What Is Email Analytics and How Can You Use It to Optimize Your Campaigns


During the WWDC 2021, Apple announced that it will disable Open Rate tracking. This news created ripples across email marketing. Overnight, email marketing communities started buzzing with the impacts of this move.

This just shows that email marketing is deeply linked to these numbers that are a part of email analytics. Without email analytics, an email marketer loses the sense of strategy, just like a sailor who loses the sense of direction with no compass.

So in this guide, we bring you everything about email analytics, including the most valuable metrics. Additionally, we will talk about how to take actionable steps using those metrics.

Table of content

What is email analytics

Email Analytics is the method of tracking how your subscribers interact with your emails by tracking different metrics that deal with email delivery, engagement, and conversions.

Such analytics helps email marketers to draw valuable insights and optimize and strategize email campaigns for better performance.

11 most helpful email metrics you should know about

The moment you hit the send button, email metrics start providing you with valuable data about the different aspects of your email marketing campaign.

You can track how many users opened your messages, how many clicked on them, which emails brought more conversions, and so much more.

Below, we have put together a list of the 11 most important email metrics that will enhance your campaign's performance:

  • Bounce rate

  • Delivery rate

  • Deliverability rate

  • Spam rate

  • Open rate

  • Click-through rate

  • Click-to-open rate

  • Conversion rate

  • Unsubscribe rate

  • List growth rate

  • Overall return on investment

Bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of total emails sent that failed to be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. Bounce rate helps in tracking the deliverability of your emails and monitor the hygiene of your email lists.

Bounces are of two types - hard bounces and soft bounces and both can be tracked.

  • The hard bounces are a result of permanent errors, such as closed, non-existent, or invalid email addresses, etc.

  • The soft bounces are caused by temporary problems, such as the full inbox of the recipient or any problem with the recipient server.

Bounce rate = (Total number of bounced emails / Number of emails sent) X 100

How to reduce email bounce rate

  • Update and remove invalid email addresses

  • Never use purchased or old lists

  • Use confirmed opt-in

  • Use welcome emails as a filtration: Eliminate those addresses which get bounced after the welcome email is sent.

Delivery rate

Delivery tells you whether your emails are getting delivered to the servers of your subscribers’ inbox providers.

It can get delivered in any folder - spam, promotions, etc. An email counts as delivered if it did not bounce.

Delivery rate = (Number of emails delivered sent / Number of emails sent) X 100

How to increase the delivery rate

Follow all the tips to keep your bounce rate lower, and your delivery rate will improve.

Deliverability rate

If your email doesn't even land inside the audience's inboxes, the rest of the metrics, such as opens and clicks, don’t exist.

This is where the deliverability rate comes in. It tells you how many of your emails land in the inbox vs. the junk or spam folder.

Deliverability rate = ( Number of emails delivered sent / Number of emails sent ) X 100

How to increase the deliverability rate

  • Ensure your domain authentication with SPF and DKIM, DMARC

  • Implement an email validation service in real-time

  • Use a double opt-in form when collecting email addresses

  • Maintain a consistent email frequency for your sending

  • Carefully define your sender address

Spam rate

A spam rate shows the number of people who reported email as spam out of the total number of messages you have sent.

Spam rate = (Number of spam complaints / Number of emails delivered) X 100

How to reduce your spam rate?

  • Enable the confirmation email (double opt-in) on your forms

  • Gain trust with recognizable email sender information

  • Show an additional unsubscribe link in a prominent position

  • Make sure your emails come from the same domain where contacts signed up

Open rate

The open rate indicates how many of your delivered emails get opened by your target audience.

Using this metric, you can track the effectiveness of your subject line and user engagement.

Open rate = (Number of opened emails / Number of emails delivered) X 100

How to increase your open rate

  • Write compelling email subject lines

  • Focus on good deliverability

  • Make sure to find the best time to send emails

  • Better target your contacts with email segmentation

Click-through rate or CTR

Click-through rate or CTR is the percentage of total email recipients who clicked on one or more links attached in the email. CTR gives you a holistic view of your email performance.

CTR = (Total clicks / Number of delivered emails) X 100

How to increase the Email click-through rate

  • Insert effective calls-to-action in emails

  • Optimise clickable elements by a/b testing your emails

  • Ask for feedback for a better email content assessment

  • Segment your database

Click-to-open rate

Unlike the click-through rate, the click-to-open rate is the number of clicks out of the number of opens (instead of the number of delivered emails).

Thus, measuring CTOR can help you determine if your content resonates with your recipients (once they are convinced to open your email).

Click-to-open rate = (Total Clicks / Number of emails opened) X 100

How to increase your Click-to-open-rate?

  • Introduce more personalization, go beyond first names, use content, and relevance, such as personal information, company name, hometown, etc.

  • Use a compelling subject line.

  • Put Calls-to-action links at the most prominent positions.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate measures the percentage of recipients that took the action you wanted them to take.

For example, If you want someone to register for a Zoom webinar, then the conversion rate measures the number of people who did register as a percentage of those who received your email.

It is a vital metric as it is a direct indicator of the success of your email campaign.

Conversion rate = (Number of conversions / Number of total emails delivered) X 100

How to increase conversion rate :

  • Create mobile-optimized email campaigns

  • Use automation and trigger emails

  • Segment your audience to create more personalized content

  • Include promotional offers and discounts to attract user

  • Include a clear call to action

Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe Rate shows the percentage of recipients that opt-out from your mailing list.

It encompasses both the types of unsubscriptions - people using the email footer link and people using the unsubscribe functionality in the inbox.

It will help if you aim to keep it low to maintain a reasonable deliverability rate.

Unsubscribe rate = (Unsubscribe number / Total emails delivered ) X 100

How to reduce unsubscribe rate

  • Make an optimized list from the start

  • Use automation for better brand engagement

  • Segment your data for more personalized emails

  • Some list churn is normal and healthy

List growth rate

An email list is crucial as you won’t know who your subscribers are without it.

Also, if your list is not growing, then what’s the point of an email marketing campaign? So, your email list size should always be positive.

List growth rate = [{(Number of new subscribers) - (Number of unsubscribes + Email/spam complaints)} / Total number of email addresses on your list] X 100

The churn rate is the opposite of the email list. It measures how many people are eliminated from your email list.

This would include unsubscribes, bounces, manual removals, or even unengaged subscribers.

It’s good to know the churn rate as it helps you understand how much you need to grow your list to have a positive growth rate. Here’s how you can calculate it:

Churn rate = (Monthly churned subscribers / List size at beginning of month) X 100

Ways to improve your list growth rate:

  • Provide email signup offers to your subscribers

  • Launch appealing social media contests

  • Use pop-ups to capture users visiting your site

  • Include subscription forms on your site

  • Implement email address validation at point of collection

Return on investment (ROI)

ROI measures the profitability and cost-effectiveness of your email campaign.

It helps you understand how much value are you getting out of your email campaign versus how much it costs.

Overall ROI = [($ in additional sales made - $ invested in the campaign) / $ invested in the campaign] X 100

How to increase your overall ROI:

  • Segment your audience list

  • Use mobile-optimized email

  • Focus on churn rate to eliminate unnecessary audience

  • Use the relevant and concise subject line

  • Make sure you include a clear call to action

How to transform data into actionable insights

Carly Fiorina has aptly put it, “The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight."

Your work doesn’t stop just after collecting the data. It is where your real task begins as an email marketer. Of course, you can collect all the data and compile reports. But all this would not be rewarding if you cannot draw insights and take action to add value to your email campaigns. For example, You may have a high open-rate during weekdays but low on weekends. It may demonstrate that most of your audience is busy on weekends.

If you do not use this information to adjust your email campaign, the whole purpose of tracking your data is defeated.

You can draw actionable insights using email analytics in the following manner:

  • By Tracking your open rates, you can figure out which subject line keeps your audience the most engaged.

  • Evaluating metrics such as bounce rate, unsubscribe rate can help you work on your email list. You can eliminate non-active or uninterested audiences. This will also help you reduce your unnecessary campaign costs as well.

  • Effective email analysis can help you segment your audience based on their preferences such as email timing, day of the week, etc., as well as geographical and demographic factors. As per data, the marketers in 2020 had experienced a 760% increase in revenue when they used segmentation.

  • On average, 35% of marketers send their customers 3-5 emails per week. As you analyze your data, you will know how often you should send emails to your audience.

Email marketing benchmarks

No data is useful on its own unless it can be measured against some yardstick.

That is why benchmarks are essential to compare and generate insights from the data collected.

Email marketing benchmark is the data used as a reference to determine the level of success achieved by your marketing campaign.

There are two types of benchmarks we need to analyze while making our marketing campaign strategy.

  • Brand benchmarks: It is your brand’s benchmarks of the essential metrics. These benchmarks are averages of your company’s metrics.

  • Industry benchmark: This is the industry average of the metrics you analyze for your email marketing campaign. These two benchmarks are compared to each other to analyze your company’s performance.

As per Mailchimp and Campaignmonitor few of the benchmarks are given in the table:

Bounce Rate0.5%-1%
Deliverability Rate80%
Spam Rate1%
Open Rate15%-19%
Click-through rate0.5%-1.5%
Click-to-open rate3%-8%
Conversion/engagementDepends on the business
Unsubscribe Rate0.3%
List growth rateDepends on the business
Return on InvestmentDepends on the business

But keep in mind, these benchmarks vary depending on your industry, geographical location, etc.


Email analytics is an ongoing process, and there's a lot to explore. It can be hard to measure each metric and adhere to the industry benchmarks. Any email marketer can feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of data. That is why emphasis should be on tracking only the right metric that aligns with your business goals.

To make this easier, you use tools such as Mailmodo that come with email metrics dashboards. With Mailmodo, you can track different metrics and export your data as well. Every journey starts with a step. So take that first step towards enhancing your email marketing reach and book your demo today with Mailmodo.

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