7 Email Marketing Metrics To Track And How to Optimize Them

Momina Ayaz
Momina Ayaz

Last updated on

November 17, 2021

While we all know just how effective email marketing can be, how can you tell whether your campaigns are working? Are they effective?

If the answer was an uncertain no, don’t worry. The internet likes throwing a storm of KPIs in our direction, telling us to track everything under the sun. But this is often counterproductive and only makes us marketers nervous.

That’s why I’m about to make it easy for you and me both. I’ll cover the only email marketing metrics you should be tracking to gauge campaign performance without losing your mind.

1. Open Rates

While not the most important email marketing metric out there, it’s the first data point you get your hands on.

Open rate is the percentage of email recipients that open your email. A good open rate can signal towards two things:

  • Great subject lines that hook both long-time and new leads
  • Good reputation built on the back of consistent value from every email that makes recipients more likely to open new correspondence

However, the reason why open rates aren’t so popular among digital marketers is that they are often underreported. Email clients often block the image contents of emails that they suspect are spam. This means that the pixel responsible for computing open rates never loads.

For this reason, open rates are best utilized as a comparative metric when A/B testing campaigns.

How to calculate: Total opens/total emails delivered * 100

How to optimize:

  • Use an actual person’s account (like “[email protected]”) instead of a company account like “[email protected]” to send out the email. This humanizes your content and makes it more likely for people to feel a connection with you
  • Prune your email list to remove disengaged contacts. This decreases your chance of spamming them.
  • Write an engaging yet informal subject. You want to seem more like a friend and less like a salesperson.
  • Send a follow-up email and regularly refresh your email list. If you keep sending follow-up emails to disengaged contacts, your recipients will be more likely to mark your emails as spam.

2. Click-through rate

Now that your readers are in, what do you want them to do? Read the email contents and engage with your brand.

The email isn’t the end goal. You want your leads to take action, mostly from your main website. That’s where we generate conversions by making leads sign up or by encouraging a purchase.

The click-through rate (or CTR) is the percentage of people who click on one or more links presented in the email. This is one of the most critical and widely used email marketing metrics.

And it makes sense. A good CTR is a direct marker of compelling content and whether it prompts readers to take the next step. Does it make readers want more?

How to calculate: recipients who clicked on a link within the email/total emails delivered * 100

How to optimize:

  • Test with different copies to see which one strikes a chord with your users and speaks to their pain points.
  • Make your CTAs the center of attention, both with design and copy. Try out the inverted pyramid design.

3. Conversion rate

Now, onto numbers that bring us real money. Your recipient found your content engaging so they clicked through to your links. Depending on just how promising your email was, and how well you maintained that promise on the landing page. they might just sign up from the new link and generate a sale for you.

Conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients that clicked away to a link from your email, completed the desired action, and completed a desirable goal. This metric shows you the real results of your email marketing campaigns and indicates whether your efforts are bearing fruit.

How to calculate: Total conversions/total emails delivered * 100

How to optimize:

  • Again, A/B test your CTAs to drive more people to your website. Make them more specific.
  • Use countdown timers and limited-time offers to create a sense of urgency within your email.

4. Campaign ROI

So we went over your lead’s journey through your email and onto your website, where they convert. All of this requires effort and the true output of that is measured by tracking campaign ROI.

Campaign ROI is the ratio of the total revenue generated against the total spend on a campaign. This metric tells you whether your campaigns are giving you a good return on your investment.

How to calculate: total revenue from sales through campaign/total spend on campaign

How to optimize:

  • Personalize your campaigns and segment your lists to appeal to more people.
  • Optimize for mobile to increase conversions through mobile.
  • Try incorporating video content into your email body to increase engagement.

5. Email sharing rate

Well-executed email campaigns are great for brand awareness. In addition to bringing conversions for you, they also have the potential to attract new leads.

How? If a reader enjoyed engaging with your email content, they might share it with a friend to help them out too. This brings us to the email sharing rate.

Email sharing rate is the percentage of recipients who shared your email on social media (from the social sharing buttons in your email) or forwarded your email. It is the ultimate way of knowing just how helpful and engaging your content was.

Optimizing this metric will help you boost brand awareness and understand what kind of content your leads are interested in. If a particular kind of blog generates a lot of shares through email, use the indicators to plan future campaigns.

How to calculate: (total social shares + total emails forwarded)/total emails delivered * 100

How to optimize:

  • Add social sharing buttons at the bottom of your emails and ask readers to share the content with a friend.
  • Include social channels most relevant for your reader base. Usually, these are just Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

6. Bounce Rate

In the email marketing domain, a bounce occurs whenever a user doesn’t receive your email.

Bounce rate is the percentage of emails that were rejected by email servers and couldn’t be delivered. A high bounce rate reflects poorly on your brand’s reputation, turning you into a spam account in the eyes of email servers.

How to calculate: number of bounced emails/total emails sent * 100

How to optimize:

  • Prune your email list to remove stale contacts.
  • Make sure your subject lines convey exactly what the contents of your email are
  • Consider implementing double opt-ins. Ask users for their email address through an opt-in form and then send them a confirmation link so they know you’ll be on their list.
  • Keep in touch. Send re-engagement emails so your leads don’t forget about you.

7. Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe rate is the percentage of email recipients that unsubscribed from your list after an email campaign was sent out.

Email marketers are often disappointed when someone unsubscribes. There’s no reason to be! Email unsubscribes are actually a great thing for your list as they automatically remove disengaged contacts and help you keep your list fresh. But if unsubscribes is exceptionally high (anywhere over 1%), you might not be targeting your leads well.

How to calculate: number of unsubscribes/total emails delivered * 100

How to optimize:

  • Encourage user feedback and ask them if they found your content useful. Even a small poll at the end that says “Was this helpful?” might do wonders for your unsubscribe rate.
  • Ensure that you’re targeting the right stage of the funnel. If someone just signed up to your email list and you send them a “please sign up for our software” email, they’ll only run in the opposite direction.


It doesn’t matter how well you’ve designed an email campaign or how provocative your copy is if you can’t measure impact. This is why every email marketing campaign needs to have one clear goal. Then, you need to define the key measures that conclude whether you were able to accomplish that goal.

Email marketing metrics are these measures. KPIs like click-through rates and conversion rates help marketers decide what’s working and when to ditch a strategy. This helps marketers optimize their campaigns to get the most out of their email lists.

Track and regulate these seven email marketing metrics to boost your revenue. Work on writing engaging subject lines and copy, and make sure your CTAs are clear and eye-catching. Segment your email list, personalize your campaigns, prune your email list, and take in user feedback. Testing is key!

Author Bio

Momina Ayaz

Momina Ayaz is a Content Marketer at Mailmunch. She loves reading during lunch breaks and witnessing technology reshaping the corporate sphere.


No items found.
Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles