Is your email marketing campaign working? Are you on track to meet your email marketing objectives? Are you providing your client's audience with the content they want? Find a list of the most important metrics to help you answer these questions and adjust your strategy based on your client's most recent expectations.
Email marketing is one of the most traditional and effective marketing strategies. Almost every business invests in it, and almost every marketing agency recommends that email marketing campaigns be launched. One of the primary reasons is the 4 billion daily email users. However, having the email addresses is just the start.
According to HubSpot, 37% of brands intend to increase their email budget in 2022 because smartphone users prefer to receive brand communication via email. And email marketing revenue is expected to reach 11 billion by the end of 2023.
With this in mind, it’s useful to know the most important KPIs for email marketing so you can learn whether your campaign is a success or not.
The right email marketing KPIs for a specific client and campaign will depend on the goals you want to achieve. Certain KPIs, however, help improve overall email campaign performance and provide valuable data for future campaigns, so all marketers should have them in mind at all times.
Some email metrics are critical for understanding your client's audience persona, while others provide insight into how they engage with the email and, most importantly, which email strategies are working.
Here are 11 email key performance indicators to help you get the information you need.
In simple terms, the open rate is the percentage measuring the email recipients who open an email. If you sent 100 emails and 50 of them are opened, your open rate is 50%. For any number of emails, this would be unusually high, though.
The average open rate in the marketing industry market is 22.8%. The higher the percentage, the more engaged and interested the audience is in your client’s business and the content you provide for them.
It is important to track the open rate because:
Tanya Dharmapala, a Digital Marketing Account Manager at Dilate Digital, says that:
'A low open rate could mean you need to review your audience and do a bit of clean up, as well as think about the content you’re sending. It could also mean you’re not reaching those people at the right times. For all these items, some a/b testing will go a long way in finding the perfect balance'.
To find out what’s the open rate, calculate it manually:
Or try out the email marketing dashboard to present the current status of email campaigns and get a live overview of one of the most important email marketing metrics out there.
Bounce rate tells you whether or not your email was delivered to your client’s audience.
The bounce rate is classified into two types based on the reasons why the email was not delivered. These could be the reasons:
The reason you want to track bounce rates is to ensure that you do not get hard bounce rates. If you do, you may land on the spammers' list for your ISP (internet service provider) for your bounced emails.
The average bounce rate across all industries is 0.55%. It is recommended that it be kept below 2% for your total number of emails. If you have a higher score, it may indicate some technical errors.
Find out your bounce rate by calculating it manually:
Or get an email monitoring software to assist you at any time.
CTR is an email marketing KPI to measure the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link found in a sent email.
According to MailChimp, the average CTR is 2.91%, and if your email CTR reaches the industry benchmark or is higher, it indicates high-quality copy and user engagement.
By tracking this KPI you are making sure that:
Aaron, a co-founder of Agency 101, shared the reasons why their team tracks CTR:
'By observing the click-through performance of each email you send out, you can more easily determine which techniques work and which should be discarded. This is a helpful marker of progress while A/B testing, helping you finetune your email copy until it's optimal for a given campaign'.
Calculate this KPI manually:
Alternatively, use our email report template to obtain real-time and historical data on your CTR.
Click-to-open rate is an email KPI that calculates the number of people who opened your email compared to the number of click-throughs.
In other words, it’s the percentage of your client’s email subscribers who click on a link found in an email after opening it.
CTOR provides insights into your copy, design and CTAs attractiveness. The average CTOR across all industries is 10.5%. If yours is lower, do some A/B testing. Try altering and strengthening your messaging, content, and offers.
To find out what’s your CTR, calculate it either manually:
Or with an email monitoring software.
The unsubscribe rate determines the percentage of email recipients who unsubscribed from your send list immediately after opening an email.
The average unsubscribe rate ranges between 0.2% and 0.5%. A high number of unsubscribes alerts you to the critical changes you must implement in your email marketing strategy. For example:
Calculate your unsubscribe rate manually:
Or with an email monitoring software.
The forward rate is a KPI to tell you whether or not your client’s subscribers are sharing your emails with other people.
This KPI indicates how entertaining, helpful, or relevant your email content is to your client's audience. It also shows potential subscriber list growth and whether your email marketing efforts are paying off.
The forward rate also provides you insights into the quality of your content. If it’s high and you get direct referrals, you’ll have an opportunity to generate new leads and clicks.
Advice: Calculate your forwarding rates and identify the most popular content or topics. Use this data to plan your future email campaigns and deliver what your client's audience prefers.
To measure your forwarding rates, use this formula:
Unless you want it calculated automatically and see the patterns of the forwarding rates, use our email report template.
In simplest terms, conversion rate indicates whether or not a user completed the desired action.
It is typically measured in percentages, with the higher the percentage indicating a successful campaign.
This KPI is all about outcomes. If your conversion rates fall short, and the average email conversion rate is 2.3%, then you may need to consider things that are directly tied to this KPI:
To find out your conversion rate, here is a formula to calculate:
You also have the option to pull this data and even display conversion rate trends automatically. Here is an email monitoring software you can try for free for 7 days!
The overall return on investment is a KPI that presents the overall return on investment that you generate from your email campaigns.
This sales-driven email KPI gives insight into how cost-effective your campaigns are.
You can leverage overall ROI and compare it to other marketing campaigns and channels by having a reporting tool or developing a cross-channel report.
You then could easily compare and learn which channels generate the highest ROI for your clients and which campaigns are most effective.
A typical and ideal ROI from email marketing is when you spend $1 and get $36 in return. However, not many email marketers are able to achieve these kinds of results.
To improve your ROI, here is what you should consider:
Calculate your overall ROI with this formula:
You also have the option to pull this data and even display overall ROI trends automatically. Here is an email monitoring software you can try for free for 7 days.
Revenue per Subscriber is a key performance indicator that tells you how each email performed and how much revenue it generated.
In other words, it tells you exactly how much you were able to earn for every email address.
Good ARPU is around $1.96. If the goal is to increase it, here is what you could do:
The formula to calculate your current ARPU is:
The reporting tool to calculate it for you: email report template.
The list growth rate is the rate at which your email list grows.
Every digital marketing agency should track this KPI as the overall goal is to gain more subscribers. How will you know if your list is growing or shrinking if you aren’t tracking it?
To grow the list, consider trying out these things:
If you want to calculate your list growth manually, here is a formula to do that:
The spam complaint rate is probably the scariest KPI for every marketing agency.
It measures the users/subscribers who report your email as spam. If the spam complaint rate is high, and the ideal is around 0.2%, that means:
If your spam complaint rate is higher, note that your account can get blocked by your email service provider because too many emails end up in the spam folder. Besides getting great results from emails, you also want to monitor your sender's reputation.
To measure your spam complaint rate, use this formula:
You also have the option to automatically pull this data and even display spam complaint rate patterns. Here is an email monitoring software you can try for free for 7 days.
These are all the email marketing KPIs you should be tracking. As coming up and launching email campaigns is already a hassle that takes up a lot of time, we want to encourage you to get a reporting tool.
Whatagraph integrates with the most popular email marketing platforms such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Google Analytics, HubSpot, Salesforce, Klaviyo, and Campaign Monitor. Let us pull all the data accurately and automatically so you can analyze your client’s audience behaviour patterns. Easily analyze open rate or CTR and optimize your efforts.
Start your 7-day free trial and benefit from features like report automation, white-labelling, and eye-pleasing clear reports.
Published on Jul 20, 2022
WRITTEN BYDominyka Vaičiūnaitė
Dominyka is a copywriter who uses simple words to explain tough ideas. Her content is inspired by the good old brand “For Dummies.” Anyone can read and learn all things marketing with her.
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