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Email Marketing Analytics: 12 Crucial Metrics to Track

Did you know that if you sent emails to 100 addresses today, only an average of 22 recipients would open them? Further studies by Campaign Monitor suggest that only two recipients would click on your CTA. 

While the above scenario may not seem promising to everyone, email marketing remains among the best forms of marketing in terms of Return on Investment (ROI), beating social media to the ranks. 

This is supported by a recent report by Statista, which revealed that companies could expect up to $45 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

However, the key to getting the best ROI from email marketing is knowing the metrics to optimize for. This is the whole point of email marketing analytics—knowing how your campaigns are performing with respect to your overall marketing objective.

That said, this guide will discuss the 12 most important metrics to cover in your email marketing report. Knowing this will help you pinpoint where to focus your energy for maximum results.

Let's get down to it.

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Getting Started with Email Marketing: Key Email Marketing Metrics You Should Track

Whether your objective is to generate more sales, create awareness, or drive new signups, your email marketing report should always feature the metrics discussed below.

These metrics can be narrowed down to individual email lists as well as an overarching email marketing campaign.

Open Rate

Definition: Open rate refers to the percentage of recipients that open your email.

According to Campaign Monitor, the average open rate across industries sits at 21.5%. Thus, it would be helpful to aim for that benchmark if you're unsure of the specific average open rate for your industry.

Yet, in certain cases you can jump considerably beyond the 21.5% open rate benchmark. For example, the average open rate of 65%+ can be achieved with laser-focused ESPs, such as Maildoso, an ESP for Outbound sending 2M outbound emails monthly. Such providers come with an infrastructure tailored to cold email, and those 65%+ can be achieved through having multiple domains, 3 mailboxes per domain, and sending fewer than 40 emails per day.

Tracking email open rates has become less reliable due to privacy policy changes and image blocking features from popular email systems.

Given the challenges mentioned above, a comparative analysis is the most reliable way to track your email open rate. For example, if you compare this week's open rate against the rate from the past week (all focused on the same list), you should get a general idea about your performance since the variables are within your control. 

Improving your subject lines can significantly ramp up your email open rate. Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Keep your subject line within 7 to 41 characters
  2. Add personalization using your email provider’s tag features
  3. Incorporate a sense of urgency if you can

Click-through Rate

Definition: Click-through Rate (CTR) refers to the percentage of email recipients that click on your email’s CTA.

Campaign Monitor’s report suggests that the average CTR across all industries is 2.3%, with companies in the education industry seeing as high as 4.4%.

Benchmarks for the education industry
Source: Campaign Monitor

CTR is valuable because it says a lot about the quality of your email content. If your links are getting clicks, it means your email content appeals to your subscribers.

CTR is also a primary metric for A/B testing because these tests often emphasize finding the angle that generates more clicks within the email.

Here’s how to improve your email’s CTR:

  1. Segment and personalize your email content
  2. Improve your offers
  3. Make your CTAs more “clickable” by improving your copy and design
  4. Keep your subject lines consistent with your main content

Bounce Rate

Definition: Bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that fail to land in a recipient’s inbox.

According to Campaign Monitor, the benchmark for email bounce rate should be under 2%.

Email bounces can happen for any of these two reasons:

  1. A temporary glitch with a valid email address, like a full inbox or a server problem (soft bounce)
  2. An invalid or non-existent email address (hard bounce)

A soft bounce is usually rectified after some time. However, you should always remove hard bounce emails from your list because high bounce rates can prompt an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to flag an email sender.

To keep your bounce rate on a low level, here are a few steps to follow:

  1. Incorporate two-step opt-in
  2. Do not use purchased email lists
  3. Avoid spammy content

Spam Reports

Definition: Spam reports refer to the percentage of recipients who mark your email as “spam.”

This is a crucial metric to pay attention to because it can easily affect your reputation as an email sender. Most major email service providers will flag your IP address if they notice a handful of spam reports from your recipients. This will automatically send all your future emails to spam folders. Also employing an SPF checker for proper SPF record setup can prevent email authentication issues and protect your sender reputation, reducing the risk of your emails being marked as spam.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce spam reports:

  1. Provide a straightforward unsubscription and preference changing process for your recipients
  2. Keep your list fresh and active
  3. Limit the number of images you use within your emails. Image-heavy emails may result in slow load time and also trigger a “spam alarm,” especially if there’s minimal text.

Conversion Rate

Definition: Conversion rate refers to the percentage of recipients that clicks on an email’s CTA and completes the required action—such as filling a form or making a purchase.

A study by Barrilance reported that the average email conversion rate is 15.22% as of 2021. This has been its lowest since 2016.

Average email conversion rate by years
Source: Barrilance

Conversion rate shows how effective your emails are with respect to achieving your campaign’s end goal.

You can achieve conversion rate tracking by creating and embedding unique tracking URLs to identify the source of your clicks. 

There are a few techniques you can apply to increase conversion rates over time:

  1. Improve your offer personalization through proper segmentation and efficient omnichannel strategy
  2. Include a sense of urgency within your offers
  3. Always optimize your emails for mobile readers

List Growth Rate

Definition: List growth rate refers to how your email list grows (or shrinks) over time.

 List growth rate example
Source: Improvado

List growth rate takes a few pointers into account, including new subscribers, unsubscribers, and spam reports.

According to Hubspot, email lists deprecate at a rate of 22.5% every year. So it is important to incorporate strategies aimed at making up for this. Knowing your growth rate will help you understand how well you're performing in this regard.

Here are a few steps you can take to increase your list growth rate:

  1. Create new lead generation offers regularly
  2. Launch new opt-in campaigns to rejuvenate old lists
  3. Take advantage of social media 

A Deep Dive Into Email Marketing Analytics

To get the full spectrum of data regarding your email campaign's performance, you need to look beyond the basic metrics.

More advanced metrics like device stats, ROMI, and subscriber lifetime value enable you to get all the tiny details that really move the needle for your campaign.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

Device Statistic

Definition: Device statistic refers to the percentage of recipients who get your email on mobile devices versus those who do the same on desktop devices.

Device statistic shows you what device your recipients are reading your emails from. This metric is important because it helps you optimize your emails to give your recipients the best experience on their chosen devices.

Studies by Campaign Monitor show that 81% of surveyed individuals across all demographics prefer to open emails on their smartphones. However, additional research by Super Office reports that 1 in 5 emails are not optimized for mobile devices.

Here’s how you can optimize your emails for mobile devices:

  • Keep your subject line text below 30 characters
  • Place your CTA button closer to the top and make it at least 44 x 44 pixels
  • Make your links and button clickable by inserting enough whitespaces around them
  • Test your emails across several mobile devices before sending them to your list

Engagement Time

Definition: Engagement time refers to when your recipients are most likely to engage with your emails.

Let’s say you schedule your emails to go out every Tuesday by 7 AM but find out that most of your recipients open and engage with your email on Thursdays by 11 AM. This insight will prompt you to modify your email schedule to suit your readers' preferences. That way, your emails will be opened more often and result in higher conversion rates.

According to a report by MailerLite, emails sent on Wednesdays get the highest open rates. The report also revealed that email opens occur the most between 10 AM and 12 PM, with another peak occurring between 5 and 6 PM.

Cost Per Subscriber 

Definition: Cost per subscriber refers to the amount spent on acquiring a new email subscriber.

To confirm that your email strategy is effective, you need to examine how much you've spent gaining new subscribers. If the cost per subscriber is high with respect to the revenue generated, then you might need to question how qualified your leads are. It means that there's room for optimization.

Revenue Per Subscriber

Definition: Revenue per subscriber refers to how much a company generates (or can potentially generate) on average from each subscriber on its email list

This metric is valuable in that it offers insight into the overall profitability of your email marketing strategy. By determining the average revenue from each subscriber, you can easily pinpoint the breakeven amount for acquiring new email subscribers. This helps you make better decisions when allocating a budget for email marketing.

Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV)

Definition: Subscriber Lifetime Value refers to the commercial value of a qualified email subscriber with respect to the duration of their subscription.

Knowing the revenue generated from each subscriber throughout their presence on your email list is helpful because it helps you ensure that your leads are qualified.

Sometimes, marketers can be carried away when they record low figures in cost per subscriber acquisition. However, it is easy to record low costs when you have subscribers who aren't a part of your target audience. In the long run, this scenario will result in low figures when calculating the revenue per subscriber.

To ensure that you’re acquiring qualified leads, you’ll need to calculate the value of each subscriber for the duration they’re on your list.

ROMI of the Email Campaign

Definition: Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) refers to the total returns generated from a company’s investment in an email marketing campaign.

ROMI gives a clear view of how profitable an email marketing campaign has been over a period of time.

According to reports by Statista and Litmus, email marketing can generate up to 4500% in ROI, depending on the industry.

 Email marketing ROI
Source: Litmus

How to Align Email Marketing with your Company’s Overall Marketing Strategy

Studies by Clutch and R2i have shown that enterprises rely on eight channels to achieve their marketing objectives. As a marketer, you're most likely using email marketing alongside other channels such as social media, blogs, and video.

Regardless of what channels you’re using, it is important to ensure that your channel-specific strategies are consistent with your overall marketing strategy. That way, you will see faster results and ultimately drive your company closer to its objectives.

This section will discuss how you can align email marketing with your overall marketing strategy for more predictable outcomes.

Define your Objective

What's the goal of the entire marketing strategy, and how does email marketing play a role?

For instance, let's say your overall objective for a campaign is to grow the top of your funnel—more website visitors, extra blog subscribers, or more users for your free tool, etc.,—you need to be specific about how email marketing will help bring you closer to this goal.

Define Your Metrics

Having identified your objective, you will realize that some metrics are more important than others.

For example, if your goal is to get your email subscribers to make purchases, the major metrics you should be looking at are CTR, conversion rate, revenue per sub, and ROMI. This will make it easier to measure your email marketing’s contribution toward achieving the company’s objective.

Synchronize your Promotional Calendar

This basically entails simultaneously promoting the same offers across your entire marketing channel. This is most effective when the majority of your email subscribers follow you on other channels, such as social media and blogs.

For example, if you promote a new pair of running shoes to your email subscribers, you can also promote the same shoes simultaneously on your Instagram handle using a set of different graphics and text.

In this scenario, your email marketing strategy guides your social strategy, and the roles can be reversed.

Cross-Promote your  Email List with your Other Channels

This entails leveraging other channels at your disposal for growing your email list and vice versa.

For example, you can grow your email list by pasting links to a lead magnet on your social media pages, blog posts, and more. In the same vein, you can plug in your social media handles, blogs, and other channels at strategic points—usually the footer—of your emails.

By doing this, you’re essentially making your channels grow each other organically.

Leverage Omnichannel Analytics

One of the best ways to ensure that your email marketing approach is in alignment with your overall marketing strategy is by tracking all your marketing efforts from a unified dashboard.

A dashboard enables you to visualize your entire marketing data in real-time, giving you access to robust analytics and actionable insights. Think of it as a report on steroids. 

With omnichannel analytics, you can view data streams from all your marketing channels on a single, consolidated dashboard and even compare the performance of one channel against the other. Incorporating this will help you quickly discover how your email marketing strategy is driving you toward your company’s objective.

Stay On Track with the Right Metrics

Now that you've known some of the major metrics for email marketing analytics, it is important to be smart about what you're tracking and how you’re going about it.

Beyond metrics, making sure that your email marketing approach is consistent with your company’s marketing strategy will lead to more predictable outcomes for your team.

Click the button below to check out our guide on the twelve best marketing dashboard examples and templates you can use to ramp up your analytics game today.

Display metrics in real-time at the email marketing dashboard
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