Email Marketing KPIs You Must Track For Better Results

Posted by Chris Donald On January 16, 2023 in story time I 0 Comments

Creating and launching an effective email marketing campaign from scratch is no walk in the park. It requires careful planning, consideration for the audience, and the ability to track progress. And when done right, it can lead to unprecedented results, such as ROIs as high as 4400%, while catering to a staggering market size of 4 billion daily email users!

Measuring email marketing performance is critical to launch and scale campaigns. And the most reliable way of doing so is by using key performance indicators (KPIs). This blog looks at some email marketing KPIs you should track for better results.

What Are KPIs In Email Marketing?

KPIs, or key performance indicators, measure how well an email campaign performs. They are numerical metrics used to identify and assess the effectiveness of an email marketing campaign. For example, they may measure the open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate and more.

By tracking email KPIs, marketers can understand the success of their email marketing campaigns and adjust accordingly. In addition, it allows them to identify areas for improvement and focus on optimizing the campaigns to achieve better results.

With that being said, email marketing KPIs are rarely used in isolation. For successful tracking, a combination of KPIs must be used to get well-rounded insights about the intended audience – what resonates, what doesn’t, and how to best optimize the campaigns for success.

18 Top Email Marketing KPIs to Track

Let’s look at some of the most essential email marketing KPIs that marketers should track to measure their campaigns’ success:

1. Clickthrough Rate

CTR measures how many people are engaging with your emails. Generally, a higher CTR indicates that your content resonates with your audience and the campaign is successful. A lower CTR, on the other hand, implies that you need to change up your content or targeting for better engagement.

CTR is calculated as follows:

CTR = (Total Clicks / Total Emails delivered – Total emails bounced) X 100

For example, if you sent out 1,000 emails, out of which 800 got delivered and generated 100 clicks, the CTR would be 12.5% (100/800 X 100).

2. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures the number of people who completed the desired action after engaging with an email campaign. For example, if a user clicks on an email and signs up for your newsletter, this would be counted as a conversion.

Similarly, conversions could be defined as:

  • Completed purchases
  • Signups for a webinar
  • Subscriptions to a newsletter or blog
  • Downloads of an e-book
  • Submissions of a form

Conversion Rate is calculated as:

Conversion Rate = (Total conversions of desired actions / Total email recipients) X 100

For example, if you had 1,000 recipients and 80 completed the desired action, the conversion rate would be 8% (80/1000 X 100).

Learn how to skyrocket conversions through email marketing

3. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that were either undeliverable or bounced back. A high bounce rate is a sign that your email list is not maintained properly and needs to be updated. Usually, email lists that are regularly updated have a low bounce rate, which means your emails are getting delivered to the intended audience.

Primary reasons for high bounce rates can include:

  • Invalid email addresses
  • Full mailbox
  • Blocked emails due to an IP issue

Bounce Rate is calculated as:

Bounce Rate = (Total emails bounced / Total emails sent) X 100

For example, if out of 1,000 emails sent, 50 bounced back, the bounce rate would be 5% (50/1000 X 100).

4. List Growth Rate

The list growth rate measures the success of your email list-building efforts. It indicates how many new subscribers you’re gaining over a period of time. A higher list growth rate implies that your email marketing campaigns are working and you’re attracting more audiences.

List Growth Rate is calculated as:

List Growth Rate = (New subscribers – Unsubscribers / Total existing subscribers) X 100

For example, if you had 500 subscribers at the beginning of the month and gained 50 new ones while losing 10 unsubscribers, your list growth rate would be 8% (50-10/500 X 100).

5. Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate

The email sharing/forwarding rate is an important email marketing metric to track because it can help you understand how your content resonates with your subscribers. This metric measures how many people share your content with their networks, which can help you spread the word about your business.

Factors that can contribute to the share rate can include:

  • Unique content
  • Engaging visuals
  • Relevant call-to-action (CTA) buttons

Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate is calculated as:
Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate = (Total emails shared or forwarded / Total emails opened) X 100

For example, if out of 1,000 emails that were opened, 200 were shared or forwarded, the email sharing/forwarding rate would be 20% (200/1000 X 100).

6. Overall ROI

This email KPI indicates the return on investment of your email marketing campaigns. A positive ROI means that the money you’ve invested in the campaign has been rewarded in revenue. It can be tied with a lead scoring system to measure how effective your campaigns are at generating qualified leads and the revenue they ultimately generate.

Overall ROI is calculated as:

Overall ROI = (Total revenue generated from emails – Total cost of the campaign) / Total cost of campaign X 100

For example, if you spent $100 on a campaign and generated $150 in revenue, your overall ROI would be 50% (($150 – $100) / $100 X 100)

7. Open Rate

More email opens ultimately lead to higher CTRs and conversions. Open rate tracks how well your emails are performing in terms of getting read by your audience. Factors that can help to increase your email open rate include:

  • Catchy subject lines
  • Time and date emails are sent
  • Personalization

Open Rate is calculated as:

Open Rate = (Total emails opened / Total emails delivered – Total emails bounced) x 100

For example, if 1,000 emails were delivered and 800 opened while 50 bounced back, the open rate would be 84.2% (800/950).

Check these 7 tips for killer subject lines to boost open rates.

  1. Delivery Rate

Indicates the number of emails that have been sent and received by the recipient’s mailbox. It helps to measure how successful your email campaigns are in reaching your target audience. Factors like spam filters and incorrect settings can affect the delivery rate, so ensuring that your emails are properly configured is vital.

Delivery Rate is calculated as:

Delivery Rate = (Total emails delivered / Total emails sent) x 100

For example, if you send 500 emails, and 400 are delivered to the recipient’s mailbox, your delivery rate is 80% (400/500 X 100).

9. Unsubscribe Rate

This email metric measures the number of users who have chosen to unsubscribe from your email list. Understanding this email KPI can help you identify why they are not interested in your content and make changes to improve the quality of your emails.

Unsubscribe Rate is calculated as:

Unsubscribe Rate = (Total subscribers who have unsubscribed / Total existing subscribers) x 100

For example, if you had 500 subscribers at the beginning of the campaign and 10 unsubscribed after the emails were sent, your unsubscribe rate would be 2% (10/500 X 100).

10. Spam Complaints Rate

This email marketing metric measures the number of users who have reported your emails as spam. Typical reasons for users to report emails as spam could include:

  • Irrelevant content
  • Too many emails sent in a short period
  • Unprofessional emails
  • Emails sent to non-subscribers
  • Usage of spam trigger words in subjects

Spam Complaints Rate is calculated as:

Spam Complaints Rate = (Total complaints received / Total emails delivered) x 100

For example, if 400 emails were delivered and 8 complaints were received, the spam complaints rate would be 2% (8/400 X 100).

11. Time and Day Of Email Opens

This KPI can provide valuable insights into the best days and times to send emails. Knowing when your audience is most likely to open emails helps you maximize your reach and optimize the timing of your campaigns, boosting other key metrics in the process.

To pinpoint the suitable date and time for sending emails, look at the past emails sent and identify the days and times when critical KPIs, such as email open rates, CTRs, etc., were the highest. You can also use A/B testing to test different times and dates and determine the most effective ones. Factors that usually affect when your emails are opened include:

  • Time zone of your target audience
  • The type of content you’re sending out
  • The subject line of the emails
  • Type of devices used by your audience

12. Revenue per Subscriber

This email metric measures the amount of revenue generated from each subscriber for a given period of time. It helps to identify your top customers and measure the engagement and loyalty of your subscribers.

Revenue per Subscriber is calculated as:

Revenue per Subscriber = (Total revenue generated by the campaign / Total subscribers)

For example, if your email campaigns generate $50,000 in sales with 10,000 active subscribers, your revenue per subscriber would be $5 ($50,000/10,000).

13. Rate of List Growth

This KPI measures the rate at which your email list is growing. It helps track organic growth and campaigns that drive new subscribers to your list. The popularity of your email’s content, the effectiveness of your outreach efforts, and the quality of your call-to-action all play a role in list growth.

Rate of List Growth is calculated as:

Rate of List Growth = (Total new subscribers – Number of unsubscribers / Total email addresses on your list) x 100

For example, if your initial list had 1,000 subscribers and after a campaign, you end up with 1,050, then the rate of list growth would be 5% (50/1000 X 100).

14. LTV of Subscribers

This email marketing metric measures the lifetime value of each subscriber. It helps you to understand how valuable your subscribers are over time and if they’re worth investing in. LTV indicates the total revenue subscribers will likely generate over the course of their association with your business. Factors that affect the LTV of a subscriber include:

  • The number of purchases they make
  • The average order value
  • The frequency of their purchases

LTV of Subscribers is calculated as:

LTV of Subscribers = Average revenue per subscriber per month x Number of months a subscriber is active

For example, if the average revenue per subscriber per month is $20 and a subscriber is active for 12 months, then the LTV of that subscriber would be $240 ($20 x 12).

This email metric helps you identify the most valuable subscribers and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly to increase their loyalty and engagement and build relationships with your highest-value customers.

15. Email client usage

This email marketing kpis helps identify the email clients and devices your audience is most likely to use. Knowing which email client subscribers are using can help you optimize email campaigns for different platforms, leading to higher open rates, better engagement and increased conversions.

To measure this metric, look at past campaigns and check which email clients were used to open and click on emails. This metric helps ensure that your campaigns are optimized for the most popular email clients, leading to higher open rates and improved user experience.

16. Cost per Conversion

This email marketing metric measures your email campaigns’ cost versus the total conversions. It helps you identify how much it costs to acquire a customer through email and which campaigns are driving the most conversions. Factors that affect this metric include:

  • Type of calls-to-action used
  • The subject line and copy used
  • The health of your email lists
  • The frequency of sending emails

Cost per Conversion is calculated as:

Cost per Conversion = (Total cost of campaign / Total number of conversions)

For example, if your total email campaign costs $1,000 and resulted in 50 conversions, then the cost per conversion would be $20 ($1,000/50).

17. Click-to-open rate (CTOR)

This KPI measures the effectiveness of email campaigns in terms of clicks and opens. It is different from the Click-through-rate as it measures the number of opened emails that were clicked on. Naturally, the subject line and email preview text play an important role in enticing the recipient to engage here.

CTOR is calculated as:

CTOR = (Total number of email clicks / Total number of emails opened) x 100

For example, if you had 1,000 emails sent with 200 clicks and 400 opened emails, then your CTOR would be 50% (200/400 X 100).

18. Revenue per email (RPE)

This email kpi measures the revenue generated by each email sent. It helps you assign a monetary value to each email to compare the effectiveness of different campaigns. Factors that affect this metric include:

  • The product or service being promoted
  • The type of call-to-action used
  • The layout and design of the email
  • The frequency of sending emails
  • How engaged your email list is

Revenue per email is calculated as:

RPE = (Total revenue generated by email campaigns / Total number of emails delivered)

For example, if an email campaign generated $100 in revenue and 1,000 emails were delivered, then the RPE would be $0.10 ($100/1,000).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why Opt For Email Marketing?

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach out to a large audience base. It allows for personalization, segmentation, and automation, which are key components in creating successful campaigns.

When compared to other channels, email marketing has a host of benefits to offer:

  • Low cost of entry and scaling
  • Ability to target specific segments and customize messages
  • Automation features reduce manual efforts
  • High ROI and measurable results
  • KPIs to Track for Successful Email Marketing

NNot to mention, email marketing is one of the most popular digital marketing channels. All this and more makes email marketing an unbeatable choice for businesses looking to boost their visibility, increase conversions, and improve customer relationships.

How Important Is It To Track Email Marketing KPIs?

Email marketing is a great way to connect with your audience, but tracking your results to improve your campaigns is important. By understanding how subscribers interact with your content, you can optimize for more conversions and better engagement.

An email marketing campaign without the right tracking metrics is like a sailing ship in the ocean with no compass. You may know your destination, but getting there is impossible without a clear guide. That’s why tracking email marketing KPIs is so important – it helps you stay on course, optimize campaigns, and maximize results.

What is the most important metric in email marketing?

Most marketers think that the Open Rate is the most important metric. But the truth is, it would not matter if prospects are opening and engaging with your emails but not converting. This is why the Conversion Rate and Revenue per Email are two of the most important metrics to track. Thus, you may pour your heart and soul into email marketing, but your efforts will be in vain if you’re not clocking conversions and revenue.


The top email marketing KPIs that you must track for an effective campaign include:

  • Clickthrough Rate
  • Conversion Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • List Growth Rate
  • Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate
  • Overall ROI
  • Open Rate
  • Delivery Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Spam Complaints
  • Time and Day Of Email Opens
  • Revenue per Subscriber
  • Rate of List Growth
  • LTV of Subscribers
  • Email client usage
  • Cost per Conversion
  • Click-to-open rate (CTOR)
  • Revenue per email (RPE)
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