Key Metrics of Email Marketing


Key Metrics of Email Marketing

It’s not possible to measure the success of an email marketing campaign using a single metric. It is necessary to define a set of metrics that correspond to the general strategy of an e-mail campaign, its goals and scenarios of communication with segments. The goals of the campaign can be different: lead generation, increasing engagement, informing about offers, building loyalty, converting leads into customers. To assess each goal, its own key metric and a set of additional ones are provided. For example, with an increase in engagement, we estimate the percentage of conversions, while informing – the percentage of discoveries, and conversion will be a key metric for the goal of turning leads into customers. Below we’ll talk about the key metrics of email marketing and working with them.

Metrics of Email Marketing Overview

Distinguish between internal and external metrics. Internal metrics cover the process from sending an email to moving to a landing page. That is, they measure the engagement of subscribers and the quality of the newsletter. External metrics are designed to assess the final results: the number of leads attracted and income from the entire campaign, as well as from a single letter, etc.

Internal metrics

The indicator reflects the number of letters delivered. The letter is considered to be delivered if there is no failure message from the server. Messages caught in spam or “Promotions” in Gmail are also considered delivered. Therefore, in addition to assessing the effectiveness of mailing, consider the Inbox Placement Rate (IPR) – the number of letters delivered to the Inbox. The average is 80%.

Deliverability Improvement:

Removing idle addresses and attracting inactive ones.
Filling out the sender’s name and subject line.
Exclude spam words (“urgent”, “free”)
Compliance: 80% of the text and 20% of the images. Adding files for download as a link, not an attachment.
Maintaining regular mailing.

Bounce Rate
The bounce rate measures the percentage of undeliverable emails. Such letters are returned with a failure code: the address does not exist, the box is full, the server is unavailable, etc. 2-5% is considered the optimal value of the Bounce Rate. With regular mailings – no more than 0.5%.

There are two types of failures (delivery errors):

Soft Bounce (“soft” or non-critical delivery errors) – letters are undeliverable due to temporary malfunctions. For example, a crowded mailbox, a large letter size, or a server crash. In this case, the letter will be delivered by the server within a few days or re-sent manually after a certain time.
Hard Bounce (“hard” or critical delivery errors) – letters sent to closed, non-working or non-existent addresses. Such messages will never be delivered successfully.
Poor bounce rates damage the sender’s reputation. The level of critical errors should not exceed 4–5%, otherwise you will be blocked.

Actions to reduce the failure rate:

Regular audit of the database and removal of addresses, with the delivery of which there are frequent problems.
Confirmation of e-mail addresses through the requirement of “double registration” (Double Opt-In) in order to filter out uninterested users, bots and addresses with errors.

Open Rate
The metric evaluates the relevance of the newsletter: offers of interest to subscribers and an appropriate sending schedule. The number of openings is considered only for letters with images. The letter is also considered open when the subscriber uses the preview panel for mail. In case of repeated openings of the same letter each is counted. In this connection, it is recommended to track the indicator in dynamics. Distinguish between unique (discoveries by a separate subscriber) and non-unique (all) discoveries. The indicator varies depending on the business sector and the type of letters. The basic level is 24%, for trigger mailings – 30-40%.

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When comparing your own indicator with a competitive one, focus on the average values ​​for your industry and the frequency of mailings.

Based on repeated discoveries, they create segmented audience lists and develop individual e-mail campaigns for each group.

Ways to increase the opening of letters:

creating catchy email topics (using A / B testing to find attractive headings);
Compliance with the frequency of distribution (do not send letters too often);
conducting surveys to identify subscribers’ preferences in the content and frequency of distribution;
base segmentation.

Clickthrough rate (CTR)
The metric shows the percentage of clicks on links within the message. CTR gives an idea of ​​the number of subscribers involved and the types of content that interests them. Clickability is considered both for all links, and for each individually. CTR is lower than Open Rate. Average click-through rate is over 4%.

To increase CTR, add an attractive and prominent call to action (CTA) button:

Make the CTA button a bright color (noticeable, but not too annoying) and place it at the top of the letter.
Make a first-person offer and use result-oriented verbs: buy, receive, download, etc.
Use the ODC formula (Offer, Deadline, CTA – Offer, Deadline, Action) to motivate action through a time limit.
CTR is also used to evaluate the results of A / B testing in relation to writing elements (text or color of the CTA button, location of links, etc.). When calculating the indicator, pay attention to what subscribers clicked. Clicking on the unsubscribe link is considered a click, but does not confirm the effectiveness of the newsletter.

Click to Open Rate (CTOR)
Reflects the percentage of unique discoveries followed by a link inside the letter. CTOR is related to the quality of the content and the relevance of the letter and landing page. A low clickthrough rate (CTR) to discovery rate (CTOR) indicates that content isn’t complying with subscribers’ requests. The average value of the metric is more than 15%.

CTOR Improvement Requirements:

Compliance of the content of the letter to the specified topic
Compliance of the content of the page with the content of the letter and the CTA button.
Relevance and personalization of offers (through segmentation and use of triggers).
Make the call to action concise and clear. Place the main links above.

Please note that CTR and CTOR are calculated not only for desktop, but also for mobile devices.

Complaint Rating (Spam Complaint Rate, SCR)
Spam rating reflects the percentage of messages marked as spam. Such an indicator does not always indicate that the newsletter is really “spam”. Some can’t unsubscribe due to the lack of links or other reasons and mark messages as spam so that they will no longer receive them. The acceptable range is 0.03-0.09%. The number of complaints in excess of 0.1% is a guarantee that you will be blocked.

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Recommendations for avoiding spam complaints:

Informing subscribers about the frequency of distribution and the nature of the content. Providing the ability to customize the schedule for receiving letters and topics of interest.
Compliance with the regular distribution.

Create engaging content.
Segment subscribers to create personalized and relevant messages.
Adding an unsubscribe link with the ability to indicate reasons.
We recommend that you check your spam rating before sending emails, since if you get spam in spam, tracking all other indicators is useless.

Unsubscribe Rate
Unsubscribe rate – percentage of unsubscribed from the newsletter. Not all users who are tired of the newsletter spend time opening an email and unsubscribing. Most, as a rule, delete a message without viewing it or send it to spam. The indicator should not exceed 0.5–2%.

Despite the reduction in the list of addresses thanks to unsubscribes, the database is getting better. In this connection, the procedure for unsubscribing should be made as simple and easy as possible. It’s better to get an unsubscribe than a spam complaint. A high percentage of unsubscribes (more than 2%) indicates problems.

Possible reasons for unsubscribing:

Poorly assembled, bought or rented base.
Lack of segmentation and personalization of the newsletter.
Neglect of cleaning the base from inactive subscribers.
Irrelevant content.
High frequency mailing.
Specify possible unsubscribe by entering options into the unsubscribe form and studying them.
Measures to reduce the number of unsubscriptions:
Periodic cleaning of the base from inactive contacts purchased and collected by parsing;
Personalized approach (creating a relevant offer and distribution schedule for each segment);

Compliance with the frequency of distribution;
Testing of headers, content and design of letters, frequency and time of mailing in small samples.
Identify trends in cancellation speed after making changes to determine their effectiveness. For example, after segmenting or changing the distribution template.


Outflow of subscribers (Churn Rate)
Shows the percentage of unsubscribed during the year or month. A value of 5% is acceptable when calculating for a year, but is considered low with a monthly assessment. Base growth should exceed outflow.

Work to reduce the Churn Rate:

Conducting surveys to study preferences and segmentation of subscribers.
Sending reactivation mailings to inactive subscribers.
The inclusion of additional offers (indicating preferences for content or reducing the frequency of distribution) on the unsubscribe page.
Ways to improve internal e-mail marketing metrics:
Collection of contacts database by legal methods.
Confirmation of subscription through Double Opt-in.
Regular cleaning and updating the database: getting rid of incorrect and outdated contacts, working with inactive subscribers (deleting them or reactivating them).
Segmentation of the list of subscribers and the use of trigger mailings, a personalized schedule and frequency of sending letters.
Work on the quality and relevance of the content.
Checking the layout of the letter and authentication settings.
Tracking reputation of IP address, domain and sender.
Providing the ability to quickly unsubscribe with a reason.

Degree of involvement
Analysis of the interaction of subscribers with emails is more detailed and significant than the rate of discoveries. Engagement is measured in two ways:

Time and Day Based Interaction
Content Interaction Duration
Using special services, track the interaction of subscribers with the newsletter in order to develop a better schedule for sending letters. For example, Hubspot breaks the time of interaction with the letter into categories (viewed, read). Understanding the duration of interaction with the content allows you to adapt the content of letters to ensure maximum engagement.

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Experimenting with the dispatch schedule, get information about the optimal interaction time.

Messaging speed
The speed of exchanging your emails between the subscriber and his contacts also provides valuable information:

determines the degree of attractiveness of the content;
allows you to expand coverage.
Redirect tracking provides an opportunity to replenish the list of subscribers with contacts that are prone to receiving and reading your newsletters. Special services, for example, Mailchimp, allow you to include the “Share” button or a link in the letter template and receive information about the number of messages sent. We note that the metric does not give a complete picture. Redirects do not take into account users who copy and paste links to you in their own letters.

External metrics
Lead Acquisition Cost (LAC)
The cost of all marketing efforts to attract a subscriber.

Conversion rate – the percentage of subscribers who completed the target action after or at the time of clicking on the link in the letter. Possible target actions: transition to a landing page, purchase of goods, registration, etc.

To measure conversion, integrate your email platform with a web analytics system. Track referral sources via utm tags. When analyzing the indicator, take into account the quality of traffic, income and the average bill. The value of the channel is determined by its role in the conversion. Macroconversion is the user’s target action. For example, the purchase of goods. Microconversion is an intermediate action on the way to the target. For auxiliary channels (microconversions), the conversion is considered as associated.

Conversion Improvement Methods:

Base segmentation by demographic and psychographic characteristics, purchase history.
Trigger mailings.
Return on investment ROI
Shows the total return on investment in e-mail campaigns. Increase ROI through segmentation, trigger mailings, A / B testing.

Revenue per Email (RPE – Revenue per Email)
RPE is an alternative to ROI that measures revenue from each email.

Subscriber Lifetime Value (SLV)
Subscriber’s value – income from the subscriber during the duration of his subscription.

To improve the indicator, a number of the following measures are provided:

Track your unsubscribe and bounce rates.
Reactivation or removal of the inactive part of the database.
Using trigger mailings.
Subscribers list growth rate
Follow the dynamics of the growth of the database, update data about subscribers. Interests, lifestyle, contact address are changing. To maintain efficiency, fill in the gaps and adapt the newsletter.

A growing list broadens the reach and increases the likelihood of subscribers interacting with emails. Track growth points to determine the source of success. Perhaps the new audience is susceptible to content or growth is correlated with marketing activities through other channels.

Knowing the metrics and principles of working with them (calculation and influence factors) will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness at each stage and direct the campaign to achieve goals. If the development of e-mail newsletters, the determination of the exact KPIs and their calculation make you difficult or require too much time, contact us! We will speed up the process and do everything for you.

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