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10 Best Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs You Need to Know

Effective email marketing is crucial for any business looking to grow and succeed. But how do you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns? That's where email marketing metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) come into play.

In this article, we will explore the 10 most important email marketing metrics and KPIs you should track. We also delve into why they're essential for analyzing the success of your email marketing efforts.

Let’s get started!

What are Email Marketing KPIs?

Email marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. These campaigns are assessed based on several factors, including delivery rates, open rates, click-through rates (CTR), and conversion rates.

These KPIs provide invaluable data that email marketers can utilize to enhance user engagement, optimize email campaigns, and increase their return on investment (ROI).

The specific KPIs you want to track will depend on the particular goals set for your email marketing strategy. Regardless of the objectives, these KPIs are essential for gauging success and guiding future planning.

Why is it Important to Analyze Email Marketing KPIs?

Analyzing email marketing KPIs is crucial for determining the success of your campaigns and steering your future strategies in the right direction. It ensures that you achieve optimal audience engagement and return on investment (ROI).

Here are some compelling reasons why it's essential to focus on analyzing these email metrics:

1. Understanding Audience Behavior

Email marketing metrics can give you deep insights into how your subscribers interact with your emails. For instance, the click-through rate (CTR) can clearly show how recipients engage with your content. Are they actively clicking through your emails, or are your messages gathering digital dust in their inbox? 

By closely observing these email marketing KPIs, you can understand the level of engagement and shape your future campaigns more effectively.

2. Improving Email Deliverability

Another essential KPI in email marketing is the delivery rate. This metric helps you understand the ratio of emails that successfully reach your subscribers' inboxes to the total number of emails sent.

A low delivery rate is a red flag; it suggests your emails might be landing in spam folders, thus diminishing the chances that your subscribers will see your messages. Monitoring this KPI can guide you in resolving any deliverability issues and refining your future email strategies.

3. Reducing Unsubscribe Rate

Keeping tabs on the unsubscribe rate is vital for your email marketing campaigns. A high unsubscribe rate might signal a disconnect between what your audience wants and what you offer in your emails.

By monitoring this KPI, you can fine-tune your content and strategies to better align with your subscribers' preferences, reducing the rate at which people opt out.

4. Boosting Conversion Rates

The conversion rate is one of the most crucial email marketing KPIs to track. This metric measures the percentage of recipients who have clicked on a link within your email and taken a specific action, such as purchasing or filling out a form.

Keeping an eye on this KPI will give you a better understanding of whether your email marketing campaigns yield the desired outcomes.

Email Marketing Metrics and KPIs You Need to Track

What are the most important email marketing metrics? - Quora

Understanding and analyzing email marketing metrics and KPIs are essential for evaluating your campaigns' success, especially in the fast-paced world of digital marketing. These metrics provide crucial insights into customer engagement and offer ways to optimize your return on investment (ROI).

Below are the most important KPIs for email marketing:

1. Open Rate


The open rate is a key performance indicator that signifies the percentage of recipients who have opened your email out of the total number of emails delivered.


The open rate is an initial gauge of your audience's engagement level with your email campaigns. It directly reflects how well your subject lines resonate with your recipients, making it an essential email marketing metric to monitor.

Factors Affecting Open Rate:

The main factors influencing your email's open rate include the subject line, the sender's name, and the time the email is sent. A poorly crafted subject line, an unrecognizable sender name, or poorly timed email delivery can all contribute to a lower open rate.

Strategies to Improve Open Rate

Improving open rates involves multiple strategies, such as crafting compelling and personalized subject lines that capture the reader's attention. It's also worth experimenting with different sending times to identify the periods when your audience is most likely to engage with your emails. Tracking this email marketing KPI carefully will allow you to make data-driven adjustments to your email marketing strategy.

2. Click-through rate (CTR)


Click-through rate (CTR) is an essential email marketing metric representing the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links within a given email.


CTR is a vital email marketing KPI that strongly indicates how well your email content engages your audience. A high CTR implies that your content is relevant and valuable to your subscribers.

How to Increase CTR:

Improving your click-through rate involves several strategies. First, make the content and links in your emails compelling and directly related to your audience's needs or interests. Utilize clear calls to action that guide the reader on the next steps. Make sure that any buttons or links are easy to find and click.

By focusing on these areas, you'll improve this specific email campaign metric and likely see an overall uplift in your email marketing KPIs.

3. Conversion rate


The conversion rate is an email marketing metric that represents the ratio of email recipients who perform the action you've requested. This could range from purchasing to signing up for a webinar.


As an email marketing KPI, the conversion rate is often considered the ultimate measure of a campaign's success. It reveals how effectively your emails encourage subscribers to take the specific actions you want them to take, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. A high conversion rate usually indicates a highly effective email campaign.

Strategies to Increase Conversion Rate:

You'll want to ensure a clear alignment between your email content, call to action, and landing page to boost your conversion rate.

Here's how to do it:

By carefully tracking and analyzing this critical email marketing KPI, you can make informed decisions to refine your campaigns for better performance. This will not only improve this specific metric but also contribute to the overall success of your email marketing strategy.

4. Bounce Rate


The bounce rate in email marketing is a key performance indicator that calculates the percentage of emails that couldn't be successfully delivered to subscribers' inboxes. Email service providers monitor these bounce-backs for each campaign you run.

Types of Bounces:

Calculating Bounce Rate:

To calculate the bounce rate, divide the number of soft bounces by the total number of emails delivered. Multiply the resulting figure by 100 to get the bounce rate percentage.


Understanding your bounce rate is critical for identifying underlying issues in your email marketing campaigns. A high bounce rate is a red flag, making your emails more likely to be marked as spam. Aim to maintain a bounce rate at or below 2% to sustain a positive sender reputation.

Factors Affecting Bounce Rate:

Spam complaints can have a considerable impact on your bounce rate. Poor content, low deliverability, and a tarnished sender reputation are among the culprits that can lead to spam flags.

Strategies to Minimize Bounce Rate:

5. Unsubscribe Rate


The unsubscribe rate is a key performance indicator in email marketing that measures the percentage of subscribers who choose to unsubscribe from your email list after receiving your email.


The unsubscribe rate is a valuable metric that can offer insights into your audience's satisfaction level. A high rate of people unsubscribing is generally an indicator of dissatisfaction with either the content or the frequency of your emails.

Strategies to Minimize Unsubscribe Rate:

6. Spam Complaints Rate


The spam complaint rate is a critical metric in email marketing, representing the percentage of recipients who mark your emails as spam.


A high spam complaint rate risks your sender's reputation and can negatively affect your email deliverability. It's also a strong indicator that either the content you are sending isn't appealing to your audience or the frequency of your emails is too high.

Strategies to Reduce Spam Complaint Rate:

  1. Opt-In Only: Make sure to send emails exclusively to recipients who have explicitly opted in to receive them. This reduces the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam.
  2. Clarity in Subscription: When users opt-in, be explicit about what type of information they will receive and how often they will receive it. Transparency is key to managing expectations and reducing spam complaints.
  3. Content Quality: Ensure that the content you are sending is both valuable and relevant to your subscribers. Irrelevant or low-quality content is more likely to be marked as spam.

7. Overall Return on Investment (ROI)


Return on investment (ROI) is a critical KPI in email marketing. It measures the effectiveness of your campaigns by calculating the net profit, taking into account both revenue generated and expenses incurred.


ROI is a significant indicator of the overall success of your email marketing strategy. With an estimated industry-wide ROI of 122%, email marketing is generally considered more cost-effective than other digital marketing channels.

Strategies to Optimize ROI:

  1. Comparison with Other Channels: One benefit of tracking ROI in email marketing is that it allows for a direct comparison with other marketing strategies, like social media or PPC advertising. This helps you determine if email is the most effective channel for your brand or if it performs better in conjunction with other methods like text marketing.
  2. Campaign-Specific Analysis: You can also measure the ROI of different types of email campaigns to find out which are the most profitable. This information can be beneficial for allocating resources and budget to the most effective campaigns.
  3. A/B Testing: Utilizing A/B testing can provide insights into different campaign elements, like subject lines or calls to action, which could affect your ROI. This data-driven approach allows for continuous improvement in your email marketing strategies.
  4. Frequency Optimization: Reevaluating the frequency with which you send emails can also impact ROI. Too many emails can annoy subscribers and lead to unsubscriptions, while too few may result in lost sales opportunities.
  5. Mobile Optimization: With increasing numbers of users accessing emails on mobile devices, optimizing your emails for mobile is no longer optional but necessary for maximizing ROI.
  6. List Segmentation: Segmenting your email list based on various criteria like location, purchasing history, or engagement levels can boost the performance of your campaigns, thereby enhancing your ROI.

8. List Growth Rate


The list growth rate is a pivotal KPI that quantifies the rate at which your email list expands. This metric takes into account not only new subscribers but also subtracts unsubscribes and spam complaints to give you a net growth figure.


Maintaining a positive list growth rate is crucial for the long-term success of your email marketing efforts. A growing list helps to counterbalance the natural attrition that occurs due to unsubscribes or inactive users, ensuring that you have a steady pool of engaged subscribers over time.

Strategies to Boost List Growth Rate:

  1. Incentive-Based Sign-Ups: Offering incentives like discounts, free ebooks, or exclusive content can encourage more users to subscribe to your email list.
  2. Multi-Channel Promotion: Utilize various platforms like social media, your website, or even offline events to promote your email list. The more channels you use, the more visibility your list gains, increasing the likelihood of new sign-ups.
  3. Simplifying Sign-Up Process: A complicated sign-up process can deter potential subscribers. Ensure that your sign-up form is straightforward and accessible from multiple points on your website to make it easy for people to join.
  4. Regular Content Updates: Providing valuable and engaging content encourages your current subscribers to share your emails, which can naturally increase your list size.

9. Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate


The email sharing/forwarding rate is a valuable metric that calculates the percentage of recipients who take the extra step to either share or forward your email content to others.


The significance of this KPI lies in its ability to extend your reach beyond your immediate email list organically. When an email is shared or forwarded, it amplifies the content and serves as a trusted endorsement, potentially leading to new subscribers. In other words, it serves as an important organic growth indicator for your email marketing efforts.

Strategies to Encourage Email Sharing:

  1. Share Buttons: To make the sharing process as effortless as possible, include easily noticeable share buttons within the content of your emails.
  2. Quality Content: The content must be of high value and interest to your subscribers. Well-crafted and relevant material will likely be shared, boosting your email sharing rate.
  3. Incentive Programs: Providing some sort of reward for sharing can be a motivating factor. This could be exclusive content, discounts, or even entry into a contest.
  4. Call to Action for Sharing: Explicitly asking subscribers to share the email if they find it valuable can also be a proactive approach to encourage sharing.

10. Revenue per Click


Revenue per click is a financial metric that quantifies the average revenue generated every time a user clicks on a link within your email. This KPI is crucial for gauging the direct financial impact of your email marketing efforts.


Understanding the revenue per click is significant for your email marketing strategy because it offers a concrete measure of the financial value of each click. This data can be instrumental in deciding how much investment should go into improving your click-through rate (CTR).

Strategies to Improve Revenue per Click:

  1. Landing Page Optimization: The page to which your email directs the user plays a massive role in conversion. Therefore, optimizing your landing pages can lead to higher conversions, increasing the revenue per click.
  2. A/B Testing: Experiment with different types of offers, content layouts, and calls to action (CTAs) to identify what resonates most with your audience. This could be in discounts, exclusive access, or valuable information.
  3. Audience Segmentation: By segmenting your email list based on user behavior or other demographics, you can send more targeted emails, increasing the likelihood of clicks converting to revenue.

How to Choose the Right Email Marketing Metrics for Your Goals

Your email marketing goals can differ significantly from those of another company in the same industry and may also vary within your organization over time. Therefore, clarifying what you aim to achieve with your email marketing strategy is crucial before you send or measure your emails.

Here's how to align your specific objectives with the appropriate metrics:

1) Subscriber List Growth Rate

If your primary focus is on broadening the top of your sales funnel—attracting more website visitors or increasing the number of blog subscribers—the most relevant metric for you will be your subscriber list growth rate.

Your email content will most likely feature calls-to-action like "Subscribe to Our Blog" or "Join Our Weekly Email List." For tips on growing your subscriber list, you can read relevant blog posts that guide you through the process.

2) Unengaged Subscribers

While growing your subscriber list is important, it's equally crucial to monitor unengaged subscribers. Sending emails to people not interacting with your content can negatively impact your email deliverability. Email services might flag you for low engagement and direct your emails to the "junk" folder.

For example, HubSpot once deliberately removed 250,000 people from its Marketing Blog subscriber list, reducing the total count from 550,000 to 300,000. This helped to improve the quality and deliverability of their emails.

3) Number of New (or Total) Leads Generated

If lead generation is your goal, you'll send emails offering content requiring the recipient to fill out a lead capture form. Depending on your priorities, you can focus on all leads generated or only the new ones added to your database. Keep track of the number of leads you're capturing daily and monthly.

4) Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate

If you aim to nurture existing leads into customers, your emails will offer content more directly related to your product or service. Calls-to-action in this context might include prompts like "Get a demo," "Watch a Video of Our Product in Action," or "Start a Free Trial." For this goal, closely monitor changes in your lead-to-customer conversion rate.


Choosing the right email marketing metrics is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Your objectives will likely vary depending on your industry, target audience, and overall business goals. It's essential to align your email marketing strategy with these objectives by selecting metrics that are most pertinent to what you're trying to achieve.

Whether growing your subscriber list, monitoring unengaged subscribers, boosting lead generation, or enhancing lead-to-customer conversion rates, each goal requires specific attention and a tailored approach. By thoughtfully choosing which metrics to track, you can improve your email marketing effectiveness and, consequently, your business performance.

It’s also vital to regularly review these metrics and adjust your strategy as needed. If you see a drop in engagement or a plateau in list growth, consider revising your content, calls-to-action, or email frequency. Adaptability and responsiveness to the data will keep your email marketing strategy on track for achieving your intended outcomes.

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