9 Email Marketing Metrics you MUST Know (2022)

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Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies there is. It helps you strengthen relationships with your customers while still being able to reach out and establish a connection with potential customers. The best part is that for every $1 you invest in email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI.

Curious to learn more about the basics of email marketing? Check out our blog post: How to Get Started in Email Marketing!

However, to see such results, you must attract attention before you tell your story. So, how do you know if your email marketing campaigns are making an impact? Here are the top email campaign metrics to help with your email marketing strategy:

1.Open Rate

Open rate definition: Percentage of the subscribers who opened your email.

Open rate formula: 50 Opens/ 200 Emails delivered * 100 = 25%

Your email open click rate is one of the most reliable metrics when measuring your email marketing campaign’s performance. Email open rate refers to the number of people who opened the email you sent.

To calculate your email’s open rate, take the number of emails your recipients opened and divide it by the total number of emails sent then multiply by 100.

Email open rate by send date in Drip

Depending on your industry, a healthy open rate tends to range between 15% to 25%.

If your open rates are too low, you can try the following tricks to boost them.

Improve your email marketing subject lines

Your email subject line is the first thing your customer will see. It determines whether or not they will read your email. To be effective, your subject line must be catchy, clear, and coherent.

Time your emails

The best time to send a marketing email is 10:00 am on weekdays. Avoid sending emails on weekends and conduct A/B testing to determine the best time to send your emails.

Something important to note is that open rates, unfortunately, may become more and more unreliable as time goes on. Because of this, your email marketing efforts should not rely on open rates as the north star of success.

Jordan Douglas, our Lifecycle Manager (and email marketing aficionado) explains:

“iOS 15 has new privacy protections in it, specifically in the Mail app. Their Mail Privacy Protection option stops senders from using pixels to collect information about the user. It helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and hides their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or be used to see their location.

In other words, targeting people based on online activity, lead scoring, and retargeting are going to get harder. It will also remove the ability to track open rates, which has a ripple effect when it comes to cleaning up your email list. That’s usually based off of open rates, which won’t be accurate anymore.”

Jordan Douglas

Create top-notch content

Once you’ve timed your emails properly and used a catchy subject line, you need to keep your leads reading by giving them great email content. Try personalizing your content, add some storytelling and some mixed media, and don’t forget to include an effective CTA.

High-quality email content will ensure you get steady traffic. Remember, people are more likely to open your email if they liked the last one. Don’t waste their time – provide value!

Want to learn more about email marketing? Check out our library of email marketing below. You’ll find all kinds of content from the basics of B2B email marketing to writing welcome emails!

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2. Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough rate definition: Percentage of people who click the links inside delivered emails.

Clickthrough rate formula: 50 Clicks/ 500 Emails Delivered * 100 = 10%

Once you’ve worked on ensuring your readers are opening your emails, it’s time to gauge their engagement. Your email click-through rate will help you track how well your emails are performing.

Your email click-through rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link in your email. To calculate your click-through rate, divide the number of clicks by the number of emails you sent and multiply by 100.

On average, the click-through rate for most campaigns is 4%.

Your click-through rate will help you determine which customers are genuinely interested in your brand or products.  It will also show you how engaging your content is and is a great tool for maximizing your conversion rates. So, if your click-through rate is not where it should be, try the following to improve it:

Personalize your emails

To engage your audience, you must send them content that resonates with them. For instance, you will not get much engagement from a vegan if you are sending them emails full of the benefits of red meat. Only send information that your audience is interested in.

You can also take personalization a step further by addressing your audience personally. Ensure that each person reading your email feels as if you wrote the email just for them. You can achieve this by using the reader’s name on the email subject line and writing as if you are having a face-to-face conversation with them.

Write engaging content

Your emails should be worth your readers’ time. They should be full of value and interesting enough that your audience looks forward to them. To make your emails more engaging, always proofread to remove errors, maintain a flow of information that is relevant to your audience, use the correct formatting and add a few GIFs.

Nail the preview text

After reading your email subject line, the preview text is the next thing your reader sees.  Your preview text affects your open rate as much as your subject line, so it helps to ace it.

The easiest and safest way to nail your preview text is to directly ask your reader a question. For instance, “Dear XYZ, would you like to boost your website traffic?” asking a question helps strike a conversation with your reader. It also intensifies their curiosity and makes them want to open and engage with your email.

3. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate definition: Percentage of people who completed the CTA, be it registration, purchase, download, or any other goal that you had.

Conversion rate formula: 20 CTA completed/ 500 Emails Delivered * 100 = 4%

Another email marketing analysis metric that is key to determining the success of your email marketing campaign is your conversion rate. Your conversion rate is the number of leads that have become actual customers after reading your emails.

Conversion is the ultimate goal of any email marketing campaign. You want people to open, click through, and engage with your content, but most importantly, you want them to become your loyal customers.

To calculate your conversion rate, divide the number of people that have converted with the total number of emails you sent and multiply by 100.

Here are some tips to help you increase your conversion rates:

Segment your email list

No matter how great your emails are, you will not see any conversion if you are targeting the wrong people.  Take time to divide up your email list depending on different factors such as age and geographical location among other factors. You’ll want to do this sooner rather than later, with the new updates to privacy protections coming from iOS.

Next, create different email content for different groups of people so you are sure you are sending the right message to the right people.

Ensure your content flows

Start your email with a catchy subject line, great preview text, engaging content, and lastly, a well-optimized CTA.  This is the flow that works for most bloggers and businesses. If you mix up your content, you won’t see many conversions.

Keep it short

There is no specific email length that works for everyone. That being said, no one has time to read unending ramblings in today’s fast world. Short and sweet is your best option.

4. Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate Definition: Percentage of emails that were not delivered.

Bounce Rate Formula: 5 Undelivered emails/ 100 Emails Sent *100 = 5%

All the email marketing metrics we have discussed so far won’t be of use to you if your emails are not reaching their intended recipients.  Your email bounce rate measures how many emails are not reaching your lead’s mailbox either because the Id is inactive or fake.

To calculate your bounce rate, divide the number of bounced emails by the total number of emails sent then multiply by 100.

A bounce rate of more than 2% means you need to take urgent steps such as:

Monitor your list

Go through your subscriber list and eliminate all fake-looking IDs and those with inactive domains.

You can also activate the double opt-in option so that people have to confirm before subscribing to your email list.  This is an excellent way of only enlisting people who are interested in your brand. It also helps you avoid adding emails from spambots.

A/B testing

With a/b testing emails, you can divide your subscribers into two groups and send each group a different email. This way, you can measure the bounce rate of each email and try to find out what caused a higher bounce rate in one group by determining what you did differently.

When measuring your bounce rates, it’s important to distinguish between a soft bounce and a hard bounce. A soft bounce happens when there is a temporary delay in sending emails. This can happen when the servers are overloaded and should not be a cause for concern. Eventually, the email will get to the recipient.

A hard bounce, on the other hand, is one where the mail comes back saying that the email ID is incorrect or the domain doesn’t exist. This is the king of bounce that you want to avoid.

5. Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe rate definition: Percentage of people who unsubscribe from your email list.

Unsubscribe rate formula: 10 Unsubscribes / 500 Emails * 100 = 2%

There are a number of reasons why people might unsubscribe from your email list. It could be because they no longer find your content relevant, or they just entered their email to get the lead magnet that you were promoting.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to keep an eye on your unsubscribe rate so that you can make changes to improve it.

For example, you might just have one bad email blast or a small mistake in your email marketing process. Something in your copy triggered a higher level of unsubscribed than usual. This is nothing to worry about. Just make sure not to repeat that mistake in your next emails.

If you’re seeing a constantly high unsubscribe rate, it could indicate that you need to change up your content or offer more relevant information to your audience.

You want to get your unsubscribe rate as low as possible. Usually, it is around 1%, but the lower, the better.

The rate you see will also depend on how you built the list. If you have a highly interested audience and a relevant offer – the bounce rate will be really low.

If you’ve purchased a list or used very little personalization in your email – the unsubscribe rate will be higher.

Here are some tips to keep your unsubscribe rate low:

  1. Keep your content relevant to your audience.
  2. Make sure you’re offering value in every email.
  3. Personalize your emails.
  4. Build quality lists from the start.
  5. Have a clear From field.
  6. Don’t use clickbaity subject lines.

6. Subscribers Growth Rate

Subscribers growth rate definition: New subscribers that joined your email list in a set period of time.

Subscribers growth formula: 500 New subscribers / 1000 Original list size 100 = 50% or 2250 New list size / 1000 Original list size 100 = 225%

Your email list should always keep growing! A good subscriber growth rate depends on the size of your list. If you have a small list, a higher percentage may be attainable. The bigger your list size is, the smaller the percentage will get.

Emails in your list will decay naturally. Some subscribers will stop using that email, some will be receiving your message in their Promotion folder, and some will just unsubscribe.

In order to not “burn out” your email list, you must constantly feed the funnel with new leads.

Limited offers, discounts, and lead magnets – are all great ways how to interest new subscribers in joining.

Make sure your lead magnet is high quality and relevant to your target audience! If it’s not, you’ll have a hard time getting people to sign up and an even harder time keeping them as subscribers.

7. Email Sharing Rate

Email sharing rate definition: Number of times people forwarded or shared your email.

Email sharing rate formula: 10 Shares or Forwards / 220 Emails delivered * 100 = 4.4%

You want to keep an eye on your email sharing rate because a high number means that people love your content and are willing to share it with others. A low number could indicate that your email isn’t really hitting the right spot.

Not all emails need a high sharing rate. For example, an email with a purchase CTA would focus on the clickthrough rate. These types of emails are usually not shared.

On the other hand, a message with a referral offer or an infographic would benefit from forwards and shares.

When looking at your sharing rate, also consider the type of email you’re sending. If it’s a timely message or announcement, it may not have a long shelf-life and, therefore, won’t be shared as much as an evergreen piece that is tightly related to your topic.

8. ROI 

ROI definition: Return On Investment shows how much money you earned vs. how much you had to spend.

ROI Formula: $500 Earned / $100 Spent * 100 = 500%

You may wonder what would go into your Earnings. Any monetary value you received due to a CTA in your email campaign would count as earnings (or revenue). All the purchases and upgrades subscribers bought through the CTA link in your email would fall into this group.

On the other hand, Spending (costs) would include all the financial resources you spent to make this campaign happen. Cost of leads acquisition, email copywriter salary. email service subscription price – everything should be accounted for. Just make sure to calculate the final result proportionally.

Continuing on the financial topic, here are two other email marketing metrics that are worth following:

  • Revenue per subscriber – revenue calculated per each subscriber.
  • Subscriber lifetime value – total revenue that a subscriber brings in the “lifetime” on your list.

We also wanted to share a couple of tips on how to grow your ROI after the initial purchase.

Cross Selling

Cross-selling should always be a part of your email strategy. It’s a great way to increase the amount each customer spends. Selling your readers complementary products that are related to what they just bought from you.

For example, if someone buys a pair of shoes from you, you could cross-sell them with socks or shoe laces.

The point is, it is much easier (and cheaper) to sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one, so make sure you are always looking for ways to increase the value of each customer.

The best way to do this is to focus on creating quality content that your readers will love and then gently introduce them to complementary products they may need.

Cross-selling is just a part of post-purchase email options. This type of email marketing campaign can significantly increase the ROI and the LTV of the subscribers, so make sure to give it a look!

9. Spam Rate

Spam rate definition: Percentage of users who marked your email as spam.

Spam rate formula: 2 Marked as spam / 1000 Emails delivered * 100 = 0.2%

In an ideal scenario, your spam complaint rate should be 0, but as your email list grows bigger, it will not be possible.

Still, 0.1% is roughly the maximum that your spam rate can be at any given time. Anything bigger is a major reason for concern. In the long run, high spam rate damages the sender’s reputation, lowers the number of delivered emails, and can even send them right into the spam folder, without the user even seeing them.

How to reduce your spam rate:

  1. Keep your email list clean.
  2. Consider double-optin.
  3. Have a clearly visible Unsubscribe button.
  4. Don’t use clickbait titles.
  5. Each email should have value.

For more tips on how to get higher deliverability and not fall victim to spam filters, check out this post.

Email Measurement Metrics & Analytics Tips

These are the main email engagement metrics you should be tracking. But depending on your business goals, there are other things you can track as well, but they are of lesser importance.

The main slogan here is “You can’t improve what you don’t measure”, so we wanted to share a couple of overall tips that will help you make your email marketing campaigns better.

Analyze The Outliers

It may happen that email campaign metrics on one of the emails will be off the charts. It can swing both ways, good and bad.

It can be caused by various factors. Sending time is one of the most frequent ones. It might be a slow day, a holiday, or other important events happening.

Pick A Good Platform

Make sure that you picked an email marketing service that is able to show you all the metrics and analytics that you might need.

Sure, all of the email marketing tools have some kind of dashboard and reporting – just make sure that it tracks and shows the data that is important for your line of business!

If you didn’t know, Tailwind brings social media management and email marketing into one unified marketing management platform — making it easy to make your separate marketing channels work together. Tailwind’s email marketing capabilities have built in best practices to ensure you meet the ideal numbers for all your email engagement metrics and not to mention, beautifully displays your key email campaign metrics in an easy-to understand way.

Experiment A Little

It goes without saying that digital marketing is built on A/B testing. We spoke about that in the prior section.

Apart from those tests, from time to time – do a bigger experiment. Completely change the hook or the offer in your email. Structure the pricing differently or just create a whole new funnel.

From time to time, you need a radical 180-degree change to discover new opportunities!

Final word

Email marketing is a cost-effective way of promoting your brand. However, it requires you to keep tracking and optimizing the key metrics we have discussed to increase your chances of success. 

If you are just starting your email endeavor, the metrics listed in this post could easily become your KPIs for email marketing! We hope this blog post helped you learn a little bit more about email marketing metrics.

In the case you need a free option to get started with email marketing, Tailwind is the best email marketing and social media marketing management platform combined into one. With built-in email marketing best practices and analytics to measure your email marketing campaign metrics, you’re sure to measure the success of your email campaigns in no time! Sign up for FREE below!

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With new user privacy protections in iOS 15, there's never been a better time to understand email marketing metrics and what (and what isn't) a solid indicator that your efforts are working. Check out our quick guide to learn the ins and outs!

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