Most Common Email Marketing Metrics

Metrics are quantifiable measurements used to track and assess progress toward a business objective. This is important to remember as we explore the most commonly used metrics in email marketing.

Metrics in email marketing

Open rate

An open rate is the percentage of users that open your email. Most likely you won’t have to calculate yourself because you’ll be using a tool that automates those for you.

Open rate = Number of people who open the email / Number of people who received the email

Your open rate is important because it indicates how engaged your subscribers are. A high open rate means that your subject line is effective, while a low open rate means that you need to work on it.

Not all organizations put much emphasis on achieving high open rates. Some companies care more about how the subscribers engaged with the email once they’ve opened it rather than the fact that they’ve opened it. That’s when the click-to-open rate comes in.

Click-to-open rate

A click-to-open rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links in an email out of the total number of unique opens.

Click-to-open= Total clicks / Number of unique opens

This metric is often used in AB testing, where two versions of an email are sent out at the same time to see which version an audience responds to more positively. A lot of markers pay very close attention to their click-to-open rate.

Let’s say you are trying to generate interest in your new cleaning business through email marketing. You decide to send two versions of the same email with different images attached to hyperlinks. Whichever has a higher click-to-open rate or whichever version your subscribers clicked on more, will determine future decisions around which images you may add.

Unsubscribe rate

The more your audience engages with your content, the more your email marketing campaign will thrive. And if they aren’t engaging, you may find that they’ll eventually unsubscribe. That’s where the unsubscribe rate comes in, and the unsubscribe rate is just what it sounds like. It’s the percentage of email recipients who unsubscribe from your send list that it sounds like. It’s the percentage of email recipients who unsubscribe from your send list after opening an email. This metric is useful because it indicates whether you are delivering content that your audience enjoys.

Unsubscribe rate = Number of unsubscribes / Emails delivered

Metrics in tracking email campaign success

To determine the success of the campaign, you need to consider the conversion rate, email bounce rate, and complaint rate.

Conversion rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link in your email and took the desired action like making a purchase. Conversion rate answers the question, did your audience do the thing you wanted them to do? Achieving a high conversion rate is very important to many companies because it means you’re selling more products or services without having to increase your budget.

Conversion rate = Number of conversions / Total ad interactions (clicks)

If you want to know the conversion rate for your new house cleaning companies and email campaigns, you’ll want to check how many people ended up booking your services from your emails.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of emails sent that could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. If you find your bounce rate is higher than the industry average, you may need to some investigating. A bounced email is caused by incorrect or inactive email addresses or an import error with your email list.

Email bounce rate = (Total number of bounced emails / Email sent) x 100

Bounce rates vary and are subject to change. So to see how you’re doing, check your industry standards online. If you find your bounce rate is higher than the industry average, you may need to do some investigating.

A bounced email is caused by an incorrect or inactive email address or an import error with your email list. To avoid a high bounce rate, make sure to verify your domain. Double-check your automation tool is up to date and working properly for your email list periodically so that inactive emails are no longer included and make sure you have your subscribers’ permission to send emails.

Complaint rate

The complaint rate is the percentage of complaints recipients sent to mailbox providers about receiving your email.

Complaint rate = Number of complaints / Total number of emails delivered to subscribers

Most experts agree to an industry standard of about 0.01%. So since your new home cleaning business is relatively small, you may not track this metric for a while because odds are you’re not getting a lot of complaints.

This metric can help you gauge how happy your subscribers are, and since you’re serving them, you want to be sure you aren’t offending them or getting something wrong if you do, you may lose subscribers.

Metrics in tracking email campaign growth rate

One organization’s definition of growth may be different from another organization’s. One company may choose to track its list growth rate as a KPI, while another tracks the forward rate. A third company may choose to track return on investment or ROI to find out if the work they’re putting in is resulting in increased sales dollars. To know which metrics your company should track, you’ll need to become familiar with the most common email marketing metrics.

ROI (Return on Investment)

ROI is the ratio of money made and money spent.

ROI = (Total revenue / Total spent) x 100

Let’s say your house cleaning company made $800 from your first email campaign, and you figure you spent about $200 on it, your ROI will be 400 percent. This important metric tells you whether your email marketing strategy is productive. ROI and email marketing tend to be pretty high because the total spend is so low.

This number is always helpful to know, but it’s especially useful when creating reports and presentations for stakeholders. Showing a dollar amount helps to show the effectiveness of your campaign to your organization. ROI is often calculated and reviewed monthly, quarterly, or annually.

ROI might not be the only indicator of your investment because every situation is different and maybe you are more focused on tracking other metrics. And return depends on multiple factors, such as volume of sales, average order value, website conversion rate, and more. Because of this, companies and different industries may have very different return margins on email marketing campaigns.

List growth rate

List growth rate = (Number of new subscribers – number of unsubscribes) / Total number of email addresses x 100

The list growth rate is the rate at which your list grows. If you gain six new subscribers and lost two, your list growth rate is 4 percent. This number is helpful to track because if your emails are quality, a high list growth rate may translate to a higher sales volume, which can mean a higher ROI.

Forward rate

Another way to grow your brand’s audience is through subscriber forwards. A forward rate is the percentage of recipients who click on the “Share” button to post to social media or who click the “Forward” button to send to others.

Forward rates = Number of forwards / Total number of emails delivered

A forward rate is an incredibly valuable metric because when an email is forwarded, it means you are generating new leads. And what greater compliment to your brand is there than to know your subscribers want to share you with the world?

There you have it, common-used email marketing metrics. Remember, it is about trial and error in finding out what works and doesn’t.

Happy learning and good luck!

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