11 Email Marketing KPIs to Keep Track of

Reading time10 minutes
Jaqueline Corradi
Jaqueline Corradi
Content Manager

Email marketing campaigns can be an effective way to convert leads into customers, and also to engage customers to become loyal to your brand, for example. But, to understand what actions are being successful and what needs to be changed, it is important to keep your eyes on email marketing KPIs, key performance indicators. 

Through them, you will be able to analyze how many people have received your emails, the number of them who opened the messages, who clicked on the call to action, and it goes on. Determine what are your goals, and analyze the metrics as the campaign is running, then, you can see what needs to be improved. 

What Are KPIs?

KPIs are short for key performance indicators, which are the metrics you need to measure to follow up on how a project is going on based on the goals you have set, in this case, email marketing campaigns. 

The job isn't done when you plan a campaign and send the emails, on the contrary, it's essential to set the mains KPIs and follow them to assure the results. When you analyze them, you have the opportunity to spot any problem and implement changes to the following emails. 

Preventing an error to ruin a campaign, for example. Besides, the KPIs are also helpful to have new insights, make tests, understand user behavior, and improve your marketing strategies continuously.

When you develop an email marketing campaign, make sure to include the main KPIs, and to set well-defined goals. KPIs must be aligned with your objectives, which will enable you to analyze the metrics with much more accuracy and to know if a campaign is successful or not. 

How to Measure Email Marketing KPIs?

The first step to measuring email marketing KPIs is to set your goals and according to them define which are going to be KPIs for your project. After that, if you don't have an email marketing platform to build the emails and automate them, it's important to choose one that provides you with analytics tools. 

The best email marketing platforms will give you access to an analytics dashboard and even provide customizable reports according to the KPIs you have set. This will make it much easier to keep track of the performance of your emails. 

11 Email marketing KPIs 

1. Delivery Rate

The image shows a mail box on the right side and a letter on the left one.

How many emails have you sent? How many of them arrived at their destination? With the delivery rate, you can check that, and make sure if there isn't any problem, for example, emails addresses that have been written wrong. It also helps you to eliminate emails that don't exist anymore from your list. 

A 100% deliverability rate is practically impossible, but you can implement email marketing practices to get close to it, for example, by reviewing your list. If your email address has been blocked this will interfere with deliverability, check that. 

An email delivered, though, doesn't mean that it had arrived in the recipient inbox. It can go directly to the junk folder. To be even more precise, the tip is to analyze as well the inbox placement rate (IPR). Then, you are going to have an actual number of emails that got to the inbox.  

2. Open Rate

You need to know not only the number of emails that were received but also how many of them were opened. After all, getting to the inbox isn't enough to achieve the goals of an email marketing campaign. To help you analyze the open rate, it's interesting to compare it with the average rates in your market sector. 

If the open rate is low, it's a sign that your subject line isn't calling the reader's attention to make them click on the email and open it. You can create A/B testings to discover how to write a better subject line, which can make a huge difference in the open rate. 

The preview text is also an important point to instigate the recipients' curiosity to open the email. It's necessary to write a message that tells what the email is about, but in a way that leaves the reader wanting to know more about it. 

Also, check the hour that your emails are frequently opened, this can help you to set the timing to send them and improve the chances to have the email opened. Personalized emails get better open rates too. 

3. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The image shows a person's hand moving a computer mouse.

The click-through rate (CTR) refers to the number of people who have clicked on any link on your email. Through that, you can analyze if your message is effective in convincing the readers to follow the links. 

Compare it with the open rate. If the open rate is a lot higher than the CTR, it probably indicates that the message isn't as convincing as the subject line or the preview text,  it's necessary to improve it.

While if you have a high CTR but a low open rate, it indicates that your message and CTAs are effective, what needs to be better is the subject line and the preview text. 

If you have inserted more than one link, check which ones received more clicks, analyze what made them more attractive. Consider as well the type and position of the CTA, which can affect the click-through rate. 

4. Conversions

One of the most important email marketing KPIs is the number of conversions you can get through an email, which means, for example, turning leads into customers. If you send an email with a coupon discount, how many people followed the link and used the coupon to buy a product on your online store? 

That rate has a huge impact on how successful the email was, affecting the return on investment (ROI). But, the conversion doesn't need to be necessary to sell, it can be a CTA to fulfill a form, download free material, or complete a survey, it will depend on the purpose of each email. 

Remember to get a high conversion rate, you have to write a call to action that gives reasons to the reader to do what you desire, and provide benefits to them. The email design can have an impact too, using visual elements and colors to highlight the CTA.  

5. Forwards

If your email is being often forwarded by the recipients that's a great sign that your campaign is being successful. Your mailing list liked your content so much that they are passing it to other people, engaging with your brand, and encouraging others to do the same.   

It's like being recommended by them, which gives more authority to your company and helps to create a trust-based relationship.

That's something rare to happen, when it does, analyze the aspects that made the email stand out, so you can learn from it and even use it in other campaigns. Enjoy the opportunity to gain new leads. 

6. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of the emails sent that weren't delivered to the recipients. This rate is divided into two categories: soft bounces and hard bounces.

The first case refers to messages that aren't delivered because the mailbox is full or there is a problem with the recipient's server, but the address is valid.

Hard bounces happen when the email address doesn't exist anymore or is invalid because of a misspelling, which means you should remove it from your list. If you have a high number of invalid emails, it can be a sign that it's time to create digital marketing actions to encourage people to subscribe to your mailing list. 

Be careful, having a high hard bounce rate can appear to an ISP (Internet Service Provider) that you are a spammer. Make sure to always clean your list. 

7. Unsubscribe Rate

The image shows a desktop computer, on the screen it's written "Unsubscribe".

If your unsubscribe rate is too high it indicates that your email marketing strategies need to be reviewed. You are going to have to analyze what factor is making people not want to receive your email anymore. 

This can be linked to several reasons, the frequency of emails or the content, for instance. Are your messages aligned to your public's profile? Do the emails provide useful and interesting content for them? This needs to be checked.

Sending too many emails with a small gap of time can cause the unsubscribe rate to go up. Hardly ever, your subscribers are going to want to see their mailbox full with several of your emails per day.

Besides, it can be seen as spam. Pay attention if the unsubscribe rate goes up after you make some alteration, this may indicate that the change wasn't well accepted. 

8. Social Shares

The image shows a smarthphone screen where there are several sociam media icons.

Social Shares is how many times your email content has been shared through social media, and it's a great email marketing KPI to point how engaged your audience is.

Instead of only reading the content and clicking on the links (what's already great), when they share it on their social media profiles, it shows a higher level of interest that can help you gain more leads. 

To help you increase social shares, you can add CTAS inviting readers to share the email, and don't forget to add social media buttons, making it easier to share the content.

But, remember what your priorities are with each email. Having a low social share rate doesn't mean the email wasn't effective, once more, it depends on your goals.  

9. List Growth Rate 

List growth rate indicates if your mailing list is growing or declining, for example, you get 1000 subscribers and lose 100 per month. Keep an eye on this email marketing KPI to see if you are being able to expand your public and, with that, reach more potential customers. 

To make your list grow, it's important to invest in marketing strategies where the goal is to subscribe to your mailing list. You can do discount campaigns where subscribers get a discount coupon on your store, for example, or provide a free ebook for the ones who sign up for your newsletter. 

But, remember that getting someone to enter your mailing list is just the beginning. You are going to have to evaluate all the other KPIs to create amazing content that encourages people to keep subscribed to receive your emails and wish to read them.

10. Email ROI

Email ROI is the measure you are going to use to know how much revenue you got from the email marketing campaign, to determine if the return on investment was worth all the effort and money spent on it. 

It's important to have clear that email marketing campaigns don't need to be built with selling as the main goal. It can be about generating more leads, promoting engagement, nurturing the relationship with your customers, and others. Analyze email ROI according to that. 

11. Spam Score

One of the main concerns when creating an email marketing campaign is having the emails targeted as spam. That's why the spam score is an important email marketing KPI that can affect all of your results. 

Check the use of words that could be interpreted as spam, the technical setup of the email, your image to text ratio, the number and types of links. Be aware of the number of spam complaints as well. 

The higher your spam score is, the more likely your email is going directly to the junk folder or the spam one. You can verify the spam score before sending the email. Many tools will do that for you. 

Evaluate Your Email Marketing KPIs Regularly

Once you have created the project for an email marketing campaign, and the content is done, it's time to start sending them and tracking the metrics. Watch the email marketing KPIs as the campaign is on, check it every time a new email is sent, don't do it only after the campaign ends to just make a report.

Analyzing the email marketing KPIs of each email will enable you to make changes to the following ones, increasing the chances to reach your goals. The KPIs are valuable data that will help you to have a deeper understanding of your audience behavior, and adapt the content to provide better results.

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