Email Marketing Metrics - How To Measure them And Their Benchmarks

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If you think that your job is over once you send emails as proactive reach out to your customers, think again!

A recent study by McKinsey & Co outlined email marketing as 40 times more effective at reaching the target customers as compared to Facebook and Twitter. Further, 60% of marketers claim email as the biggest source of ROI and the number of email users is projected to reach 4.3 billion by 2022.

Despite the backing of such powerful stats, 63% of marketers only track email opens and clicks for each send, while 28% of marketers don’t focus on any metrics.

These stats indicate that despite knowing the strength of analytics and actionable insights, marketers across the globe fail to put them to use.

Here, we discuss why it is important to "measure" your email marketing campaigns and precisely "what" you should measure. Later, we explore various benchmarks for email marketing campaigns and email performance metrics.

So, take a thorough read to optimize your email marketing campaigns and get the best digs into "what happens once the email is sent".

Table of contents

What are email marketing metrics and why are they important?

Gartner defines email marketing metrics as the specific indicators of the success and failure of an email marketing campaign that helps you decide whether you are moving towards the pre-defined goals or not.

They tell you about the performance of your email marketing campaigns. They indicate the metrics related to your emails, trends, and correlations that you can draw from them. For example, what is "working" and "what" draws the most interest from your audience.

The email metrics allow you to measure the success of your email campaigns and also offer you actionable insights into the data collected.

You can draw correlations from the data collected and discover trends to optimize future campaigns and make them more relevant and more targeted.

This intelligence can be used further to determine the best strategy for future email marketing campaigns.

Some benefits of email campaign metrics:

  • Increase in sales by optimizing the email campaign and analyzing conversion rates and bounce rates, etc.

  • Boost client loyalty by offering engaging content and tailored content to the audience based on different analyses of your campaigns

  • Improve lead generation by sending targeted emails and working on your CTAs

  • Reduce marketing costs by skipping on content that doesn’t ring a bell with your audience

  • Boost the recurring purchases or repeat business by sharing personalized information via email

Now, let us dig deeper and explore the most important email marketing metrics.

What are the most common email marketing metrics?

1. Delivery rate

Delivery Rate is the starting point of every email marketing campaign and is often defined as one of the key metrics to monitor the strength of your email list. As delivery rate tells you how many of your sent emails were accepted by ISP, it is a vital starting point when it comes to measuring the overall email campaign effectiveness.

A low delivery rate calls for a careful inspection of various things, such as whether the low delivery rate is isolated to one campaign type or one ISP, etc. To overcome this, you have to make adjustments according to the results of this inspection. By strengthening we mean making your email list healthy, or more conclusive to the types of emails you are sending.

Why is it important?

It represents the ability of your emails to reach the inbox, which is the foundation of the email ROI. If your email doesn't even land inside the audience's inboxes, the rest of the stats, such as open rates and click rates simply don’t exist.

How to calculate it?

Delivery rate = (Number of emails sent – number of bounces)/number of emails sent*100%

Industry benchmarks for delivery rate

95% delivery rate is considered as an acceptable score as per the industry standards.

2. Open rate

The open rate indicates the number of people that have opened your emails and shows the interest levels as well. It is one of the easiest email marketing metrics to measure. Now let's take a look at why it's important.

Why is it important?

It shows whether the subject lines are poor or impressive. It also reflects whether you have chosen the right time, dates, and days to send your emails. A low open rate signifies that you have a poor reputation in the ISP domains and a continuous low score sender might also be marked as a spammer with the emails being trapped in a spam folder, instead of the inbox. The chances of such emails being opened are next to zero!

How to calculate it?

Open rate= Number of opened email messages / Number of email messages sent (excluding the bounced messages)* 100

Industry benchmarks for open rate

While the email open rate benchmarks are different for different industries, the range of 20% to 30% is considered a good open rate.

3. Click-through rate or CTR

Click-through rate or CTR is defined as the percentage of email recipients that clicked on one or more links attached in the email. So, it offers a direct peek into the number of people clicking your CTAs and helps you identify which recipients are interested in which type of CTAs.

Why is it important?

CTR is an important email performance metric because it boosts your understanding of your customers. For example, a low CTR can indicate that you are targeting the wrong audience, or that you are not able to persuade them enough to click the CTAs, and other such important things. Likewise, a high CTR allows you to improve and maintain your ad position for lower costs as the audiences find your content engaging.

How to calculate it?

CTR = (Total clicks ÷ Number of delivered emails) * 100

Industry benchmarks for click-through rate

While the email marketing benchmarks are different for each industry, and the benchmarks vary across the countries as well, a CTR of 9% and above is considered a good score.

4. Conversion rate

Conversion rate is defined as the percentage of recipients that click on a link attached in your email and complete the desired action, for example, submit a form, complete registration, or make a purchase.

Conversion rate is important as it allows you to lower your customer acquisition costs by allowing you to leverage the existing customers for business growth. As you have the percentage of subscribers completing the goal action of your email marketing campaigns, it is a direct indicator of the success of your campaigns and is one of the most vital metrics for marketers.

Why is it important?

As your goal is not only to get the emails opened, or getting the CTAs clicked, it is important to measure how many people actually take the desired action you wanted them to take. In the majority of cases, the conversion rate is purchase-related and reflects the number of orders generated by your email campaign.

How to calculate it?

Conversion rate= (Number of people who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100

Industry benchmarks for conversion rate

As per the recent email conversion rate benchmarks, you must have an email conversion rate of 11.45% or more if you wish to sustain the business growth. However, the score varies across the different industries.

5. Bounce rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of total emails sent that failed to be delivered to the inbox of the recipient. There are two types of bounces - hard bounces and soft bounces. 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.

Why is it important?

Email bounce rate helps you track the quality of your lead lists and email campaigns as it shows the number of email bounces as a percentage value of the total emails sent by you. So, it shows how often your emails successfully reach the recipients.

There are three types of bounces - hard bounces (when you send emails to invalid email addresses), soft bounces, and pending bounces (when there are technical issues with the sender's or user's email service).

How to calculate it?

Bounce rate = (Total number of bounced emails ÷ Number of emails sent) * 100

Industry benchmarks for bounce rate

As per the thumb rule, a bounce rate between 26% and 40% is considered excellent, while a bounce rate between 56% to 70% is considered above average. Anything above 70 percent is considered alarming.

Related guide: All About Hard Bounce & Soft Bounce

6. List growth rate

The list growth rate is the net growth rate of your email contact list and allows you to monitor the growth of your email list. So, you can always look for the list growth rate and find whether you have to expand your audience or not.

Why is it important?

Your email list decays naturally and as per the studies, the expiration rate is around 22.5%. So, it is important to note that your subscriber list must be monitored properly to ensure that it stays at a healthy size. Hence, this metric helps you understand whether your subscriber list needs expansion or not.

How to calculate it?

List growth rate=([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100

Industry benchmarks for list growth rate

There is no fixed benchmark for list growth. But, it should always be increasing.

7. Forwarding rate/email sharing rate

It is the percentage of your email recipients that forwarded your email to their acquaintances or shared your email by clicking on the share button given inside your email.

Why is it important?

It is important as it allows you to find whether the existing customers are becoming your brand advocates or not. By focusing on them, you can generate more value for your brand offerings and also leverage the brand advocates to generate more leads for your business.

How to calculate it?

Forward/share rate=(Number of clicks on SFB/Number of delivered emails)*100

Industry benchmarks for forward/share rate

This is not a common metric and is for social media posts.

8. Overall ROI

Overall ROI refers to the overall return on your investment in email campaigns. Hence, it is the total revenue generated by the campaign divided by the total investment. Measuring the overall ROI of your email marketing campaign allows you to understand whether you are drawing the optimal value out of your email campaigns or not.

Why is it important?

Tracking your overall ROI helps you figure out the type of campaigns that return the best value out of your investment and allow you to improve your impact among your audiences.

How to calculate it?

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

Industry benchmarks for Overall ROI rate

A good overall ROI for email marketing is 122%.

9. Unsubscribe rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of recipients that unsubscribe 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.

Why is it important?

It shows the number of recipients that have got tired of receiving email messages from your brand and also indicates the health of your email list to some extent. It can work wonders when used with other email performance metrics to uncover trends in audience interest, brand offerings popularity, and doing a thorough pulse-check of your customer base.

How to calculate it?

Unsubscribe rate=Unsubscribe number ÷ Total emails delivered x 100

Industry benchmarks for unsubscribe rate

An acceptable unsubscribe rate lies between 0.2% and 0.5%. Anything above 0.5% indicates that your email list and brand offerings need some work.

Related guide: 11 Most Effective Ways to Reduce Your Unsubscribe Rate

Unlocking success in every campaign - measure email metrics

Every email campaign is different and has different target audiences. Hence, a single metric cannot define the success or failure of all of them. An impeccable email marketing strategy stems from a careful understanding of your email list, audience, brand offerings, and comprehensive measurement and tracking of all the email metrics shared here.

While it is hard to measure each metric and adhere to the industry benchmarks individually, investing in tools such as Mailmodo that come with email metrics dashboards makes the job a whole lot easier.

Every journey starts with a step. Take that first step toward transforming your email marketing reach and penetration among the audiences, and book your demo today!

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

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  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

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