6 Essential Email Marketing Metrics and How to Optimize for Them

6 Essential Email Marketing Metrics and How to Optimize for Them

Email marketing is an effective way to engage with customers on a long-term basis. Studies indicate this channel is even popular with younger customers.

That said, not all campaigns are equally effective. You need to constantly monitor your performance to determine how to best improve yours. That means familiarizing yourself with certain key email marketing metrics, or KPIs.

Determining what email metrics are important to track and measure may vary depending on your goals. For example, if you are trying to boost sales of particular item with your campaign, you want to focus on email KPIs that focus on how often an opened email translates into a sale.

That said, the following are the most important general key performances indicators (KPIs) you should be tracking. The points below will also help you better understand how to optimize for these email performance metrics in future campaigns.

Track Open Rate as an Email Engagement Metric

Your open rate is simply the number of emails that recipients actually opened from a given campaign divided by the number of emails that were delivered. Multiply the result by 100 to get your open rate.

Study how your rate compares to the average in your industry to determine if you need to focus on improving this email marketing metric.

You can improve a weak open rate by simply adding a recipient’s name to the subject line of your emails. You can also segment your list into separate groups to ensure your followers receive relevant content. Both tactics have been shown to improve open rates.

Always Look to Reduce Email Bounce Rate as You Set Your KPIs

Your emails aren’t going to deliver much value to your business if they aren’t getting delivered. That’s why your bounce rate is one of the most important email metrics to track.  

Your bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of bounced emails (emails that were not delivered) by the number of emails sent, then multiplying the result by 100.

Email addresses “go bad” all the time. For instance, maybe someone signed up for your list with a work email that no longer exists because they left the company.

It’s important to reduce your bounce rate as much as possible. A high bounce rate not only affects your campaign performance, but also can harm your sender reputation. Luckily, there are tools you can use to scrub your email list of invalid addresses before sending a message to both improve campaign results and avoid getting flagged as a spammer.

Email Click-Through Rate is a Metric That Proves Performance

Every email you send needs a call to action that links to another site. For example, if you want to boost sales with a campaign, your CTA should bring readers to your online store.

Your click-through rate is the number of clicks a link received divided by emails sent and multiplied by 100. Only by clicking can readers convert into paying customers, so CTR is one of the most crucial email metrics to track and optimize.

By tracking this email engagement metric, you can use boost your click-through rate by optimizing your CTA. You want it to stand out from the rest of the content. Thus, you might consider using a larger font and dynamic colors for the CTA.

Or, you could get more creative by designing a unique graphic to entice readers. Perhaps you can include a linked, animated button that suggests the action of unwrapping a present. These are simple but effective ways to generate more clicks.

Return on Investment as an Email KPI to Determine Campaign Value

Return on investment (ROI) is easily one of the most important KPIs to measure. This email performance metric tells you if your campaign is delivering genuine value. To calculate ROI, subtract the amount of money spent on a campaign from the value of all sales associated with said campaign. Divide this result by the cost of the campaign, then multiply by 100.

A strong campaign yields about $38 for every $1 spent. Improving a weak ROI typically involves identifying other weak email KPIs. For example, your ROI may be low because not enough followers are opening your emails. Boost your open rate, and your ROI should improve.

Or, it might be that people are opening your emails, but not clicking on the CTA. Designing a stronger CTA should be your priority in this instance.

Another Way to Track Email Engagement is to Focus on Share Rate Metrics

Many email marketing metrics tell you how effective your content is at engaging current followers. However, it’s important to remember that once you determine what email metrics are important to track and measure, you can also reach new leads. Design strong content, and your followers may share it with others via forwarding or social media posts.

Your share rate is the number of times readers clicked on a share or forward button divided by the number of emails sent. Multiply the result by 100.

Boosting your share rate is often as simple as making certain sharing and forwarding buttons are displayed prominently in the email. However, you could also implement a referral program in which followers are rewarded for sharing your content with others. Studies show that 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know. Thus, a referral program can be a smart way to leverage your current customers as you work to attract new leads.

Your Email Marketing Unsubscribe Rate is a Metric for Revealing Weaknesses

You certainly don’t want your campaign to drive customers away. To ensure it isn’t, divide the number of unsubscribes during a given campaign by the number of emails sent, and multiply by 100.

If you feel your unsubscribe rate is too high, survey your followers to find out what you’re doing wrong. There are many reasons people unsubscribe from email lists. Sometimes they feel the content they receive isn’t valuable. Sometimes they feel you’re sending emails too often. Or, they may not have meant to sign up in the first place. Surveying them along with the other email metrics to track helps you better understand how to improve your campaigns.

When asking what email metrics are important to track and measure, it’s worth remembering that the specific goals you have for your campaign should dictate what you focus on. These are just a few of the most important email KPIs every marketer should pay attention to. Luckily, by keeping these points in mind, you’ll find it’s easy to improve them and determine what’s right for your own email campaign.

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