email metrics

Email Metrics: The Essential List of Email Analytics You Should Track

Keeping an eye on your email metrics is the only way you can improve them. But how do you know which ones really matter? In this blog, Marjorie Hajim of RingCentral talks about the essential email analytics you should track. Also, she brings you her best tips to boost these numbers and see better results from your emails.

Why study your email metrics consistently

Thanks to the sweet blessings of technology, we all probably have an email marketing tool that monitors, measures and calculates our email metrics. 

We don’t have to manually check them every day and, thankfully, we don’t have to whip out our old math textbooks.

However, our tools tend to bombard us with so many marketing metrics that we forget which ones are the most important. Not only that, but these numbers don’t make it clear exactly how we can use them to analyze and improve our email campaigns. 

A thorough understanding of essential email analytics will help you to become one of the 73% of professional marketers who can say that email has been invaluable to their success.

These marketers pay constant attention to their email engagement to ensure that their:

  • bounce rate is under control
  • open rate is looking good
  • click-through rate contributes to their ROI goals.

So, let’s identify the most vital email metrics for your campaign performance tracking — and throw in some ways that you can improve them, too!

how to track email metrics

What is my email open rate?

Many marketers consider the open rate to be the most important metric. After all, it doesn’t matter how stellar your campaign is if nobody is interested enough to open your email.

However, avoid fixating too much on the big numbers – email marketing’s open rate averages at around only 22%. If you’re already there, you should probably focus on your other metrics.

Furthermore, with Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection updates coming this fall, our open rates – which have been notoriously inaccurate for a long time – will be less and less reliable.

How can I increase my open rate?

Despite all the changes in email privacy, we should all strive to give our customers the best experience with our emails. That starts with the subject line.

No less than 47% of people decide whether to open an email based purely on the handful of words you put in that line, so it’s vital to get them right. 

There are plenty of techniques you can use to maximize your open rates. Personalization, emojis, catchy phrases, puns – basically, anything that stands out among the sea of unread emails.

What is my email click-through rate?

Your click-through rate (CTR) is the number of people who click on the link inside of your email. The average CTR is around 7% – but that small percentage of people are some of your highest quality leads.

How can I increase my CTR?

Something that might negatively affect your CTR is your customer’s level of trust. Due to how susceptible email marketing is to phishing, spoofing, and other cybercrimes, it’s important that people trust your email enough to click your link. 

You can increase your click-through rate by adopting good security practices like email encryption and content security

If you don’t think security is an issue, there are other simple strategies that successfully increase click-through rates.

Concise copy, well-placed CTAs, and an attractive layout all encourage people to click on your link. Of course, the quality of your copy and the customer’s level of interest is the ultimate definer. 

email metrics analytics

What is my email conversion rate?

Your conversion rate refers to how many people not only open your email and click on your link, but how many of them actually go on to do the task you wanted them to do.

It’s the email metric that we keep the closest eye on because, well, it’s the end goal, isn’t it? It’s the metric that most determines how successful our campaign was and if we reached our ROI goals. 

How can I increase my conversion rate?

When it comes to conversions, success often depends on the specific campaign. Asking for free downloads will probably have a higher conversion rate than if you’re asking for purchases. 

Consider using stronger CTAs, implementing a sense of urgency and linking to an engaging landing page to boost your conversions. 

What is my email bounce rate?

Your bounce rate is the number of emails that go undelivered. It’s one of the most significant email metrics to track.

There are generally two types of bounces you should keep track of:

Soft bounces: usually a temporary problem on the recipient’s end, such as a full inbox or server issues.

Hard bounces: a permanent problem with an email address, such as a fake or mistyped email.

Related: Raluca Popa of ZeroBounce, on reducing email bounce rates

A high bounce rate is often a sign that you have a poor-quality email list. This can be detrimental to your deliverability and sender reputation, as well as skew your other email metrics. 

How can I lower my bounce rate?

If your bounce rate is above 2%, it’s definitely time to do a spot of hygiene control. A good email list cleaning software will not only remove invalid email addresses but identify spam traps and abuse emails, keeping your list healthy and your bounce rate low. 

Want to see how ZeroBounce works? Give it a try!

What is my email spam complaint rate?

Your email spam complaint rate reflects the number of people who labeled your email as spam out of the total number of messages you sent. The accepted spam rate is 0.1%, which means one for every 1,000 emails. More than that is a risk to your sender reputation.

How do I reduce my email spam rate?

Virtually every list will have a few abuse emails – meaning accounts belonging to people who habitually hit the “Mark as spam” button. The first step in reducing your spam complaint rate is to identify these emails.

ZeroBounce’s email validator doesn’t only remove invalid contacts from your list but also, detects known complainers. Once the system isolates them, consider deleting them from your list as a precaution.

Apart from that, avoid buying an email list and adding people to your database without permission. Also, double-check your content to ensure nothing comes across as spam, because some of your subscribers won’t hesitate to complain.

What is my overall email ROI?

Your overall return on investment (ROI) determines whether your email campaign generated enough revenue to be worthwhile. If you don’t have a specific tool for this, then no fear — it’s a pretty simple calculation:

ROI = net return on investment/cost of the investment x 100

How can I increase my overall ROI?

Email marketing produces the highest ROI out of any digital marketing strategy — a very satisfying $42 for every $1 spent. If you’re not quite there yet, consider setting up a lead scoring system to identify and nurture your highest quality leads.

It’s probably a good idea to take a closer look at your other email metrics too, as they’ll give you some insight into your weaker areas. 

email list metrics being discussed by two people sitting a table.

What is my email list growth rate?

Your email list growth rate is one of those email metrics that you want to keep track of over a period of time.

The rate at which your list grows will depend on your marketing campaigns in other areas. A steady incline — even if it’s small and slow — shows that your campaigns are generating potential leads. 

How can I improve my list growth rate? 

Consider implementing some tried-and-tested list building tactics into your marketing strategy, such as offering incentives for new subscriptions and creating high-quality content with convincing CTAs. 

What is my email engagement over time?

A growing email list is a glorious thing — but are your engagement rates growing along with it?

Every list consists of active, passive, dormant, and completely unengaged audiences. If your list is growing but your engagement levels are dropping, it’s probably time to switch things up.

How can I improve my engagement levels?

Of course, you should probably start by removing the subscribers who signed up for your freebie years ago and haven’t engaged since. I know, I know, it’s totally heartbreaking — but it’s absolutely necessary for a healthy list.

Then, try to re-engage dormant and passive subscribers using a variety of customer engagement strategies. Creating an automated re-engagement email campaign is a popular way to make this happen. 

Related: 19 marketing pros share their email engagement tips

Try sending inactive subscribers an email saying something like “we miss you” and offer them a sweet discount to reignite their interest in your business. List segmentation tools are also a good shout because they allow you to personalize emails for different customer attributes. 

What is my email unsubscribe rate?

Everyone has sent what they thought was a brilliantly crafted email, only for it to result in a flood of unsubscribes. I’m definitely no stranger to that sinking feeling, but it’s not always as bad as it feels!

Unsubscribes are not only completely normal, but they can also be a positive thing for your email list. Remember, a healthy email list isn’t a substantial one, it’s a converting one. So the removal of people who aren’t genuinely interested in your business is something you should be doing anyway.

How can I lower my email unsubscribe rate?

If you notice a particular email or certain campaign garners a lot of unsubscriptions, it’s time to reconsider your email marketing strategy.

Maybe you’re sending too many (or not enough) emails? Maybe your content isn’t engaging enough? Or, maybe you’re overusing some of these common email pet peeves?

What is the time spent viewing my email?

How long subscribers spend reading your email is a very important — but often-overlooked — email metric that you should be keeping track of. 

You could have the punniest, most intriguing subject line ever, but if the content of your email isn’t engaging, people will click off after reading the first line. Keeping track of how long people spend reading your email can help you to optimize your content, particularly if you’ve segmented your list.

Unfortunately, providers like Mailchimp don’t provide this metric, but there are plenty of mailchimp alternatives that you can use. 

How can I improve my reading time?

Crafting an engaging email with concise, high-quality content and well-placed CTAs is the best way to get people to read through your email. However, you might be forgetting one of the most important marketing features of all – images.

Images help to break up long-form content and retain the reader’s attention. Including pictures of your products in your email is an effective strategy because it entices people to want to learn more about them.

So, throw in some aesthetically pleasing images and also, break your copy up with bolded subheadings. Nobody is excited about going through a large block of text, but serving it in smaller doses makes it more pleasant to read.

marketing engagement

Focus on the right email metrics at the right time

Despite not being as immediate or personal as SMS, video calls, or even talking on the telephone, email continues to dominate digital marketing communications and will for the foreseeable future. Getting to grips with the most essential email metrics is vital for performance monitoring and measuring.

Some email metrics are more important than others depending on your specific goals at different times. For example, if you are running a targeted email campaign to re-engage dormant subscribers, you would focus more on engagement metrics than growth. 

However, all of these email analytics hold some significance to the overall success of your email campaigns.

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Author: Marjorie Hajim is the SEO Manager for EMEA at RingCentral, a leading automatic call distributor system that provides VoIP and video conferencing services. She develops and executes strategies for short-term and long-term SEO growth. In her spare time, she loves reading books at coffee shops and playing with her dogs.