email marketing kpis

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Tracking email marketing KPIs is an essential task every business or marketer should be performing on a regular basis.

These KPIs are the true indicators of how successful your email marketing campaign is.

Although email marketing is one of the digital marketing channels you can use to grow your business, failing at monitoring the essential KPIs will not result in growth.

If you’re not tracking these metrics and analyzing them, then you have no way of knowing what’s working and what’s not, from a campaign to campaign basis.

This article will show the 9 major KPIs a business should pay attention to in order to optimize them for better results.

Let’s dive right in!

What Are Email Marketing KPIs?

First, let’s talk a little bit about KPIs and how they work.

KPIs are the key performance indicators, they’re the metrics that are used by businesses to track how a campaign is performing.

Also, KPIs are something that you should be tracking on a regular basis. They help give you insight into your email marketing campaigns so you can constantly improve them and get better results.

So these KPIs are to track the relevant data and give insights so that the email campaign manager or the marketing manager can make use of that information and continue to improve the business based on what’s happening with the KPI.

Email Marketing KPIs – Which Ones To Track?

Now that we’ve covered what KPIs are and why you should be tracking them regularly, let’s take a look at the 9 major KPIs every business or marketer should be paying attention to when it comes to email marketing.

  • Open Rate
  • Click-Through Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Deliverability Score
  • Complaints

9 Major Email Marketing KPIs To Always Check

email marketing kpis 1

1. Open Rate

The open rate is the percentage of people who open an email. This KPI shows how many people are opening your email and clicking through the links within the email.

When you have a high open rate your emails will have a much higher chance of getting delivered to their inbox, which means you can effectively reach more people that way.

People tend to ignore emails that they don’t open (or don’t want to open), so this means that email marketing with lower open rates will likely get categorized as spam.

It’s not uncommon that email service providers filter your emails into the recipients’ spam folders after such behavior.

That’s why it’s important you always make sure your email addresses are double opted-in, so you can be sure people have intentionally subscribed to your newsletter or email list.

If you’re not getting enough opens on your emails, then you should try to segment the contacts on your lists so that only the ones who are most interested in what you have to offer to receive your message.

One of the main factors why your open rate might be low is because of your subject line. A poor or uninteresting subject line can be enough to deplete people from opening your email.

Make sure that you have the right time and place to send the subject to get more opens.

If you’re unsure of what your open rate is, take a look at a sample of your open rate over time and see if it’s trending up or down, if it’s going down then try tailoring your email better (make changes like swapping out words and phrases in the body copy for more interesting/relevant ones).

2. Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who clicked on a link within an email.

The link in an email can be a call to action or a link to an online product or service that’s related to your business.

The click-through rate shows how many people clicked on your emails, meaning that you have a high chance of getting them to take action and buy from you.

This KPI also shows how relevant your emails are to the audience, so you can use this information to create more targeted emails for a better response.

When you have a high click-through rate, this means that your audiences are interested in what you have to offer.

If a business has a low click-through rate it means that people aren’t interested and are likely going to unsubscribe from the email list, with the only goal being to sign up for an offer and then forget about it until they need something again.

This KPI is calculated by multiplying the number of clicks by 100, so if there were 30 clicks within an email then this would be 30% of your emails.

You want these numbers to increase every month or quarter so you can better market yourself and get more sales.

3. Bounce Rate

There are two kinds of bounces: hard and soft. A soft bounce is known to be temporary whereas a hard bounce is seen as permanent.

A soft bounce happens when someone tries to send an email but the recipient’s email server doesn’t accept the message.

This problem can cause a delay in delivery or loss of email, which can be temporary but tends to clear up on its own.

Soft bounces are ignored by ISPs and other services that manage spam.

While a hard bounce often means that the email address you’ve recorded no longer exists or isn’t able to receive information from your service provider, this sort of bounce can be seen as spam and may not go through if at all.

The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that were sent to invalid email addresses. This means that the email address doesn’t exist and the email was sent back undeliverable.

To avoid a high hard bounce rate, always check that the emails on your list are valid. One way to check is to use an email address verifier such as:

  1. NeverBounce
  3. Bounceless
  4. Email Hippo
  5. Kickbox

Another way to minimize bounces is to make sure that your email addresses are double opt-in.

When you’re creating your landing page or popup form or any other forms, make sure to never choose to auto-confirm new subscribers. (See screenshot below)

Of course, auto-confirmation has a few “benefits” but that would be another article.

email marketing kpis - double opt-in option

A double opt-in will prompt the visitor to confirm their subscription before getting access to your freebie.

If they really want your freebie, they will put their best email address. No bounce rate to be expected!

4. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of people who convert to another action after clicking on one of your emails.

This KPI shows how many people who opened your email clicked through the link within your email and performed a specific action such as:

  • Sign up for something (masterclass, future giveaway, etc…)
  • Download a freebie
  • Purchase your product
  • Book a call

However, what you want to track for conversions is how many people actually convert after visiting your website via your emails.

It’s not uncommon to get lots of traffic without converting those visitors into leads, so it’s vital you track this data so you can better understand which parts of your emails are converting and which ones aren’t.

This will help you create more effective emails in the future.

If you’re getting a low conversion rate then this means people aren’t interested in what you have to offer or your product might not fit their actual needs.

You can use this information to view which emails or attachments are working best and see what needs improvement.

For a higher conversion rate, you need to have a few things in place:

  • An attractive offer (the obvious)
  • A strong call-to-action
  • A fast loading site where the conversion will take place (slow sites a real conversion killers)

5. Deliverability Score

The deliverability score is an email marketing performance indicator that helps you to determine if your emails will be 100% delivered.

The deliverability score is the percentage of emails that have been rejected by the mail server when they were sent.

If your deliverability score is high, it means that your email marketing campaigns would have a hard time reaching their recipients and you would lose a lot of potential conversions.

Note that there’s a huge difference between email delivery and email deliverability. An email delivery is a confirmation the recipient’s ESP server has well received the email.

Whereas, email deliverability is another confirmation that the email has well landed in the recipient’s inbox.

Email deliverability depends on a few factors such as:

  • Domain Reputation
  • Sender Reputation
  • Domain Configuration

6. Unsubscribe Rate

If you have an unsubscribe rate then your email marketing campaigns are not effective at all.

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people who unsubscribed from your emails, meaning that they didn’t want to be bothered with your emails anymore.

If you have a high unsubscribe rate, then that means that your emails aren’t effective in promoting the business and attracting more customers to the business.

This can be a sign of an ineffective email marketing campaign if it’s not working.

Also, look into your email marketing management tool to see what are the reason behind these subscriptions.

A good way to do this is by getting a report from your email marketing software and seeing what are the top reasons that people unsubscribe from your emails.

If you can find out why your emails are not effective then you can make changes and improve your email marketing campaigns accordingly.

7. Complaints

The complaints are an email performance indicator that is based on how many complaints you received regarding your emails.

The complaints are a number that gets higher and higher as time goes on, and it can be a sign that your emails have some form of negative impact on the recipient.

For example, if you receive several complaints saying that your emails are annoying or whatever, then it might be time to change up the way you email customers.

However, if you receive a few complaints then it’s not as bad, but you still should take some time to change up the way your emails are being presented.

Here are a few simple ways how you can lower your complaints and increase the overall amount of people who are happy to receive your emails:

  1. Personalize Your Emails – If you send out an email to a bunch of people, then personalizing those emails helps you avoid the impression that you are just sending the same information over and over. Also, this helps add some versatility so you aren’t always sending out the same exact message to everyone.
  2. Lower the Frequency of your Emails – Sending out emails every day or every other day may be too much information, especially if you are sending out information that doesn’t pertain to everyone. You can lower this number so your emails are sent out less frequently, but don’t forget to send the information at specific times so that it’s timely and relevant.

8. Email List Growth Rate

The email list growth rate shows the number of new subscribers each month. This is another email marketing metric that you need to pay attention to since it’s the percentage of people who are joining your email marketing campaign for the first time ever.

This number is also important because it shows 2 things:

  • You have a very good optimized landing page
  • You have an attractive lead magnet

Benefits of Tracking Email Marketing Metrics

email marketing kpis - benefits

Whether you’re new at experimenting with email marketing or you’re a well-established business but don’t track your metrics, I urge you to make this a priority.

This process not only allows you to analyze stuff, and see some cute numbers but these email marketing KPIs are the very reasons behind your business growth or decline.

It’s also important to understand what all the metrics we’ve discussed above mean so that you can improve them in the future.

When properly tracked over a long period of time, these metrics can help you understand what kind of emails are most successful for your business.

Let’s see what are the benefits of monitoring those email marketing KPIs:

  • Better understanding of email performance
  • Track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Understand customer behavior
  • Improves decision-making process
  • Business growth
  • Easy email campaign management

Let’s dissect and analyze the benefits of measuring email marketing metrics, as well as ways to track them so you can improve them in the future.

1. Better Understanding of Email Performance

One of the best benefits of tracking email metrics is understanding email performance and how your emails are being accepted by customers and bringing in revenue for your business.

This allows you to understand which emails are working better than others, and it helps you optimize promotions so they bring in more traffic that eventually becomes a customer.

It’s sort of a double-edged sword because you might want to change up the type or frequency of your emails if they aren’t working well enough for your business.

2. Better Understanding of Subscriber Engagement

If you want to improve the quality of your email marketing, then it is important to know the engagement your subscribers are getting.

There are three main levels of engagement: open, read, and click. These three KPIs will give you an idea of how engaged your audience is with your emails.

When you know to what extent a reader engages with your email content you can either double down on what is already working or improve an underperforming content for better results.

Knowing the email opens and reads by your audience gives you insight into what type of content attracts them and which types don’t.

The information that is provided within your email analytics helps you understand how your customers are reacting to the emails that you send out in terms of open rates and click-through rates.

It allows you to see what type of information your customers are interested in receiving and how often they’re receiving it.

Once you have this information, then you can begin to make better decisions about how to improve your email campaigns in the future.

When used properly, email analytics can tell you exactly how to change up your strategy so that it becomes more effective in the long term.

3. Better Decision-Making Process

One of the benefits of managing email marketing KPIs is that it helps you make better business decisions throughout the year.

It allows you to see what kind of promotions are working for your business and which ones aren’t.

This way you can make better decisions about how to optimize your business so that it becomes more effective in the long run.

4. Grow Your Business and Increase Revenue

Another major benefit of managing email marketing KPIs is that it helps you grow your business and increase revenue over time.

When you’re able to understand how many customers are purchasing or signing up for things on your website, then you know what kind of information they want to see advertised or promoted in future emails.

This will help you grow your customer base, and over the long term, it will allow you to increase the amount of revenue being generated from your emails.

5. Easy Email Marketing Management

Another benefit of tracking email marketing KPIs is that it allows you to better manage your email campaigns.

When you do this on a regular basis, you don’t have to deal with a gazillion email marketing KPIs that you don’t understand.

Instead, you can look up a specific email marketing KPI when you need it and get the information that you need about your campaign.

Over the long term, this will make your life a lot easier because it allows you to focus on making your emails more effective and generating more revenue for your business.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the most important KPIs for email marketing and the importance of these email marketing metrics, I hope you will add this to your task list as well.

It might take some time to get used to, but it will make your life a lot easier and will help you understand exactly how your email promotions are doing over the long term.

I hope this article will motivate you to keep an eye on your email campaign metrics in the future.

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Nat Caesar is the Owner, Senior Editor & Head of Growth at Myndset. She is also the Founder of Caesar Media, a Digital Media Agency based in Mauritius. Since 2014 she has worked with more than 250 companies around the world including a few reputable brands like Adobe, Starbucks, Lacoste, and Pinterest Labs among others. Nat is also a seasoned SEO copywriter in the SaaS & B2B space. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected]