5 Email Metrics You Should Track for a Great Email Campaign

Vivian JohnsonWritten by Vivian JohnsonNov 05, 2019

1. Open rate
2. Email delivery rate
3. Click-through rate
4. Spam complaint rate
5. Conversion rate

Useful tools:
1. Newoldstamp - Email signature marketing
2. Mailchimp - Email builder and sender
3. Hubspot Email Marketing - Marketing automation platform
4. MailerLite - Landing page builder 
5. Canva - Online tool for making designs

Email marketing has proven to be one of the most profitable marketing methods. But no matter how profitable the average campaign is, without using the right email metrics, you won’t achieve that profit.

Email metrics you should track

That said, email marketing can be applied to any business of any industry. That’s why it’s important to learn the proper email marketing KPIs.

A few statistics to get you started:

  • The average profit of an email campaign is currently $42 for every $1 spent and that’s up from $38 for every $1 in 2018. - Litmus
  • Implementing additional elements to the process such as double opt-in, A/B tests, dynamic content, and GIFs further increases the ROI. - Litmus
  • 81% of small-to-medium businesses rely on email for their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% rely on it for customer retention. - Emarsys

Statistics also say that 99% of consumers check their emails every day. Wouldn’t you like to know if they opened your email?

Of course, you would. But that’s not the only email metric you should track.

Before we get into which email campaign metrics to use, you need to have a professional email. Don’t get me wrong, you can send emails from a Gmail or Outlook mail. But does that inspire trust?

No, it doesn’t. A company that doesn’t have a professional email won’t be trusted. Most companies today have professional emails.

And why wouldn’t they?

No need to worry - there are plenty of email hosting companies in the market. Once you’ve settled your professional email, start focusing on these 5 email metrics.

#1: Open rate

Do you think all your email subscribers open your email? Of course not. The open rate metric shows you how many people opened your email.

It’s one of the most important email metrics because it shows you how many people are actually interested in your emails. It also shows you how good your subject line is because that’s the only thing they see before opening the email.

Email open rate statistics

MailChimp has compiled a huge list of email stats sorted by industry. Here are the top 5 industries:

Email statistics for top 5 industries

source: mailchimp

Take these results as more of guidelines. The content of the email, the subject lines, and others still matter. Open rates can also be influenced by spam folders, and even by email service providers such as Hotmail.

How to increase your open rate?

It’s not a secret that people like to communicate with people they trust. It’s the same with email. People open most emails because they were sent by someone they trust.

So try to build lasting relationships with your customers. Because if they know more about you, they’ll trust you more.

Main reasons for people opening emails

source: superoffice

#2: Email delivery rate

This email metric will not be very useful for small email lists. But there’s no doubt that any business, whether small or large one, very likely has or wants to have a vast mailing list.

But when sending to huge email lists, it doesn’t mean that everyone will receive that email. Don’t let that scare you, because that happens to 99% of mailing lists. You can’t aim to reach 100% of your subscribers.

Email delivery and bounce rates

  • Soft bounce – Indicates that the email wasn’t delivered because of a temporary problem. For example, the recipient’s email server is down.
  • Hard Bounce – Indicates that the email wasn’t delivered because of a permanent problem. For example, non-existent or blocked email addresses.

This happens because your email passes through a few filters before reaching your subscriber.

Another common reason that impacts email delivery is the Sender Score. This is basically a trust rating assigned to your server IP or domain.

But this doesn’t really matter anymore since email marketing tools have become cheap. If you use an email marketing tool such as SendInBlue, you’re using their Sender Score.

Something that email marketing tracking won’t catch, but it will definitely decrease your conversion rate is dead emails. By dead, I don’t mean blocked or non-existent. I mean emails that people have stopped using. These emails still exist, so your email will technically be delivered to them.

#3: Click-through Rate

In the end, email marketing is about driving traffic to your website or selling your products. And that’s why the click-through rate is one of the most important email metrics.

Having a great click-through rate means that on top of opening your email, these select customers were also interested enough to click a link within your email. It’s a key indicator that your subject line and email content are masterfully crafted.

Click through rate of emails

Unique Clicks – Indicates the number of people that clicked a link within your email.

Total Clicks – Indicates how many times your links were clicked. If the same person clicks a link three times, it will be counted three times towards this statistic.

Referring to that Mailchimp statistic again, we can see that the average click-through rate for all industries is 2.43%. You may get a higher or lower rate than this.

How to increase the click-through rate?

You can increase your click-through rate by following some simple guidelines while crafting your email:

  • Keep it simple and clean
  • Include good formatting (headings, links, bold text...)
  • Have a clear call-to-action
  • Add interesting content (GIFs, videos...)

#4: Spam complaint rate

This is one of those email campaign metrics that could save your life. But it’s also one of the scariest metrics.

The reason for that is because this number indicates how many people clicked Mark as Spam.

You might think that this is a non-issue because 2 additional people will receive your email in the spam folder. But there’s more to it.

When they click the spam button, their email provider is also notified of this, and that’s the scary part.

Depending on how many people report your email as spam, your future emails might just skip the inbox and go directly to spam. For every user of that email provider.

There’s also a risk of getting listed on a blacklist, which most likely won’t happen if you’re using an email marketing tool. But it’s very serious if you’re sending from your own server, as getting delisted from a blacklist can be a nightmare.

If your server is on a blacklist, it might mean that emails get sent directly to the spam folder, but with some providers, your emails will be completely blocked from reaching the recipient.

Unfortunately, you can get in trouble even if your emails aren’t spam. The button is available on any email with any provider, so make sure to build trust with your subscribers. Also, don’t send emails to purchased lists.

To make sure you reduce the number of spam complaints, make sure not to breach the CAN-SPAM act and never send emails to people who didn’t sign up to receive them.

#5: Conversion rate

Even though you might think click-through rate tracking is enough, it sometimes isn’t. It really doesn’t matter how many people clicked your link if your goal is to convert.

Conversion is one of those email marketing KPIs that is malleable, it doesn’t have to be a purchase. A few example uses of conversion are:

  • Sign-ups for a webinar or free trial
  • Downloads of software or a free e-book
  • Submitting a contact form

When you send an email to your list, it usually has a goal. If that goal is to make them download your free e-book, then every recipient who opens the link in your email and downloads the book counts as a conversion.

Because this isn’t usually directly integrated with an email service provider, here’s the math for calculating your conversion rate:

Conversion Rate (%) = # of events / # of successfully delivered emails * 100 (to get percentage)

Here it is with numbers instead of variables:

Conversion Rate (%) = 54 / 678 = 0.07964601 * 100 = 7.964601769911504 – or 7.96%

Don’t take these numbers seriously, because they’re exceptionally high and well above average. But they’re just an example. Here’s the average conversion rate by email type, courtesy of Marketing Insider Group:

Email statistics by type of emails

source: marketinginsidergroup


While it might seem like a drag to do email marketing tracking, there’s no better way to ensure your emails have the effect you want them to.

The goal of email metrics is to provide you with an in-depth insight as to why your emails are or aren’t performing like you want them to.

If you’re not keen on doing these tasks, it might be good to hire someone to do your email marketing. An expert can definitely help you succeed in email marketing.

Remember, email marketing has the highest ROI of all marketing strategies. And with over 60% of businesses saying it’s their highest earner, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try email marketing.

Vivian Johnson

Vivian is fond of writing and has been involved in the content marketing industry since 2011. She is specializing in web hosting & website builder niches.

Go to Vivian Johnson’s Profile

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