Email Marketing Metrics: What to Track and Why

Metrics in marketing are used to measure the success of campaigns. Keeping track of how well your campaigns perform can make a huge difference to the sales of your business, so in this article, we aim to give a clear overview of what metrics to track and how to improve them.

Why should I care what my metrics are?

Email lists have a natural decay – they can constantly reduce in size unless you can keep the people on your list engaged. Metrics can be used to compare performance across all campaigns and against industry standards to quickly tell which variables are delivering the best results. A great marketing strategy is one that constantly tests and measures variations in creative, image, call to actions, promotions, and more to find and optimise winning combinations. Understanding metrics is the key to building well-informed and successful email marketing campaigns.

What metrics should I track for my email marketing campaigns?

Open rate

The percentage of recipients that open the email. This metric is one of the most important to track and optimise according to email marketers. It will be at a high rate when the email subject and description are attention-grabbing and prompt people to open the email to read on.

Clickthrough rate

The percentage of people who opened the email who then went on to click on a link you’ve included in the email text. This is arguably more important than open rates as this gives direct insight into how many people on your mailing list are engaging with what you write and are interested in learning more.

Bounce rate

The rate at which your email is not delivered, either from being sent to incorrect email addresses or by being caught by spam filters. This should be kept as low as possible as internet service providers will use bounce rates to determine an email sender’s reputation and could flag you as a spam sender, at a great impact to your success.

Conversion/Purchase rate

After a customer clicks through on your email, it’s up to your website to turn that click into a lead or customer. The web page to which you direct people can also make a difference on conversion rates, so a high conversion rate indicates that a customer has been taken to a well-optimised, relevant part of your website.

Email forwarding rate

The rate which your email gets sent to other email addresses. This is not something to set out to improve by itself but can be an indicator of a great email. It’s important to include options to subscribe to your email newsletter both on emails and on your website for this reason.

Unsubscribe rate

The rate that people unsubscribe from your email list after opening a given email. Unsubscribes are inevitable but should be kept as low as possible.

How can I improve my metrics?

To improve metrics, the best strategy is to test and measure to find out what works and what doesn’t. Most email marketing systems have an A/B testing feature that allows you to measure the impact of changing a single variable. Each subscriber list is different, so the best thing to do is experiment and find out what works best for you. Remember, not all metrics are created equal; it’s no use improving your email headlines to chase great open rates if the click-through rate suffers.

You should also experiment with any new ideas you have for content or layout. There isn’t really a ‘correct’ way to do email marketing, but as a guideline, content should be:

  • Engaging
  • Relevant
  • High-value
  • Not too frequent or infrequent

If you would like some help with email marketing to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns, our experts at DBS Digital are here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get regular hints, tips and updates on internet marketing and web design.

Related Articles