What, How & Why - 5 Email Marketing Metrics in a Nutshell

Depending on the purpose (or several goals) you want to achieve through your email marketing campaign, you need to decide which metrics you should follow. Let's take a look at the main indicators that should be followed by every marketer or e-commerce owner. You will learn what types of email marketing metrics are, how to calculate them and why it is worth doing.  

Inga  Leder
Communication & Marketing Specialist
Added 4 months ago | 5 min read

It won’t be anything surprising if I say that email marketing rocks. 

First of all, it is an invention almost as old as the Internet itself, and still remains the main pillar of any multichannel marketing strategy.

Secondly, email marketing is cheap as chips. This is a form of reaching the recipients that pays off not only to large players, but also to small companies without a significant budget or those that are just emerging on the market. According to research by DMA, statistically £1 invested in this marketing communication channel generates £33 of profit
 
Thirdly, it's just easy. All you need is text and graphics. The key to success in this case is a dedicated application, as well as an intuitive template creator, thanks to which you create a campaign with a few mouse clicks. 


If you've been following our blog for some time, you may already know how to create spam-proof email campaigns and you've come across the recipe for a perfect email subject line (and if you haven’t—take a few minutes to read more, you won’t regret it!). However, no matter how eye-catching your campaigns are, the most important thing is to see their direct numerical effects. I chose five must-track email marketing metrics that will help you understand what your recipients expect and make your emails a drop of joy in their inboxes. 

A short guide on the use of 5 email marketing metrics 

Unique Open Rate 

It is the proportion between open emails and all emails sent (excluding bounces). 
 
WHY: Does each subscriber included in the database open all emails? The answer is: of course not. If you have an excellent Unique Open Rate, then maybe in this case: 

  • your base is optimal and there are only those who are actually interested in your messages 
  • you create spam-proof content, because sometimes low opening rate can be a sign that the message lands in the SPAM folder too often 
  • you simply wrote a great piece of content that your subscribers fell in love with 

Nevertheless, analyzing only the open rate is an unreasonable practice. To get the most reliable analytics, you should enrich your measurements with CTR and Conversion Rate. 

Click-through rate (CTR) 

Click-through rate is the ratio between the number of unique clicks on at least one link in the message and the total number of emails sent in a given campaign.  

For example: 
if you send 1000 emails in a campaign and the links in the messages will be clicked by 250 people, your CTR will be 25%.  

WHY: CTR is one of the main measures of your customers’ engagement. It informs you how many subscribers were interested in clicking on the link, therefore showing how many people were convinced by your offer. This indicator allows you to easily calculate the performance of each email sent and is very useful in carrying out A/B tests.  

Call-to-action clicks (CTA) and Conversion Rate 

HOW: CTA clicks are calculated by the sum of clicks in the call-to-action included in the email. Unique clicks per user is calculated taking into account the possibility that some recipients have clicked on the CTA several times. For example, if the total number of clicks is 100, but they come from 80 people (because some of the recipients clicked on the CTA more than once), the Unique Clicks Indicator will have the value 80.  
 
Based on the CTA indicator, you can calculate the Conversion Rate. This is the percentage of email recipients who clicked the link in the email message and performed the requested action. 

WHY: CTA supports the general purpose of email marketing, which is conversion. After clicking on a dedicated link or button, the user moves to the destination, for example to a landing page, product card in the e-store or application log-in page. 

PRO TIP: Be careful! You need to be sure that CTA sends the recipient to the right place. If the message was sent by the online clothing store, then the link or button in the description of a particular model of shoes must direct the recipient directly to the subpage with these shoes, and not, for example, the store's homepage. 

Bounced messages and Bounce rate 

Bounced messages account for the number of emails that didn’t reach the recipient’s inbox because they were withdrawn by the server. Bounce Rate is a percentage expressing the ratio between the number of messages that could not be effectively delivered and the total number of emails sent. 

Bounces are divided into soft (when the mail server encounters a temporary problem with delivery of messages, such as too little space in an inbox or too large email file) and hard (when the problem of message delivery is persistent—the server does not exist, the recipient’s address is incorrect or deleted). 

WHY: These are extremely important indicators! Internet service providers carefully look at the bounce rate of individual senders and determine whether they are spammers or not. Take care of your IP’s reputation and immediately delete email addresses from the database that have been marked with "hard bounced". 

Unsubscribe Rate and Subscriber List Growth Rate  

To measure unsubscribe rate, all you have to do is divide the number of cancelled subscriptions by the number of all emails in the contact base and multiply by 100%.  
 
To calculate the List Growth Rate, you must first determine how many people subscribed to your email in the certain period of time. Then you need to check how many people have unsubscribed. Divide the difference between these two components by the amount of all contacts in the database and multiply it by 100%.  

For example: 


 

WHY: We all know that every company depends on growing its database to increase the number of visits to the website or blog, or encourage the largest possible number of people to use free trial versions of tools. Thus, it’s crucial to understand why recipients decide to cancel the subscription. Maybe you're making basic mistakes that are easy to fix.

 It is known that a large percentage of email addresses that give up a subscription can be very discouraging. However, it does not have to be the end of the world and your marketer's career.  

By giving your audience a clear chance to opt out of subscriptions, where people do not have to go through a complicated process and fill in many pages of forms, you contribute to the positive reception of your brand. You also have a better chance that people who have remained in your base are mostly interested in your content. 

How to start working with email marketing? From a step back! 

Before you start creating your next email campaign, take a step back. Think about the most important goals you want to achieve with it. Then, decide how you will measure your success and choose the appropriate indicators. Numbers are real friends of marketers, especially when they are well collected and analyzed.