10 Email Marketing Metrics to Track and Optimize For

In the era of rapid digitization, marketing through emails is considered one of the major pillars for any good client recruitment strategy. And this has been the case for quite some time now – ever since its inception in the late 1970s, email marketing tactics have achieved great popularity and traction among firms worldwide. Although spam emails and undesired subscriptions continue to plague customers, a well-deployed email marketing campaign still bears fruits for business.

Email marketing plays a significant role in generating short-term revenue for clientele. And the discipline involves a range of metrics and terminologies that can help streamline this revenue into the long term. In fact, the average return on the interest generated by emails over the last decade was reported to be upwards of 3,800% for every mail sent, which further cements its value within business marketing.

But how does one keep track of these benefits? How does one efficiently gauge whether their strategy is working? In order to correctly answer these questions, we must first understand the different metrics used to track email marketing campaigns.

The 10 Metrics Everyone Doing Email Marketing Must Know

Open Rate

Email Open Rate is quite self-explanatory – it describes the percentage of individuals who have opened your email out of the total number of emails sent. These subscribers will only need to click on the email for this metric to be valid. The open rate can be used to gauge the fractions of your potential clients that may be interested in your offer but need yet to be pursued.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

This is possibly one of the most widely used email marketing metrics. It describes the percentage of individuals who have clicked on at least one link attached to your email out of the total number of emails delivered. A common mistake when calculating this metric is taking the total number of emails as opened emails instead of just delivered ones. This can be used to estimate the fraction of your clientele that is interested in your offer but have yet to convert.

Conversion Rate

Conversions describe the individuals who have turned over into clients by following through with your CTA. This could be new sign-ups, new subscriptions, submitting feedback, etc. The percentage of individuals who have successfully responded to your CTA out of the total emails delivered describes the email conversion rate. Typically, these conversions can be used to compare the total leads generated in one campaign compared to another.

Bounce Rate

Bouncing emails is a phenomenon where the sent email is not received by the subscriber either due to a faulty email address or because of being returned by the recipient server (hence, “bounce” rate). The percentage of mails returned out of the total sent describes the email bounce rate. Campaigns that register a high bounce rate will need to reevaluate their structure and ensure that their strategy is not misinformed.

 Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR)

This metric is used to determine how well the actual content of the email has performed. Furthermore, it describes how effective specific emails are in a given demographic in terms of email message, design of content, and generating client interest. The percentage of emails that have generated a unique action by the client (such as clicking on a link) out of the total emails opened (not just delivered) describes the CTOR.

Number of Unsubscribes

This is yet another self-explanatory metric. It simply describes the number of individuals who have opted not to receive any further emails from your firm out of the total number of current subscribers. This may be due to the content of your email, the frequency of your emails, the incompatibility of your emails to your demographic, and so on.

Overall ROI

Return on Interest in an email campaign is used to quantify the effectiveness of the campaign in terms of profitability. This is determined as the percentage of money returned (the difference between the total spent for the campaign and revenue generated) from the total amount spent during the whole campaign. This metric is important to compare the overall worth of one campaign compared to another in order to gain the best bank for the buck.

Subscriber Retention Rate

This defines the fraction of individuals who have chosen to continue receiving emails from your firm. It is described as the percentage of remaining subscribers (after reducing bounces and unsubscribes) from your initial total number of subscribers. This metric describes both the ability of your emails to deliver information without getting monotonous and the effectiveness of your message within your chosen demographic.

Revenue per Email

RPE determines the profitability of individual emails in your marketing campaign. It is described as the fraction of total revenue generated during the campaign out of the total number of emails received by clients (not necessarily opened). Unlike ROI, RPE takes into consideration the performance of only a single mail-in generating profit. This will help determine the capacity of your mail content to generate hot leads and stable conversions.

Spam Complaint Rate

This metric describes the efficiency of the overall campaign in terms of email content and the frequency of sent emails. It is determined as the fraction of emails reported as spam to the total emails sent.  A typical or ideal spam rate should be less than 0.1% (or 1 spam report out of every 1000 emails sent). Anything more would be the reason for you to reevaluate the specifics of your mails (content, sent frequency, etc.)

In Conclusion

Understanding the metrics above is just the beginning. It is also important to learn the value of these metrics to your campaign specifically, which will only come from experience. These metrics will ensure that your campaign is headed in the right direction, which, in turn, is important to preserve funds, if not generate revenue. So, remember to use these metrics to the best of your advantage, carefully track the nature of your campaign, and make sure that you’re updated with the progress of your current campaign compared to your last.