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11 Email Marketing Metrics You Must Track In 2022

Do you spend hours looking at your engagement metrics every month?

If you’re anything like me — obsessed with uncovering insights and customer behavior using campaign analytics — then read this post. There’s nothing we like more than geeking out with fellow marketers about numbers and KPIs.

The thing that we love about campaign tracking is that even the tiniest targeted tweaks can instantly boost engagement and often revenue. Thanks to email metrics, we’re not blinded. We have hypotheses about what to change in our email campaigns.

In this guide, we’ll look at the most important email metrics and share practices that can improve your results. So whether you’re just getting started with email marketing or looking for ways to optimize your existing campaigns, check out the email numbers you want to keep an eye on.

What is email marketing again?

Email marketing is a marketing strategy that uses email campaigns to nurture your leads, educate your customers, create long-term relationships with your audience, and help you sell your product or service. 

Smart email marketers keenly observe a set of metrics that prove the success (or failure) of their efforts. Learnings from existing emails are used in future campaigns to re-purpose email content, optimize subject lines, and avoid past mistakes.

What exactly are “email marketing metrics”?

Email marketing metrics are used to evaluate email campaign results. They show whether a campaign fits well with the target audience who receives the message. Because the metrics are data-driven, they will give you an accurate analysis of customer behavior and lead you to make informed and smart decisions. 

For instance, let’s assume you are Netflix, and you aim to activate users with onboarding emails that teach how to discover movies that would appeal to their taste. Unfortunately, just a tiny portion of the recipients open them. 

You run some experiments and change the subject lines to highlight the names of popular movie characters. Then, you notice an increase in open rates.

Sidenote: In fact, Netflix does run similar experiments with movie covers within their recommendation engine.

Now you know that name-dropping famous actors can improve your engagement. You can adjust your content and strategy to deliver more successful campaigns.

What can be measured in email marketing?

Open rate

Open Rate is the percentage of people who opened an email versus the total number of people who received it. 

Does it tell you how many people have seen your email? The open rate is tricky, especially during the post-iOS 14 era. You can’t track everybody who opened your email anymore.

If your business strategy depends on this metric alone, you might not arrive at a very reliable decision. 

Also, note that this is just the number of people who opened your email, not the exact number of people who read your email. 

How do you calculate it?

This metric can be measured by dividing the number of emails opened by the number of delivered emails. Multiply the result by 100. 

Example: You successfully sent 801 total emails, and 77 subscribers opened them. 77/801 = 0.0961. Multiply it by 100, and you’ve got a 9.61% open rate.

The overall average open rate benchmark for all Industries in 2021 is 19.96%.

Here’s how to improve to get better email open rates:

  • Use an intriguing subject line. Write it like a hyperlink — giving a context but leaving a bit of mystery.
  • A/B test your subject lines.
  • Send behavior-based emails, so it’s more relevant.
  • Send your email campaigns at the right time.

Use an intriguing subject line

The subject line is the first — and in most cases, the only — thing your readers see. Its job is to get the email opened. Your user’s inbox is already full of messages, so you have to stand out from them. Create subject lines that will compel them to take action to open your email. 

Tip: A/B test email subject lines to find which catches more attention. 

Send behavior-based emails

The art of personalizing emails is an effective way to boost your open rates. Every behavior-based email you send goes to a targeted audience at the right moment. This audience is the people who relate the most to your content, making it more likely for that person to read what’s inside!

Encharge is a marketing automation platform that specializes in this area. It lets you send automated emails depending on your user’s activity. Their likeliness to open your email (and read it!) multiplies when their actions trigger the email vs. a fixed time. 

Know when to send your email campaigns

According to CoSchedule, the best day to send is Tuesdays. By knowing the best time when most users check their inbox, you can increase your chances of getting them to open.

Click-through rate

Your click-through rate or CTR indicates the level of engagement your users have with your brand. A good practice is that every email sent contains 1 major call-to-action link (CTA). If a receiver can click on it, you’ll determine that they read your email’s content.

You should track this. Monitoring this email engagement metric helps you understand whether your launched campaign is working or not. You’ll know if your content is effective if someone becomes interested in your offer and is willing to take some action. 

How do you calculate it?

Calculate your click-through rate by dividing the number of clicks your link receives by the number of emails you send. Multiply it by 100. 

Example: You sent 1,000 promotional emails. 24 of the receivers clicked on your CTA (Buy button, for instance). Your CTR is 2.4%.

The overall average CTR benchmark for 2021 is 2.19%.

Here’s how to improve it to get better email CTR:

  • Optimize your CTA copy (and button, if applicable)
  • Mention the same action multiple times in your email
  • Offer various clicks methods

Optimize your CTA copy

Whether using plain-text emails or HTML, optimize the copy in your CTA. Make it stand out by using copy that’s not boring. Forget the “Click here”, “Learn More”, “Find more details here”. Come one, you can do better than that!

And if you’re using buttons, play with fun colors or use large fonts. Make it easy to spot.

Reference to the same action multiple times in your email

Throughout the content of your email, you should mention what they need to do next. Include the link more than once. Pepper the intended action in a natural way. 

It doesn’t have to be a CTA  button. Simply add sentences that make sense to hyperlink the relevant part.

If you have a great email template, there will be room to add these. Add it near the top and once again before you end the email.

Offer various clicks methods.

Combining the 2 tips above. Use a mix of links and the CTA button in your email. Just make sure that they all redirect to a single action. Avoid overwhelming your users with multiple tasks to do. If you want to mention a secondary action (like booking a call), you can include it in the P.S.

We asked Jordie van Rijn from emailmonday for his thoughts:

“Instead of only looking at the open and click rate per email, dig in a bit deeper for once and use open-reach and click reach. That is a metric to show how many many people in a certain period actually engaged one time or more with any of your emails.

It takes into account that usually, emails aren’t standalone and are in a series, and you can craft emails specifically for those who haven’t engaged yet. This isn’t a standard email metric, so you may need some extra work to find these numbers, maybe through automation and tagging, or ask your email marketing agency to create a report for you. However, the beauty is that you can get insight into how many extra people an additional email in a series may have reached.”

Jordie van Rijn,
Founder emailmonday 

Click-to-open rate

Like CTR, Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR) tracks how many people click a link. But CTOR only counts the clicks against those who have opened your email. Not against the total number of emails you’ve sent.

Your CTOR is a good way to measure your email campaign’s effectiveness. 

For instance, your CTR is low, but your CTOR is high. It could mean that your email is performing well for people who opened it. If this is the case, you just need to improve your subject line to get more people to engage. 

On the other hand, a low CTOR means your emails may not be relevant, as people do nothing after reading your email.

How do you calculate it?

For example: Out of 100,000, 50,000 recipients clicked to open the message. Then from those who opened the email, 1,000 clicked a link, so your CTOR is (1000/50,000)*100 = 2%.

A good CTOR ranges from 10 to 15%.

Unsubscribe rate

 Unsubscribe rate indicates the number of people who chose to opt out of your list. 

Don’t take this personally, though. Note that people may just no longer relate to what you’re sending. Maybe they’re no longer experiencing the same pains as before. They’ve found a solution, or they’re changing strategy. Or they’re having personal problems.

Although marketers are concerned about maintaining a growing list, having unsubscribes is sometimes better than having inactive recipients who just add to your list but don’t engage at all. Think of it as people who are disqualifying themselves. On the bright side, they’re helping you clean your list.

How do you calculate it?

You can calculate it by dividing the unsubscribed numbers and the total number of emails delivered, then multiplying the quotient by 100. 

The average industry benchmark for unsubscribe rate is 0.20%

How to reduce your unsubscribe rate:

  • Use double opt-ins
  • Remind readers how they got on your list
  • Revisit your top of the funnel marketing

Use double opt-ins before subscribing

To ensure that you only got an audience that wants your content, use double opt-ins when they subscribe. Have your users confirm their subscription before adding them to your list. That way, you can filter contacts that should receive your content. 

Remind readers how they got on your list

A practical way to stop users from unsubscribing, say to your newsletters, is reminding them of how they got on your list in the first place. Some receive emails forgetting the first reason they joined a group. 

Revisit your top-of-the-funnel marketing

Measuring your unsubscribe rate will let you know how well your marketing is attracting your ideal clients. If it’s anything above 2-3%, it just means that you’re attracting leads who aren’t perfect for your product or service. You might want to revisit your top-of-funnel marketing.

Bounce rate

An email bounce rate is about unsuccessful deliveries of your message. It tells you the percentage of emails that didn’t make it through your receiver’s inbox. So, obviously didn’t make any conversions. We have 2 types of bounces, hard and soft.

Hard bounce refers to permanent unsuccessful delivery. Maybe it’s an expired domain, an invalid address, or an address that has no use anymore. It is a good practice just to remove them from your contact list. Encharge, for instance, will automatically unsubscribe bounced contacts.

Meanwhile, a soft bounce occurs when you can’t reach a receiver’s inbox temporarily. ESPs will retry delivering your emails before eventually not delivering them. They are usually caused by your receiver’s inbox being too full or the ISP email size restrictions. 

Your high bounce rate means your ISP will label you as a poor sender. Result? More emails are going into the junk folder.

How do you calculate it?

To calculate your bounce rate, divide the number of bounced emails by the number of emails sent, multiplied by 100. 

Example: If you sent 750 emails, but only 742 were successfully delivered. It means 8 of them bounced. So, (8/750)*100=0.0107, you have a 1.07% bounce rate.

The average bounce rate in 2021 is 4.31%

Earnings per Email

More widely known as Revenue Per Email or RPE, this metric measures the revenue you receive for every email you send out successfully. This data gives you an idea of how much earnings a successful email delivers.

It is much like the ROI but is more localized―email only. Calculating ROI means considering factors like costs. Simply, it is what you earn for each campaign. 

How do you calculate it?

You get RPE by dividing Email Revenue and Delivered. Example: If 20 successful messages generate $200, then your RPE for that segment is 200/20= $10.

“Email marketers will soon wake up to a new world. A world void of email opens. Email privacy protection will be the “proverbial nail in the coffin” for email marketing. Privacy-conscious companies will soon make it impossible for email marketers to track the effectiveness of their email campaigns.

Apple iPhone (iOS Mail), Apple Mail (macOS Mail), and Apple iPad (iPadOS Mail) have over 46% of combined email opens in 2020. iOS 15 sets the beginning of the end of email opens.

Today companies need to focus on revenue metrics, not vanity metrics. Clicks and revenue per email will become the staple for email marketing.”

Kalo Yankulov,
Founder at Encharge

Email deliverability

What’s the first goal in email marketing? That’s right! Reaching your customer’s inbox. After all, inbox reach is the key to email profits. It is unlikely that recipients will be able to engage with your emails or brand if they don’t even see your email in their inbox.

Email deliverability measures the number of delivered emails versus the number of sent emails. It is one of the top metrics for measuring the success of your campaign because it confirms that you’re reaching your audience.

How do you calculate it?

To find out the deliverability rate of your emails, take the number of emails delivered and then divide it by the number of emails sent. You can use a tool like Glock Apps to track and test your email deliverability. 

What you can do is optimize the actors affecting it. 

Here’s how to improve your email deliverability:

Spam Rate or Abuse Rate

This tells you the percentage of users who have not seen your emails’ value. Instead, they manually reported you as SPAM or moved your message to the junk folders. 

While it is natural that your messages won’t sit with everyone, it is crucial to know which message or campaign yields the most complaints. For instance, you notice that your SPAM rate is high in one of your emails. You can use that as your basis to modify your content angle.

How do you calculate it?

You can get your complaint rate using this formula: Total Number of Complaints/Number of Emails Delivered. For example, if you sent out 1,200 emails, 5 flagged you as SPAM. Your abuse rate is 0.42%.

There isn’t a widely accepted benchmark for spam rate, but generally, you want to keep this number as low as possible. The companies that follow the best email sending practices will rarely get more than a 0,02% spam rate (or 2 spam reports for every 10,000 emails sent). Of course, this number will depend on your industry, the location of your audience, and so on.

Further reading: What are Spam Reports and How to Reduce the Spam Report Rate

Disengagement Rate

Disengagement rate is the percentage of receivers not interested in your email — it’s the sum of unsubscribes and spam complaints. 

How do you calculate it?

The disengagement rate is calculated by summing unsubscribes and spam complaints and dividing the result by unique opens.

List growth

Indeed, you like this metric big and growing. After all, this metric shows the rate at which your mailing list grows over time. It’s a view comparison of the number of new subscribers on your email list this month compared to last.

The best way to measure the performance of your lead generation strategy is by analyzing metrics like email list growth. With more subscribers on your list, you get more opportunities to market your products/services and make sales.

How do you calculate it?

To calculate the rate at which your list is growing, subtract the number of new sign-ups and unsubscribes, then divide the result by the total number on your list. Finally, multiply it by 100.

Here’s how you can increase your email list growth rate:

  • Include signup forms on your website
  • Use attractive lead magnets

Include signup forms on your website

Make it easy for website visitors to sign up with you if you want your list to grow. Add your forms to your homepage. You can even use pop-ups when anonymous visitors indicate leaving.

Use attractive lead magnets

Lead magnets are a great way to turn anonymous visitors into subscribers. It’s like a give-and-take process. When you offer a valuable piece to visitors, they willingly give their email address in exchange. 

List churn

Email marketing list churn is the metric that most marketers hate to deal with (but must). It shows how many people leave your list in a certain time frame. It may also be on a campaign-by-campaign basis.

Ideally, list churn should remain low, but there are always going to be some subscribers who decide they no longer want to receive your emails. The best way to keep churn under control is by keeping your email content fresh and interesting, and by periodically pruning your subscriber list to remove inactive addresses.

How do you calculate it?

It can be expressed as a percentage of the number of subscribers who left divided by the total number of subscribers at the beginning of a given period. 

How do you analyze these email metrics?

There you have it, the important email marketing metrics that determine the success of your campaign. Though some are not glamorous to look at, use this data to help you shape your email marketing strategy.

Consider them as the lifeblood of your company’s digital strategy. It’s how you stay on top of your game and always be one step ahead of your competitors. But with so much data out there, it can be hard to know where to start.

So, we provide you with some tips below.

4 Best practices for tracking email metrics

1. Choose your goal

What is it that you want to achieve with your email marketing? If you don’t know what your goal is, how can you measure if the campaign was a success or failure?

You need to set clear goals and objectives before starting any email marketing campaign. This will help you figure out how much time and money should be spent on each step of the way. 

It will also allow you to evaluate whether or not the results are in line with those expectations. The clearer your goals, the easier it’ll be for everyone involved in this process – from creating content to measuring performance metrics – to do their job effectively.

2. Establish a standard timeframe

One of the first steps to improving email marketing is setting a timeline for measuring your results. Using the same time period for all your metrics will help you get a more accurate picture of how well your email campaigns are doing. Setting a timeframe, like 1 month, helps make better decisions about your future efforts. 

3. Leverage the built-in analytics of your email marketing platform

Email marketing is the most effective channel for generating leads, but it’s also hard to measure your performance. The problem with some tools is that you can’t track everything. 

Marketing automation platforms like Encharge provide detailed analytics of each email metric, including open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, etc.

4. Compare numbers with those from previous months or years to see if you’re improving over time 

If you’re like most people, you want to improve your email marketing game and get more opens, clicks, and conversions. The problem is that it’s hard to know if your efforts are working or not. Practice comparing the numbers from one month with those from previous months or years so that you can see which channels are performing better than others for you. It also lets you compare different time periods (e.g., day vs. week vs. month) to see if specific campaigns performed better when sent at a particular time of day rather than another.

Optimizing results from email marketing metrics

You need to know what the different metrics mean if you want to measure email marketing success. By understanding how they work, you can make smarter choices about where your marketing efforts should head.

To help guide you through this process, we’ve created this handy little cheat sheet with definitions of some of the most common email marketing metrics so that reading up on these concepts is easier than ever. 

Your success as an email marketer depends on having access to all the data and information necessary to understand your customer base. 

Give yourself an edge by using Encharge. Try it free!

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