Cold Email · · 6 min read

Maximizing Your ROI: The 8 Email Marketing Metrics to Monitor

Email marketing metrics are crucial to aid your understanding of just how successful a campaign is. They measure everything from return on investment to open rate, bounce rate to conversion rate. The key is to understand how to track them, and then use them to strategize moving forward.

email marketing metrics

In this article, we’ll go into detail on the most important email metrics for your business and we’ll explore:

How to Optimize Your Email Campaigns by Tracking These 8 Email Marketing Metrics

  • Email Deliverability Rate: Are You Landing in the Right Inbox?
  • Open Rates: A Way to Assess Engagement & Subject Lines
  • Track Performance With CTA or Domain Click-Through Rates
  • Measure Effectiveness Through Conversion Rates
  • Forwarding Rate: A Way to Measure Relevance & Engagement
  • Unsubscribe Rate: A Way to Spot Weaknesses
  • Email Bounce Rate: Important for Many Reasons
  • Overall ROI per Campaign

Optimize Your Email Campaigns by Tracking These 8 Email Marketing Metrics

These are our top picks of the most important email marketing metrics that all campaign managers should be tracking. That’s a mandatory statement, not just an email marketing tip. No matter what the result you receive, the important thing is that you can use these metrics to analyze, adapt, and better your campaigns moving forward. Tracking these manually will be difficult, instead, look to rely on a competent piece of software such as a sales engagement platform.

Email Deliverability Rate: Are You Landing in the Right Inbox?

Email deliverability is one of the most important metrics any business can track. It measures the success rate of emails delivered to a recipient's inbox. If you’re running an email marketing campaign, cold or otherwise, a low deliverability rate can dramatically affect the efficiency and success of your campaign.

The metric is affected by a number of factors but the most important to consider is the sender’s reputation, the content that is within the email, and spam filters. Well-respected senders are more likely to have their emails arrive in a recipient’s inbox, this is because they are less likely to be sending spam-type emails. This reputation isn’t a score that you can see but is registered by email providers and ISPs. Within the email itself, the actual wording, number of links, and images can all affect the deliverability. Typically a recipient’s spam filter will scan for “spammy” content and automatically block those emails from arriving.

Open Rates: A Way to Assess Engagement & Subject Lines

As the name suggests, open rate tracks (as a percentage) the number of people that open your email after receiving it. A higher open rate tends to lead to a more successful campaign, as more people are opening and engaging with your email content.

Open rate is a good indication of how impressive your first impression is, after all, someone only tends to open an email based on who it is from, and what they think the email will be about. The subject line is your opportunity to grab the recipient’s attention and entice them to open and engage with your email.

Alongside the subject line, more simple factors such as timing play a crucial role in open rate. What makes it the right time to send an email really comes down to your individual audience. The trick is to run some tests and compare open rates against each other.

Email open rate is calculated by first taking the total number of recipients (those who have actually received the email, not the total on your list) and the number of those who opened it. Divide the total by those that open it and multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

Example: (250 opened emails / 1250 received emails) * 100 = 20%

Track Performance With CTA or Domain Click-Through Rates

Click-through rate (CTR) is a percentage of the number of people that click on a specific link. Within email marketing, these are typically found in call-to-actions (CTAs) or simply as links in the content.

The majority of the time, when sending a cold email, you want the recipient to complete a certain action. It might be to visit your website, read a blog, book a meeting, or schedule a demo. Whatever the action is, you want to be able to measure how many people are engaging with your request.

To calculate CTR take the total number of recipients and divide it by the number of those that clicked on the link or CTA. Multiply by 100 for a percentage.

Example: (12 link clicks / 450 received emails) * 100 = 2.66%

email marketing metrics

Conversion Rate: Measure Campaign Effectiveness

Conversion rate is incredibly similar to click-through rate, but rather than just seeing if someone clicks on a link, button, or CTA, you are specifically seeing if they complete the requested action. An example would be if you sent a series of cold emails requesting someone book a demo of your product. Conversion rate measures how many people actually book that demo as a percentage of everyone who received the email.

To calculate conversion rate take the total number of recipients and divide it by the number of those that completed the requested action. Multiply by 100 for a percentage.

Example: (15 demo bookings/ 620 received emails) * 100 = 2.42%

Forwarding Rate: A Way to Measure Relevance & Engagement

Forwarding rate measures how many people forward your email after receiving it themselves. It’s not necessarily as strong an indicator as other metrics in this list, but it’s a good way to view one type of customer engagement with your emails.

Consider email forwarding in the same way as people share on social media and you can see why it’s an important metric. To calculate it take the number of forwarded emails and divide it by the total received. Multiply by 100 for a percentage.

Example: (27 emails forwarded / 1020 received emails) * 100 = 2.65%

Unsubscribe Rate: A Way to Spot Weaknesses

Unsubscribe rate is a metric that tracks the percentage of people that remove themselves from your email lists using the unsubscribe function. It’s a useful metric to measure engagement rate on a holistic level. The lower the unsubscribe rate, the more likely that your audience is happy with your content.

Campaigns that elicit a high unsubscribe rate tend to be viewed as poor quality, low relevance, and irritating. People may also unsubscribe when they feel inundated by marketing emails from you. To keep unsubscribe rate low, ensure that you’re sending the highest quality and relevant emails that always deliver value while informing, educating, and entertaining.

To calculate it divide the total number of subscribers by the number of unsubscriptions in a given time period. Multiple by 100 for a percentage.

Example: (5 unsubscribes in a month / 3451 subscribers) * 100 = 0.14%

Email Bounce Rate: Important for Many Reasons

Bounce rate is a metric that measures how many of your sent emails are bouncing (not being delivered). It is important to track as the higher the bounce rate the more damaging it is for your campaign and your overall reputation.

A high bounce rate is often interpreted as an indication that an address is sending many unsolicited emails or is trying to reach emails without the recipient’s permission. A great way to reduce bounce rate is regular list maintenance (removing bounced email addresses) and validating all emails that you add to your list.

To calculate bounce rate, take the number of bounced emails in a given period and divide it by the total number of addresses on your list.

Example: (6 bounced emails in a month / 6743 subscribers) * 100 = 0.09%

bounce rate

Overall ROI per Campaign

Overall ROI (return on investment) per campaign is an important big-picture metric. It gives you a clear indication of whether a campaign is profitable or not. The aim of most email marketing campaigns is to generate revenue and profit (through leads or sales) and therefore, one could argue that this is the most important metric to be tracking. The higher the overall ROI the better and more profitable the campaign has been.

The first step to calculating overall ROI is to take into account all costs related to the campaign. That includes staff, overheads, software, etc. You then need to measure how much revenue has been generated as a direct result of the campaign. Take the total revenue generated and divide it by the costs. Multiply by 100 for a percentage.

Example: total revenue from the campaign is $10000 and the total cost is $1000, the overall ROI would be 1000% ($10000 / $1000) * 100.

Key Takeaways

By tracking these email marketing metrics your business will be in the best possible position to optimize its email marketing campaigns leading to the highest possible ROI. The metrics will also help your team understand how effective and efficient their email marketing efforts are, with the added benefit of being able to make informed decisions on how to improve and adapt the campaigns.

  • Keep track of the metrics that best suit your business, it might be all of the above, or it might be a selection.
  • The best way to track these metrics is to make use of email marketing software.

Instantly is a market-leading email marketing tool that will help you track all these metrics, deliver impressive analytical data through an intuitive dashboard and assist you in all aspects of email marketing. If that sounds like a great solution to you, why not start using Instantly for free today?

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