follow

8. Unsubscribe Rate

This metric measures the % of recipients that hit unsubscribe after receiving your email.

It’s a double-edged sword. 

While some marketers argue that this isn’t deemed as a red flag either. With customers opting out of your emails, you can choose to focus on the ones that stay behind. Your list may as well be cleaning by itself!

On the other hand, you also wonder if you did something wrong.

If your unsubscribe rate is below 0.2%, it’s perfectly normal. Just make sure it doesn’t hit above 0.5%!

Note: This metric may not even be an accurate picture of your brand’s health since many users may not even go through the unsubscribe process.

How to Calculate Unsubscribe Rate:

How to Calculate Unsubscribe Rate

9. Overall Email Marketing ROI

This metric is measured by the total revenue divided by the total spend. 

This metric shows you if your marketing efforts are adding value to the company

How to Calculate Overall Email Marketing ROI:

How to Calculate Overall Email Marketing ROI

Further Reading: How to Measure Your Own Email Marketing ROI

With Which Frequency Can I Evaluate Email Marketing KPIs?

Remember, the most important part of analytics is evaluating the metrics. And each KPI is unique in its case.

Here’s one suggestion for the frequency with which you can measure the email marketing KPIs I’ve discussed above: 

DailyOpen rate, Bounce rate
WeeklyClickthrough rate, unsubscribe rate, conversion rate
MonthlyRevenue per customer, spam score checks

Now that we’ve gone through email marketing KPIs in depth, you’re probably wondering:

How to Improve Your Email Marketing KPIs?

One of the most important ways to do that is to remember that:

Your Emails Always Need to Be Engaging

Consumers want personal, relevant, and valuable emails in their mailbox. If you meet these expectations, you may build a devoted, healthy (and profitable) engaged audience that responds well to your marketing. 

If you send a low-quality, irrelevant email “blast” to your whole email list, they will likely be turned off and delete your message, marking it as spam. This will directly harm your brand identity.  As a result of this, you’ll end up with an unhealthy list of disengaged subscribers.

Tracking insights into the “health” of your audience gives you a holistic view of how your email campaigns perform. Interaction, on the other hand, is invaluable.

I should point out that having high analytics does not mean you should focus on quantity over quality. Results-oriented marketers focus on growing high-quality, engaged subscribers. 

The good news is that email tracking is now easier than ever thanks to Google Analytics. 

How To Best Engage With Your Email Subscribers!

  • Subject Lines: As we scroll through our constantly flooded email lists, we carefully select the ones we open based on the subject lines we read at first sight. You can experiment with various styles such as instructional, personal, clever, how-to, and so on.
  • Segmentation: Segment your target audience for targeted email marketing campaigns. The conditions that you can keep may be related to purchase history or demographics. Automate email marketing campaigns after the identification of touchpoints of the customer journey. You can even let subscribers choose the type of content they’d like to receive from you.

Further Reading: How to Use Email Segmentation to Boost Marketing Conversions

  • Quality Content: Send out emails that convert. That means sharing valuable, relevant content that your target audience will love. Define your goal, outline a strategy roadmap, craft a story and choose an appropriate call-to-action.
  • Personalization: Personalize. According to a survey, 74% of marketers believe that targeted personalization increases customer engagement. Make your emails personal. As if you’re just talking to them. 
  • Consistent and Reasonable Cadence: Maintain optimal email frequency. If you email too much, you’ll end up in the spam folder. If you completely sit back and relax for a few weeks, your potential leads will forget about you! Just start with a frequency that you can maintain and do justice to its content!
  • Mobile First: Remember to optimize your email for mobile devices. More than 60% of email opens happen on a mobile device. This number only increases as your audience age decreases!
  • Optimize for Multiple Devices: Test your emails across multiple devices to ensure they’re optimized!
  • Two-Way Conservation: Let customers give their feedback.

The Final Word on Email Marketing KPIs

There you have it! The most essential KPIs that you need to track for successful email marketing campaigns as well as how to improve your email marketing KPIs by increasing engagement with your list.

We understand that email analytics is a big field! It’s a lot to take in.

As important as email marketing metrics seem, many marketers completely forego this step. Depending on your business goals, you need to be able to measure how you’re performing against your desired business goals. Navigate these changes in your email marketing analytics strategy every month.

Remember, every team and business is different so do whatever works for your team!

Let me know what you think about this article and what metrics you use to measure your email marketing campaigns. 

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Author Bio

Mariyum Noor is a content marketer who is passionate about learning new things! She writes research-based blog posts for SaaS platforms that are seeking better ways to delight and engage their readers.

Hero photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

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