Email Metrics (What Should You Be Tracking?)

320% more revenue is generated thru automated emails than non-automated emails. 

Why such a difference?

Because automation software allows you to track the important metrics and improve your email marketing efforts. 

Why Tracking Metrics Is Important

Never forget, the goal of any and all marketing campaigns is to generate revenue. And the advantage of paying attention to the most important email metrics (or KPIs) is that you will know where the weak links are in your email marketing strategy. 

There are a handful of general guidelines that help you engage with your readers, but after you are doing those the best way to improve upon your metrics is to test things one at a time. 

I worked with an eCom store that sold high-end shoes. When I first started working with this client, I realized that most metrics, such as her open rate, were super low. I did some digging and realized that she had 50K+ email subscribers, but had never cleaned her list from 10 years of business. 

I suppressed any email address that had not opened an email in 90 days. This was a large portion of her list. 

After this, her company's email service provider bill dropped significantly, her sender reputation increased and we would see open rates as high as 66.2% on her campaigns.

Not to mention, sales increased.


Without an understanding of important email metrics, money would have continued to be wasted. 

Best Email Metrics To Monitor

Now, you can track just about anything in today's age of big data. But I narrowed it down to a list of the 13 most important email metrics to track. 

Open Rate

Definition: Your open rate is the ratio of people who received your email to the amount who opened it. (opened emails / delivered emails) 

A good way to increase your open rate is to create more engaging subject lines. 

The best subject lines all have this in common: 

One of my favorite things to do is to test a subject line before I use it. This allows me to identify mistakes before the world sees them. 

And to be honest with you, open rates are pretty hard to track accurately, so don’t spend too much time optimizing this metric. 

Since the IOS 15 update, Apple blocks the tracking of email open rates. Not only that, but many people have the image blocking setting turned on in their email client. The pixel that tracks the open rate is very similar to an image so it reports unopened regardless if they open it or not. 

Clickthrough Rate

Definition: The ratio of people who clicked on 1 or more links in your email. (clicks / emails delivered) 

This is a great way to determine the performance of your emails. It tells you the engagement that your audience has for your emails. 

Conversion Rate

Definition: The ratio of how many people bought something to the amount of emails delivered. (people completing a desired action / emails delivered)

Without a doubt one of the most important email metrics. 

This is an important step in your buyer's journey. It determines how successful you are at taking someone who is aware of your offer to actually buying it. 

Most email service providers have an integrated way to track this. If your email service provider does not, then you’ll want to set up a unique URL with a tracking pixel so you can measure it on your own. 

Bounce Rate 

Definition: The ratio of emails that were sent and could not reach the recipient's email inbox. (emails sent / emails delivered)

They can either be a soft bounce or a hard bounce.

A hard bounce is when you send an email to an email address that has been deleted or was fake. Make sure to delete these emails from your list ASAP because emailing these addresses will hurt your sender's reputation. 

A soft bounce is when a legitimate email address is having a temporary problem. 

Unsubscribe Rate

Definition: How many people unsubscribe from your list after a particular email. (unsubscribers / emails sent)

By the CAN spam law, every company has to have an unsubscribe button on every automated email sent. 

This metric is not the best way to determine the health of your email list. Plenty of people will just stop opening and engaging with your emails. 

Sender Reputation

Definition: A rating for your spam complaints and delivery errors. 

This is a commonly overlooked metric to track. The best way I've found to track this is with Google postmasters

This will give you a rating on your delivery errors, spam complaints, and more to know your performance. 

Ultimately this will give you a great feedback loop to better your email address's reputation.

Spam Rate

Definition: The ratio of people who report your email as spam. (times reported as spam / emails sent for that campaign/flow)

This happens for 1 of 2 main reasons.

Either you are sending emails to someone who has unsubscribed from your list.

Or your emails appear to look like spam. 

Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate

Definition: The ratio of people who shared your email on social media, or forwarded it to a friend. (people who shared / emails sent)

This will help you understand how interested your audience is in your email. Obviously, we want an audience base who is dying to read your content, and knowing if people are sharing it with their friends helps you understand how much they like it. 

Not to mention, shared and forwarded emails will help you to grow your list!

List Growth Rate

Definition: the amount of new email subscribers minus the previous subscribers that have left. (new subscribers - unsubscribers) 

Growing your list is important. We all know that having a bigger audience can help you out. 

It is very normal to have some decay with your email list. Plenty of people change their work email addresses or become uninterested in your content. 

Engagement over time

Definition: How frequently a person opens or takes action to your emails. 

Unfortunately, it is statistically impossible to have everyone on your email list be engaged for all of eternity. 

In fact, I recommend making a 90-day unengaged segment and suppressing them from your main email list. This will take any person who has not opened an email from you in the last 90-days and remove them from your main list. It will keep their contact information in case they choose to resubscribe to you at a later date. 

Most email service providers will not charge you a fee based on the amount of suppressed emails you have in your account. 

Revenue per email campaign

Definition: The amount of revenue generated from a single campaign. 

This allows you to compare one email campaign to another, and determine which ones are increasing your email marketing efforts or which ones are bringing your average down. 

(You can also do this with your flows)

Revenue per subscriber 

Definition: The ratio of sales generated per subscriber on your list. (subscribers / total sales from email marketing)

This tells you how valuable each of your subscribers is to you. This is super important because odds are you are spending money to grow your list. 

Knowing the revenue per subscriber will tell you how much you can justify spending to get an email address on your list. 

Overall ROI

Definition: All additional revenue generated by email marketing, divided by every email expense. (revenue from email marketing / every email expense) 

This is a crucial metric for anyone. It is damn near impossible to justify spending money on a marketing channel that does not at least break even. 

This way you can compare your email marketing efforts to other marketing channels to see which is more effective.

Which Metrics Are Most Important For Your Goals?

Every company is striving to accomplish something else and will take different actions. 

Not only that, but within your own company your goals will change and so will the metrics that mean the most to you. 

Generally speaking, the most important metric to keep in mind is the overall ROI. This will tell you how effectively your money is being reinvested into your company. Compare it to your other marketing channels to see which is the most effective use of marketing spend to revenue generated. 

Another important metric is engagement over time. This will tell you how interested your audience is in your content. This is a great measure of the quality of your content. 

List growth is best for companies with the main goal of filling the top of the funnel.

Most email markers consider this the holy grail of email KPIs: conversion rate. And they are right. What’s the point of spending money on email marketing if you can't generate revenue? The conversion rate will tell you how desirable your offer is, how desirable your content is and how much your audience cares about you. 

All in all, the most important metrics for your company depend on your goals. 

What’s Next? 

Now it’s your turn! Go out there and improve your revenue by utilizing these email metrics.

What metric will you use to improve first?

And if you have any questions go ahead and email me!