Email Marketing Metrics

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Email marketing can be a low-cost, effective tool for reaching your customers and prospects. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the metrics you should be tracking to ensure your campaign's success.

Tracking Your Progress

Jerry has been using email marketing to reach out to his customers for the past two years. Business was booming, but seems to have declined over the past six months. Jerry thinks that sending more email messages might help fix the problem, but he's unsure. He has not been tracking any of his efforts through email marketing so he doesn't know if he's striking the right tone, or even if his emails are being received and read by their intended audience.

What Jerry needs are email marketing metrics that can help him assess the effectiveness of his email campaigns so he can fine tune his marketing efforts accordingly.

What is Email Marketing?

Most of us are familiar with email. We send and receive messages all day from friends, family and our favorite brands. Email marketing is, quite simply, the act of sending your marketing messages digitally to your subscribers' email inbox.

This could include special sales, company updates, newsletter, interesting content, - you name it! If you're a brand and you have a list of customers' email addresses, you've likely sent at least one email marketing message to them in the past.

Measure the performance of your email campaign using various metrics.
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Preparing and sending those messages is only half the battle, however, as Jerry is learning. To be an email marketing superstar, he needs to know what's happening on the other end of the inbox: Are customers opening his emails? Are they clicking through to his website?

Many of these statistics can be easily tracked through email marketing metrics, points of data that show how successful your email marketing campaign is.

Metrics to Use

There are a host of marketing metrics that Jerry can track in his email campaigns, but let's focus on the big ones and how they can help him create stronger, better campaigns.

Open rate: This metric refers to how many people actually opened Jerry's email message. A good open rate falls in the range of 20 percent or more.

Click-through rate: In this metric, not only did a recipient open Jerry's email, but this reports that they clicked on a link inside. Perhaps one to his website or a special offer. If 25 people out of 100 recipients clicked a link in his email, his click-through percentage would be 25 percent.

Unsubscribe rate: No one wants to lose email subscribers, but it is an undeniable part of doing email marketing. Simply, this metric tells us how many recipients unsubscribed from Jerry's email marketing messages.

Bounce rate: There are two types of bounces we want to track here: hard and soft.

  • Hard bounces mean you've sent a message to an email address that is invalid, incorrect or closed. These emails will never reach their intended targets.
  • A soft bounce, on the other hand, tells us there's a problem with a valid email such as an inbox that is full. Many email programs will hold these messages and attempt to resend them a bit later.

Conversion rate: This is a critical metric because it tells Jerry that not only did someone open his email and click on an offer, but that they also completed an action such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter or free trial.

Forward rate: This is a lesser tracked metric, but a good one because it shows how the reach of your email message is being extended to friends and family via email or social media.

Time spent rate: A metric like time spent can tell you how much time a recipient is spending reading your email. This can be valuable in helping you craft messages that pack a punch and deliver a lot of content in a short span of time.

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