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Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

Email marketing remains one of the best marketing channels with a return on investment (ROI) of 4,200%.


To achieve that kind of success with your email marketing campaigns, you’ll need to track and adjust your strategy accordingly.


In this post, you’ll learn which email metrics are the most important and how to calculate them.

1. What are email marketing metrics and KPIs?

Your email marketing metrics are what you use to measure the performance of an email campaign.


KPIs refer to key performance indicators; values that you can calculate which help you gauge what each campaign has achieved.


There are different KPIs for the different elements of your business, but in this post, we’ll focus on those relevant to email marketing.


These KPIs can be used for the following:

  • Finding and fixing issues with deliverability
  • Keeping your email list fresh and engaged
  • Ensuring your emails stay relevant as your business grows
  • Proving the success of your business to investors or buyers

However, every business will have a different idea of email marketing success, and so their KPIs will measure success at different levels.

1.1. Setting your KPIs

Setting your KPIs

When you set the email KPI targets for your business, you’ll need to consider the following factors:

  • How big is your business and/or audience?
  • What niche are you in?
  • How aggressive is your marketing strategy?
  • What are your business goals?
  • What parts of your business are a priority?

While these may seem like obvious answers, all of your stakeholders must be in agreement here.


If any of these are unclear, it could lead to poor brand identity and not meeting your business goals.


That’s why we strongly suggest that you set goals before you start with any new email campaign.

1.2. Setting SMART goals

Setting SMART goals

Source: ClicData.com

When you’re setting your goals you can use the SMART method to guide them.


This makes your goals:

  • Specific — Clear and well-defined
  • Measurable — Specific benchmarks and metrics you’ll use to track your progress
  • Achievable — Not impossible from your business’ current situation
  • Realistic — Relevant to you and your purpose
  • Timely — Well-defined timeline for achievement

Making goals measurable is where your KPIs come in.


By defining what you’ll use to measure your marketing efforts, and what results will prove your success in those areas, you’ll be able to work towards your business goals with more focus.


If you’re unsure of what your metrics should be, check out this list of industry benchmarks.


Once you know where you’re aiming to get your email marketing, you need to know how to work out the KPIs that’ll get you there.

2. Most important metrics to track

While there are loads of different ways to analyze how well your campaign is doing, there are several metrics that matter more than others.


The most important email marketing metrics to track are:

  • Delivery rate
  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Overall ROI rate

Let’s dig into how each of these is calculated and contributes to your campaigns.

2.1. Delivery rate

Delivery rate

This is the first thing you can measure after you send out a newsletter or set up a new email marketing campaign.


Your delivery rate is how many emails were delivered to inboxes out of how many emails you sent.


If your email list is clean, then you should aim for a 99% delivery rate — lower rates are normal for welcome campaigns and if you use double opt-ins.


This is because some new subscribers might:

  • Misspell their email address
  • Use a non-existent email address
  • Forget to check their emails and confirm their details

Improving your deliverability depends on your actions.


Your delivery rate can be negatively affected by:

  • Sender reputation score — Use a recognized email marketing platform, and aim for a high score to show that your emails are trustworthy
  • Spam trigger words — Too many exclamation marks, spammy headlines, and all-caps attachments can get your emails flagged and sent to the spam folder
  • Fake email addresses — Make sure that all subscribers emails are real and working by using a double opt-in process and regularly cleaning your subscriber list

Once you’ve calculated how far your email has reached, it’s time to look at how many leads opened that email.

2.2. Open rate

Open rate

The second metric you can monitor is your email open rate, which refers to how many people opened the emails out of the number of emails that were delivered.


If you’re looking at the KPIs of a welcome email campaign, then this is one of the first points of direct engagement with your email recipients.


It’s also one of the most important metrics to track because it shows you how interested your subscribers are.


Depending on what tool you use to track your emails, you’ll be able to look at your click-to-open rate, also known as your unique open rate.


This variation of your open rate counts only the first time each subscriber opens an email — the click-to-open rate doesn’t include when people go back to an email and open it again.


There are several ways to improve your email open rate:

  • Use subject lines that stand out
  • Make sure your preheader text is also attention-grabbing
  • Use personalization to make subscribers feel like email content is directed at just them
  • Send from a trustworthy and recognizable source (this will depend on your email service provider)

Next, let’s look at how to calculate the effectiveness of your email’s content.

2.3. Click-throughs

Click-throughs

A click-through rate refers to how many subscribers clicked on content within your email.


Only those who’ve opened your email will be able to click on a link or image, and so you’ll also get an idea of how many emails were opened.


Here are some ways to measure your email marketing success using this metric:

  • Compare your click-through rate to open, and test your content to minimize the difference
  • Compare the click-through rates of different campaigns to work out which are more successful and why
  • Measure the click-throughs of different CTAs across an email sequence to monitor email clients’ behavior

Click-throughs are a measure of engagement and will help you understand what motivates subscriber activity.


You can improve your click-through rate by including one or more links to a relevant piece of content or sales page.


Once your content is optimized for engagement, you’ll need to see if that engagement promotes sales.

2.4. Conversions

Conversions

As a business owner, your goal is to convert viewers into leads, and those leads into customers.


If you’re using your email marketing to promote your offers, studying your conversion rate will give you an idea of how successful it is.


However, not all conversions require a sale to be made — a conversion is any time a subscriber clicks on a link and then completes whatever action you asked of them.


Your conversion rate can be calculated by comparing how many conversions you got out of the number of emails delivered.


Boost your conversion rate by:

  • Using clear CTAs that don’t mislead subscribers
  • Including only one offer in each email
  • Ensuring your sales page shows your offer’s value
  • Optimizing your emails for mobile and desktop devices
  • Ensure your email sequence is integrated with your sales funnel

Comparing the conversion rates of different email campaigns is also a great way to see if your newer strategies are better than your old ones.


Your conversion rate is essential for you to calculate the overall return on investment (ROI).

2.5. Email marketing ROI

Email marketing ROI

While email generally has the highest ROI, you’ll still need to measure the success of your email marketing efforts.


First, subtract the cost of your email marketing from the overall revenue your email marketing has generated.


Then, divide your answer by the cost of your email marketing, and multiply it by 100.


This will give you a percentage value for your email marketing ROI.


You can, and should, calculate the ROI for your email campaigns and compare which are working better.


To calculate your revenue, you’ll need to ensure that your email campaigns, sales funnels, and analytics software are integrated.


However, to ensure the success of your future campaigns, and improve on your current ones, there are other metrics you’ll need to consider.

3. Other metrics worth monitoring

While the crucial email marketing KPIs we’ve mentioned so far can give you an idea of how well your email campaigns are doing, they don’t tell the full story.


These next KPIs illustrate areas where you can improve your email marketing efforts:

  • Bounce rate
  • Spam compliance
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • List growth
  • Email shares
  • Device statistics

Let’s see how each affects your email marketing campaigns.

3.1. Bounce rate

Bounce rate

Your bounce rate, sometimes called a hard bounce rate, refers to the email addresses that your emails will never be able to reach.


Calculate your bounce rate by dividing the number of emails bounced by how many emails you sent.


If you don’t remove these bounced email addresses from your subscriber list, you will get blocked or blacklisted.


Hard bounces can be caused by:

  • Non-existent email addresses on your list
  • Inactive email addresses (old and unused)
  • You are already blacklisted

Regularly cleaning your email list and removing inactive email client details will help you keep this number as low as possible.


However, not all bounces are hard bounces, you get soft bounces too, which require a different approach.

Soft bounce rate

Soft bounces refer to undelivered emails caused by temporary issues with your email.


Depending on your email service provider (ESP), you’ll be able to monitor the number of soft bounces for each email marketing campaign.


While these don’t require immediate attention, they could point to bigger issues like a ransomware attack.


Ensuring the security of your email and your subscribers’ details is essential and will help you build trusting relationships with your audience.


This next email marketing metric also has to do with security and compliance.

3.2. Spam compliance

Spam compliance

When someone receives an email that they didn’t want, from an email address they don’t recognize, they’ll mark it as spam.


Some personal email service providers have spam filters.


This affects your email open rates and can eventually lead to your emails being blocked.


Your spam complaint rate is calculated by dividing the number of spam complaints by how many emails were sent out in total.


There are also several ways to avoid triggering spam filters:

  • Avoid spam trigger words
  • Don’t use a spammy subject line
  • Don’t buy email lists
  • Don’t promise what you can’t deliver
  • Send from a recognizable and valid email address
  • Test emails and campaigns before you send them
  • Make sure you’re meeting the legal requirements of your country

The CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR are a set of legal requirements that digital marketers need to adhere to.


These two sets of laws govern the spam regulations in Europe and the USA, and they also affect the next email marketing metric — your unsubscribe rate.

3.3. Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe rate

When someone is no longer interested in receiving emails from you, they will unsubscribe and be removed from your list.


Calculating your unsubscribe rate involves dividing how many unsubscribes you got, by how many emails you sent out.


Including an unsubscribe link in your emails might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a legal requirement of CAN-SPAM and the GDPR.


This, in addition to your spam rate, can indicate whether your email strategy needs a drastic change.


The last 3 email metrics are all about improving your marketing and building better email marketing campaigns.

3.4. List growth

List growth

Your list growth is a KPI that you can’t ignore.


While this might not directly affect your email marketing campaign, it affects the future of your business.


You need to have constant list growth and new subscribers so that you can have new people to market and sell your offers to.


First, subtract the number of unsubscribes from your new subscribers.


Then, divide that result by the number of subscribers on your list, and then multiply that by 100 — that’s your list growth rate.


Here are some ways to see exponential list growth:

  • Use lead magnets to convince viewers to subscribe
  • Create an affiliate marketing program to get referrals
  • Use social media to reach a wider audience
  • Create a lead generating funnel on your website

Another way to get your list to grow is to encourage your subscribers to share your emails with their contacts.

3.5. Email shares

Email shares

This is different from affiliate marketing but is still a great way to get more quality subscribers by reaching out to a wider audience.


Here are some ways to get your emails shared:

  • Use social media — Make your email shareable across social media because people often have more followers than contacts
  • Incentivize your subscribers — Give your subscribers coupons or discount codes for sending you referrals and leads
  • Make it easy — Create email swipe files or embedded share buttons to make forwarding your email simple

This metric is also an indication of how relevant your emails are and how engaged your audience is.

3.6. Device statistics

Device statistics

Another email marketing metric to pay attention to is the device statistics for your emails.


You can calculate your mobile open rate by dividing the number of mobile opens by total emails opened and multiplying by 100.


With over 41.9% of emails opened on mobile devices, you have to ensure your emails are optimized.


You can optimize your emails for mobile devices if you:

  • Increase font size
  • Space links generously
  • Use minimal graphics
  • Keep your content short and sweet

There are other metrics that you can track, but they can draw you into the trap of focusing on generating sales rather than building audience relationships.


These business and email KPIs are:

  • The average revenue per subscriber
  • The revenue each campaign generated
  • Overall revenue generated

Avoid worrying about these too much, especially if you’re just starting as an email marketer.


Now that you know how to calculate your KPIs, you’ll need to know what tools to use to measure them and when to compare those results.

4. Measuring your metrics

Knowing which metrics to calculate will point you in the right direction, but how do you collect the relevant data?


Keep reading to find out some best practices for measuring your email KPIs.

4.1. How to measure your campaign success

Measure your campaign success

Depending on the size of your email lists, gathering the necessary data for your email KPIs can seem like a mammoth task.


That’s why we suggest you partner with an ESP that gets the information together for you.


We also suggest that you compare your metrics to:

  • Industry averages
  • Other businesses in your niche of a similar size
  • Your own metrics

This way, you’ll be able to see if you’ve made progress and if any improvements have made a difference.

4.2. When to measure your campaign success

Measure your campaign success

Some email KPIs should be monitored more often, while others need longer to show any real move toward success.


These key metrics should be checked daily:

  • Open rate
  • Bounce rate
  • List growth

These KPIs need to be checked weekly:

  • Conversion rate
  • Click-throughs
  • Spam complaints and unsubscribes

And these only need to be looked at once a month:

  • Device statistics
  • Email shares
  • Overall ROI

Keep reading to start putting this into practice.

5. Software for successful email marketing campaigns

You’ve got the information, now you need the perfect partner to make email marketing even easier.


Here are our top 3 email marketing software platforms that can help you set up, and start tracking, your email campaigns:

5.1. Systeme.io

systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

Systeme.io is a multi-talented platform that has everything you need to run your email marketing.


With systeme.io by your side, you can:

  • Create and send newsletters with links to relevant content
  • Run automated email campaigns to welcome new subscribers or re-engage inactive leads
  • Integrate your email with your sales funnel, and let the dashboard calculate the revenue for you
  • Analyze your campaign performance, and see how many customers converted because of your email
  • Build funnels to generate leads, and grow your email list
  • Tag and segment your email list to build better relationships with your audience

On top of those impressive features, you’ll also get access to the following:

This is why systeme.io is a true all-in-one solution, whether you’re an online business owner or a digital marketer.


You’d be surprised at how affordable functionality like this is.

5.1.1. Systeme.io’s pricing

systeme.io’s pricing

systeme.io’s pricing

With 4 scalable pricing plans, systeme.io makes it easy and affordable to build your online business.


All of these plans come with these unlimited features:

  • Emails
  • Membership site members
  • Blog posts
  • File storage space
  • 24/7 email support
  • Direct integrations with PayPal, Stripe, Zapier, and ActiveCampaign

Our Free plan is also the perfect place to start.


Sign up with systeme.io for $0/month, and you’ll get:

  • 2,000 contacts, 1 tag, and 1 email campaign
  • 3 sales funnels with 10 steps
  • A blog, membership site, and custom domain
  • 1 workflow and automation rule
  • An order bump, 1-click upsell, A/B test, and coupon code

You’ll also be able to build deadline funnels and manage your own affiliate program to really maximize your conversions.


There’s no downside to setting up a systeme.io account.

5.2. Mailchimp

Mailchimp logo

Mailchimp logo

Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that’s slowly making the move to include more features.


With a Mailchimp account, you’ll be able to:

  • Build and automate emails
  • Use email templates
  • Analyze email reporting
  • Create custom forms
  • Integrate other tools via Zapier
  • Segment and group your subscribers
  • A/B test your emails
  • Run spam filter diagnostics

These features are pretty comprehensive, and Mailchimp’s platform is relatively easy-to-use.


However, access to these features comes at a cost — their ecommerce features cost even more.


Let’s look at the pricing plans aimed at email marketers.

5.2.1. Mailchimp’s pricing

Mailchimp’s pricing

Mailchimp’s pricing

While Mailchimp does have a Free plan, it’s limited:

  • Single-step automation
  • 1 audience
  • Basic email tools
  • Limited customization
  • Basic templates and pages
  • 1 month of email support
  • Hundreds of clunky integrations

Mailchimp also bans affiliate marketing outright, so you won’t be able to build your audience that way.


The pricing plans also don’t scale as well as they should, and you’ll be paying nearly $300/month just to get a few advanced features that you might not even use.


However, if you plan to start small, Mailchimp’s Essentials plan is an affordable option and comes with support that doesn’t expire.

5.3. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign logo

ActiveCampaign logo

Another popular email marketing platform is ActiveCampaign.


The features on this platform are focused on campaigns and automating your email marketing.


With an ActiveCampaign account, you’ll get:

  • Broadcast and triggered emails
  • Autoresponders and email funnels
  • Scheduled emails
  • An email editor with dynamic content capabilities
  • Personalization and email reports

There are also several customer relationship management (CRM) and sales features built-in to the platform too.


However, these impressive features aren’t free.

5.3.1. ActiveCampaign’s pricing

ActiveCampaign’s pricing

ActiveCampaign’s pricing

ActiveCampaign has 4 pricing plans that increase in proportion with the size of your email list.


There’s no free option here — just a short 14-day free trial.


With ActiveCampaign’s Lite plan, you’ll pay $30/month for just 1,000 contacts and their most basic features:

  • Email marketing and automation
  • Access to over 100 templates
  • List segmentation
  • Reporting on campaigns and autoresponders

You’ll need to upgrade to their Plus plan to get access to landing pages and other marketing tools that will make your email campaigns profitable.


If you can afford it, ActiveCampaign is a good option that might make running multiple campaigns easier.

6. Conclusion

Measuring the success of your email campaigns is about more than just landing in your recipient’s inbox.


You know what KPIs to measure, as well as how and when to measure them.


Now, join the systeme.io family, create your first campaign, and watch your business reach new heights.


It’s free, so you really have nothing to lose!

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