With a high ROI, email marketing is one of the most profitable marketing channels available to businesses of any size. However, that success involves some important steps: Segmenting your audiences, creating powerful content, developing a compelling call to action, sending your message at just the right times – And carefully tracking your campaign through some important metrics.
Why are metrics so important to keep track of when operating an email marketing campaign? Because these metrics provide insight into how consumers are receiving, engaging with, and responding to your messages. And those insights can help you create campaigns that maximize the most important metric of all: Your overall ROI.
To get you started, here are 10 email marketing metrics your SMB should be tracking this year.
1. Open Rate
Open rate refers to the percentage of email recipients who open your email. For example, if you send 100 emails and 15 people open theirs, then your open rate is 15 percent. A good email open rate is between 20 and 30 percent.
📚 Open Rate Importance
While open rate is a necessary first step for consumers to engage with your brand, it is not a reliable indicator of your marketing campaign’s success. In order for an email to register as opened, all of the images must load. If your consumer is using ad blocking software that prevents the images or the email from opening, then an opened email may not count as such in your analytics.
✏️ How to Use Open Rate
The best way to use open rate is to compare email performance over time. For example, you may try one email one month and another email another month. Check to see how the two open rates compare – Strong fluctuations either way can offer insight into the relative effectiveness of each message. Just make sure you are comparing emails sent to the same email lists to get the most accurate reflection of email performance.
2. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is, in some ways, the opposite of open rate. It refers to the number of emails that were not delivered to the intended email account.
Soft bounces are emails that encounter full mailboxes or server problems. You can try sending them again another time.
Hard bounces are emails that arrive at an invalid or closed email address. They will never be successfully delivered.
📚 Bounce Rate Importance
A bounce rate of around 2% is considered acceptable. A rate much higher than that, however, can make you look like a spammer, lead to spam complaints, and make it harder to get your emails delivered. Keeping an eye on your bounce rate can alert you to problems with your email lists before you end up damaging your company’s email reputation.
✏️ How to Use Bounce Rate
The first step you should take when evaluating your bounce rate is to remove any hard bounces from your email list. Then, if you are experiencing a high bounce rate, take steps to improve the quality of both your email list and your emails (e.g. Make sure your email list consists of valid emails, and make sure your emails do not look or sound like spam.).
3. Click-Through Rate
One of the most important indicators of email marketing success (or failure) is the click through rate (CTR). This term refers to the percentage of email recipients who click on one or more of the links in your email. For example, if you send out 100 emails, and 10 people click on a link inside the email, your CTR is 10 percent. An average CTR is usually 2-5%.
📚 CTR Importance
CTR is a valuable email marketing metric to track because it gives you insight into the level of engagement your email is earning from consumers. The higher your click-through rate, the more successful your campaign is. Meanwhile, a low CTR can alert you to potential problems with your emails and give you the opportunity to change your approach before you waste too much time and money on campaigns that simply do not work.
✏️ How To Use CTR
You can leverage CTR to evaluate and optimize your email campaigns. Here are some tips for making the most of this metric:
- Identify which links are getting the most click throughs, especially if you are sending emails with multiple links.
- Identify the positioning, wording, and design that earn the best click throughs.
- Use this information to create emails optimized for consumer engagement.
- Evaluate and rework campaigns that are earning low CTRs. You may want to funnel resources toward the campaigns that are working best.
4. Conversion Rate
Perhaps the only thing better than a high click through rate is a high conversion rate. This term refers to the percentage of consumers who click through a link on your email AND THEN complete an action, such as registering for an event, completing a purchase, or downloading a resource. For example, if you send out an email to 100 people and 5 of them click through the link in the email and purchase an item from your online store, your conversion rate would be 5 percent.
📚 Conversion Rate Importance
Conversion rate is arguably the most important metric to track for your email campaigns because it reflects the extent to which your emails are achieving their goal – Getting the consumer to take a specific action.
If your conversion rate is too low, then even if your emails are meeting other metrics, you are going to have to change some aspect of your campaign, whether it be your CTA, design, landing page, subject line, or other element, in order to encourage more people to respond to your CTA.
✏️ How to Use Conversion Rate
Use your conversion rate to track the success of your emails. Does your conversion rate indicate that your campaign is meeting its goal? Connecting with consumers? Encouraging action?
You should also use your conversion rate to compare email campaigns, identify the successful approaches and emulate them in other email campaigns, and identify and deal with emails that are simply not generating the action necessary to justify the time and money you are spending on them.
5. Share Rate
It takes a lot for a consumer to recommend a marketing email to someone they know. That is why share rate, the percentage of people who share your email with others, is extremely valuable. If you send out 100 emails and 1 percent forwards it to someone else, then your share rate is 1 percent.
📚 Share Rate Importance
While your share rate is likely to remain low, you should still keep track of it for each of your emails because it indicates the value of your messaging for your consumer. In addition, sharing of your emails can serve as a way to grow your email list, consumer base, and sales over time.
✏️ How to Use Share Rate
Use share rate to identify messaging that resonates most deeply with your target audiences. Then, create additional emails that reflect this same messaging in order to continue engaging not just consumers on your email list but also those they know.
6. Spam Complaint Rate
When choosing email marketing metrics to track, include your spam complaint rate. This number reflects the percentage of emails that get reported as spam. For example, if 1 person out of 100 reports your email as spam, your spam complaint rate is 1 percent. Ideally, you should see a spam complaint rate of no more than 0.1%.
📚 Spam Complaint Rate Importance
The spam complaint rate is a reflection of consumer dissatisfaction with your emails. The consumer found your message so irrelevant and problematic that they took the time to report it. Pay attention to spam complaint rates that are going up or exceed 0.1%.
✏️ How To Use Spam Complaint Rate
A high spam complaint rate may indicate serious problems with your email marketing. Maybe you are sending too many emails. Maybe they are coming across as unprofessional or undesirable. Use this metric to identify and correct issues with your emails, timing, design, or messaging that can detract from your company’s reputation and your email’s success.
7. List Growth Rate
Your contact list should expand over time. List growth rate refers to the rate at which this growth is occurring. To determine this rate, you will need to take the number of new subscribers to your email list, subtract the number of unsubscribes your email list has received in your chosen time period, divide it by the number of contacts on your email list, and multiply that number by 100.
📚 List Growth Rate Importance
Natural attrition means that you will lose subscribers over time. Your list growth rate can show you whether you are making up for that attrition with new contacts.
✏️ How to Use List Growth Rate
Use list growth rate to identify when you need to take additional measures to win more subscribers. If your list growth begins to fall, you can implement giveaways, contests, sign up forms on your website, free resources, and other strategies to boost the number of people subscribing to your emails.
8. Unsubscribe Rate
The flip side of new subscribers are those who unsubscribe from your emails. Your email list can lose about 22 percent of its subscribers every year, so unsubscribing is not uncommon. However, you should track this email marketing metric as one way to monitor the overall health of your email campaigns.
📚 Unsubscribe Rate Importance
Similar to open rate, the unsubscribe rate is not a reliable indicator of your email marketing success. Many people simply ignore emails they are not interested in, rather than going through the trouble of unsubscribing from them.
✏️ How to Use Unsubscribe Rate
Use your unsubscribe rate to get a general idea of your email list’s health, but make sure to use it alongside other email marketing metrics, such as CTRs and conversions. Also, if your list growth rate and unsubscribe rate start to move in the wrong directions, you may need to take steps to earn new subscribers and deliver better content through your emails to current subscribers.
9. Total ROI
Return on investment, or ROI, refers to the total amount of money you made from an email campaign once you account for the amount of money you spent on the campaign. For example, if you spent $100 on a campaign and made $400, your ROI would be 300%. The higher your ROI, the moret successful your email campaign is.
📚 ROI Importance
ROI is where the rubber meets the road in terms of email marketing success. You want your emails to bring in profits for your business. Tracking your total ROI helps you see exactly how profitable each email campaign is.
✏️ How to Use ROI
Use ROI to track the overall success of an email campaign and to ensure that you are making money off of your marketing investments. Campaigns that deliver low ROIs may need to be reworked or set aside in favor of campaigns that are delivering greater results for your bottom line.
10. Subscriber Lifetime Value
Finally, when choosing email marketing metrics to track, you may want to evaluate your subscriber lifetime value. This metric shows you how much money a single subscriber will deliver to your business over the length of their relationship with you. Typically, you can arrive at this number by using the average number and value of consumer purchases and the average length of time on your email list.
📚 Subscriber Lifetime Value Importance
Subscriber lifetime value can help you to evaluate your email marketing success over time. This metric can show you, for example, if your email campaigns are generating plentiful activity and profits from subscribers or if you need to take action to generate more activity from consumers.
✏️ How to Use Subscriber Lifetime Value
Use subscriber lifetime value to help you appropriately segment, target, and create email campaigns that work. For example, say you notice that subscriber lifetime value is higher among certain demographics. You may choose to create and target more emails for that demographic. Or, you may choose to create new emails with more relevant messaging for demographics that reflect a low subscriber lifetime value.
Creating and implementing successful email marketing campaigns requires choosing the most important email marketing metrics to track. With the right marketing partner, tracking those metrics and creating effective email campaigns based on those metrics becomes easier than ever before. Get started with email marketing today.