Email marketing is a dynamic niche that needs continuous optimization for it to bear fruits. If you execute your email campaigns without analyzing their performance, you will finally get to a day when your emails stop showing results. To avoid such a scenario, you must track email marketing metrics at regular intervals and keep making necessary changes.

Through this article, we will throw light on the metrics you must measure and how to remodel your email strategy based on the analytics data.

All the popular Email Service Providers (ESPs) and CRM tools like HubSpot, Marketo, Salesforce, and Mailchimp come with a comprehensive dashboard that allows the marketers to review the email marketing metrics.

So, which are the most important email metrics you should care about?

Let’s take a look.


1. Open Rate

The percentage of email recipients who open an email is called open rate. It is the first metric that comes to your mind after you have employed an email. After all, you will get click-throughs and conversions only if the user has opened your email.

The Challenges With Open Rate Analysis

  • Your ESP or CRM will not consider an email ‘opened’ if the subscribers do not receive the images therein. In other words, subscribers checking your emails with active image-blocking settings will bypass the open rate measurement. As a result, you will not get accurate results.
  • Email opens are generally measured according to pixels or small images placed in the HTML code of the email. However, with the launch of Apple Mail Privacy Protection, emails will be automatically opened at the backend. A proxy IP address will download the email in the background. This explains why open rate will not be accurately recorded in Apple Mail. Besides the open rate, the users will be able to hide their location too.

Popularity of Apple Mail (in January 2022)

As of January 2022, Apple topped the email client market share with 44.62% of the subscribers using Apple Mail Privacy Protection.

January 2022 Email Client Market Share

January 2022 Email Client Market ShareSource

It has consistently maintained its first position on the leaderboard throughout the years. Hence, it is advisable to segment your subscribers into iOS and non-iOS users so that you can accurately track the open rate.

Importance of Open Rate

In spite of all these challenges and limitations, it is an essential comparative metric. By comparing the open rate of the emails sent in the previous week and this week, you will come to know whether your subscribers are liking your messages or not.

How to Maintain a Good Open Rate

  • Write an engaging subject line and preheader text that informs the readers about the purpose of the email.
  • Personalize the subject line and add relevant emojis to add a human touch to your emails.
  • Avoid any misleading subject lines that do not match the email content.

2. Click-through Rate

Click-through rate is defined as the percentage of subscribers who clicked on the links added in the email.

Click-through rate = (total clicks or unique clicks/number of delivered emails) x 100

Calculation: Suppose you send emails to 15000 subscribers and get 150 clicks. The click-through rate will be (150/15000) x 100 = 1%

Click-through rate is one of the most important metrics as it is directly proportional to the subscriber engagement. Based on this metric, you can conclude whether people are interested in hearing from you.

You can either use total clicks or unique clicks while measuring the click-through rate. Just make sure you maintain a consistent regime so that you do not get any skewed results.

How to Maintain a Good Click-through Rate

Click-through rate depends on the value your subscribers get from your emails. Send relevant content based on your subscriber’s interests and preferences. Personalized emails are more effective in encouraging people to take action.

Also, you must include an actionable CTA button that draws the subscriber’s action and prompts them to click-through. Follow all the accessibility best practices so that the readers can comfortably navigate through your email.

3. Bounce Rate

The percentage of emails that do not get delivered to the subscriber’s inbox is known as the bounce rate.

It is calculated by dividing the total number of bounced emails by the number of emails sent and then multiplying it by 100.

Suppose you have sent 30,000 emails out of which 30 get bounced. The bounce rate will be 0.1%.

Types of bounces:

  • Hard bounce

When you send emails to invalid, closed, or nonexistent email addresses, it results in a hard bounce.

For instance: If you mistype an email address as “” instead of “”, it will result in a hard bounce.

  • Soft bounce

When there is a temporary issue with the email subscriber’s server, it will lead to soft bounce.

Almost all ESPs will delete the hard bounces. For soft bounces, the ESPs will try to resend the email. If it still does not reach the subscriber’s inbox, the ESP will interpret it as a hard bounce and remove the email address.

You must keep track of your bounce rate because an unreasonable rise in this metric can spoil your sender reputation.

How to Reduce Email Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate should be as low as possible.

Here are some tips to help you with the same:

  • Follow a double opt-in method to record correct email addresses in the database.
  • Additionally, you must avoid purchasing email lists. Use organic methods to build email lists.
  • In case you have inactive subscribers on your list, you must carry out re-engagement email strategy to win them back. If they still do not engage, remove them from the list. It will, ultimately, decrease the bounce rate.

4. Unsubscribe Rate

The percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe and opt out of the future emails is called unsubscribe rate.

This number reflects the people who are not interested in hearing from you. It is a myth that unsubscribes are bad news. Of course, it subtracts the subscribers from your email list. However, it improves the health of your email list by removing the disinterested people.

If you are using the HubSpot CRM tool, you will be able to judge the overall health of your email campaigns. It will help you figure out whether your sender reputation is at par.

Take a look at this screenshot that clearly informs the marketers what’s wrong with their email campaigns and how they can resolve the issues.

HubSpot CRM tool – Marketing email

How to Reduce Unsubscribes?

Ask yourself: “Am I sending too many emails?”

Maybe that’s the reason why your unsubscribe rate has increased. It can also increase if the subscribers do not find value in your emails. To make sure that your unsubscribe rate is under 0.5%, focus on delivering useful emails and maintaining a consistent deployment schedule.

If a user clicks on the unsubscribe button in the email, redirect them to the preference center and let them set their preferences.

5. Conversion Rate

The percentage of email subscribers who carried out the expected action after clicking on the email link is called the conversion rate. For instance: If you want the subscribers to download your ebook after reading the email, the number of downloads will be your conversion rate.

Conversion rate is obtained by dividing the number of recipients who completed the action by the number of emails delivered and multiplying it by 100.

Suppose 20 people took action when you sent email to 20000 subscribers. The conversion rate will be 0.1% by following the formula above.

The conversion rate is the most crucial parameter because it directly influences your business growth and sales.

To make sure that you record an accurate conversion rate, you must create UTM codes for every email link and then integrate it with your analytics tool. This will help in easy identification of the source of the click.

How to Increase Conversion Rate?

Incentivize the readers with discounts or offers to entice them to complete the purchase. In addition, you can also create a sense of urgency by highlighting that it is a limited time offer. Include passive interactive elements like countdown timers to drive instant conversions from the users.

Adding testimonials and social proof in emails also boosts the conversion rate. If you need help with creating winning campaigns, you can take the help of email campaign management services offered by Email Uplers.

6. Overall ROI

The total revenue generated from your email campaign divided by the total amount spent is equal to the overall email ROI.

Overall ROI = [(amount generated through sales – expenses incurred in the campaign)/expense incurred in the campaign]  x 100

To illustrate, assume that you have generated $5000 through sales and invested $1000 in your campaign. The ROI generated will be 400%.

It is a first-hand measure of your email performance and validates your email strategy.

How to Increase the Overall Email ROI?

Just like conversion rate, you can increase your ROI in the following ways.

  • Send interesting emails that will persuade the users to make the purchase.
  • Address any objections or friction that the buyer might be facing in order to take action.
  • Let them know that your customer support team strives to deliver the best experience for their clients.

7. List Growth Rate

List growth rate is defined as the number of new subscribers on your email list.

List growth rate = ([(number of new subscribers) – (number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] / total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100

For example: If you have 10,000 email subscribers on your list and there are 100 new subscribers with 10 spam complaints/unsubscribers, your list growth rate will be 0.9%.

Monitor your list growth rate closely to get an exact idea about your business growth.

How to Increase List Growth Rate?

List growth rate mostly depends on your social media marketing, search engine optimization, and content marketing efforts. You must create engaging messages for your marketing ads to get more sign ups on your website.

When a user searches for “Canva alternative”, they will see this brilliant ad shown below. It will surely make people sign up for their tool and try it out.

Canva alternative - google search

Another important aspect is the sign-up form. Build short sign-up forms and compelling landing pages to optimize the list growth rate. Use visual cues and ask only relevant questions. Design a clean form with plenty of white space. Turn on the “autofill” feature so that the users are more inclined to fill out the form.

Check out this short and sweet sign-up form by Really Good Emails.

sign-up form by Really Good Emails

8. Email Forwarding Rate

The percentage of recipients who click on the forwarding buttons is known as email forwarding rate.

Email forwarding rate = (Number of clicks on a share or forward button/ Number of total emails delivered) x 100

To illustrate, let’s say 50 people have clicked on the share or forward button and you have sent 2000 emails. Your sharing or forwarding rate will be 2.5%.

Remember to include “Share this” or “Forward to a friend” link in your email to record email forwarding rate.

Email forwarding rate plays a significant role in getting new subscribers and contributing to the list growth rate. The higher your email forwarding rate, the better will be your customer acquisition.

How to Increase Email Forwarding Rate?

Create innovative emails as they stand a brighter chance at getting shared. Gamify the emails and inspire the readers to share the emails with their friends or family.

Here’s an example from Email Uplers. They have sent out an interesting gamification email for the occasion of Easter and tempted the users to tweet about their Easter basket.



The bottom line of your strategy should be to increase the reach of your email campaigns and get maximum people to convert through it. Keep close tabs on your email marketing metrics to adjudge whether your efforts are paying off or you need to make further changes.

At the end of the day, your emails should be useful and visually appealing so that the readers like to hear from you and interact with your emails. Stay in line with the upcoming marketing and design trends to break the competitive bottleneck and get ahead of your competitors.

Email Tracking Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Measure - pin_

Author’s Bio:

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

Comments are closed.