Essential Email Marketing Metrics You Should Be Tracking

By now, you know that email marketing is one of the most powerful tools that an eCommerce marketer can have in their arsenal. We’ve all read countless articles about how cost-effective email marketing is or how it’s 40 times more effective at lead generation than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Perhaps you’re sold on the power of email, but you need to know which email marketing metrics you should be tracking to reach all your business goals. Before you launch your next campaign, here are some email marketing metrics that will inform how you’re performing in the inbox and what you can do to stay ahead of the competition.


Open Rate

The open rate is simply the average number of opened emails divided by the number of subscribers that you sent the campaign. It’s not surprising that most email marketers want to know if their subscribers are actually opening their emails.

Marketers are constantly trying to improve their open rates because higher opens correspond to more clicks, which leads to more traffic and sales. However, it should be noted that there is some debate over how important the open rate is due to potential inaccuracies.

Regardless, this metric still holds value to eCommerce marketers. For instance, it can be used for testing two different subject lines to see which delivers a higher open rate or if certain promotions perform better than others.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The Click-Through Rate shows the number of users who clicked on a specific link to the total number of total users who view a page, email or advisement. Unlike the open rate, most marketers will agree that click-through rates are a key indicator of email marketing performance.

Why does your CTR matter? Essentially, it gives marketers a good idea of how effective their email content is. A high open rate and a low click-through rate can indicate that readers are engaged with your company, but your email content is off the mark.

Improving your CTR can be as easy as segmenting your email list to improve relevancy, making your call-to-actions more compelling, or giving your emails a mobile-friendly design. Other times, it’s a matter of identifying subtle changes (such as sending times or email length) to boost your CTR.

Conversion Rate

After getting your audience to open your campaigns and click on your links, how many of them purchased an item or downloaded your content? The percentage of subscribers who completed the desired action is your conversion rate.

Email conversion rates are important for a few reasons. Conversions are often purchase-related, and they give marketers a good idea of their ROI from email marketing.

Marketing automation helped clothing designer Tadashi Shoji improve conversion rates click-throughs (a micro-conversion) by 35 percent and increase conversions (a macro-conversion) by 9 percent. This boosted their revenue from abandoned cart emails by 50 percent each quarter.

Even if your goals aren’t purchase-related, conversion rates indicate that your campaigns are achieving your company’s goals, making them an essential metric for all eCommerce businesses to track.

Unsubscribe Rate

Losing a few subscribers every now and then is inevitable for eCommerce marketers, but it can be alarming if the number of people to unsubscribe from your email list falls below a certain percentage.

A high unsubscribe rate indicates that you are failing to deliver the content that your audience expects from your brand. This could happen for any number of reasons.

For instance, perhaps your email frequency is off. Perhaps your audience already feels like their inbox is too full, and they need to downgrade how many promotional emails they receive. In this instance, a possible solution would be to give them an option to receive fewer emails from you rather than opt out of your list forever.

Keeping a close watch on the unsubscribe rate allows you to prevent the problem from snowballing. You can’t drive sales and build brand loyalty if your email list keeps dwindling.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the number of emails you sent that could not be delivered to the intended inbox. There are two types of bounces that you should know about—hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard bounces are a result of invalid/non-existing email addresses or closed email accounts. They can create a real problem for email marketers because hard bounces can hurt your sender reputation and lower your deliverability rating.

By comparison, soft bounces aren’t much of a problem. Soft bounces are usually a temporary issue. A recipient’s email address may be valid, but their mailbox could be full or the server was down when you sent the campaign. Many email service providers will simply try to resend the email for a certain amount of time to help get it delivered.

Keep a watch on your hard bounces, as they are far more worrisome than soft bounces. When you notice hard bounces, remove the users from your database immediately so that your deliverability isn’t affected.

Now that you know all the technical terms, you’re all set to be the king of the inbox!