Email marketing is one of the must-have tools for any ecommerce business. Social media commerce provides a good opportunity to acquire more customers and clients. But one thing has never changed since the beginning of online business: email has remained consistent.
Whether you want to create an email newsletter or build a list of subscribers that can go from cold to hot in as many emails as possible, email marketing has stayed the same in terms of how it functions and how it favors the online business.
While your emails might appear to be well-written and hitting the right message on paper, the numbers could tell you otherwise. We will be taking a look at 14 different email marketing KPIs that you’ll want to track.
1. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate shows you how many emails don’t make it to a subscriber’s inbox successfully. This could be due to an invalid email address or something else.
Let’s say that you have an email list that has 1,000 subscribers. Once you send the email, about 50 of them don’t make it to someone’s inbox. That’s a bounce rate of 0.05%.
Bounces can be separated into two types:
- Soft bounce. Soft bounces happen if the recipient’s inbox is full or if there is an issue with their server. The email address is still valid, but there are underlying issues that are usually temporary and fixed within a short time frame.
- Hard bounce. A hard bounce happens when an email address is invalid or no longer exists.
‘Email list hygiene’ is important when you want to keep the bounce rate as low as possible. The higher the bounce rate, the less value your list provides. Periodically perform an audit of your email list to identify and remove emails that hard bounce.
2. Emails Delivered
To tie into the bounce rate, we take a look at the number of emails delivered. Even if you have 1,000 subscribers, that doesn’t mean that all of them will receive the email. If you think that you will get a 100% deliverability rate for your emails, think again.
So once again, an email was sent to 1,000 subscribers and 50 don’t get it, which means 950 have received it. Roughly 95% of your list gets the email.
Your deliverability rate can suffer due to issues that may be beyond your and the subscriber’s control:
- An ISP may have blacklisted specific email senders.
- An email service, like Gmail, may have its own blacklist.
- The subscriber may have blocked your email address.
Aim for a deliverability rate over 50%. If it goes below 50%, consider revising your email distribution list.
3. Emails Opened (Open Rate)
The open rate is the number or subscribers that have opened the email. To improve the email open rate, make sure you get two elements of the email right: the subject line and the preview text. The key here is captivating the subscriber so that they want to open the email and discover more.
Many will say that the email open rate is a vanity metric and that sales matter. While there is some truth to that, the open rate is a key indicator of how successful your email marketing campaign is.
What is considered a good email open rate differs from industry to industry. Generally, the higher the open rates, the better. If your open rate goes below 5%, it’s time to make improvements.
4. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The CTR measures how many people have clicked on the link located in the email.
The location of these links may determine whether or not your CTR is good or bad. A/B test whether it’s better for you to place the link above or below the fold.
Deliver a strong call to action (CTA). If it’s bland or uninteresting, chances are your CTR will be low. Pay close attention to the click-through rate as it will give you an indication of how well your email campaign is performing.
Note: Follow these tips to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.
5. Click-to-open Rate (CTO)
The CTO rate is the number of people who have opened your email and actually clicked on the link provided. This is a KPI that will allow you to see how well the subject line and the content of the email work together. You can be able to determine an issue depending on certain scenarios.
For instance, you could have many opens but very few clicks. That means the content is not performing well. If your open rate is low but the clicks are super high, the subject line and preview text may be underperforming.
6. Email Opens by Device
Mobile devices are used more often than computers. Hence, make sure you optimize the emails for mobile devices. Your email distribution software may do this automatically or assist you in making sure it’s easy to view on a mobile device.
The appearance of an email, its subject line and preview text, differs between mobile and desktop devices. For this reason, consider writing fewer words for both the subject line and preview text. The shorter and punchier, the better.
7. Unsubscribe Rate
Unsubscribes are not the end of the world. You could be flushing out your list one email at a time with people who may not be a good fit for your brand.
Unsubscribes can happen due to a few reasons:
- You send emails too often. Almost 50% of unsubscribes happen due to receiving too many emails. Research industry standards and determine an email frequency that worked for others.
- Your emails are too spammy. Don’t make your emails look like spam. Avoid all caps subject lines and don’t click bait with subject lines that don’t align with your content.
- The message isn’t reaching the subscriber. Know your target audience, prepare personalized emails, and always send relevant content. If you don’t have relevant content to send, its better not sending anything at all.
- Too long or too short emails. A one sentence email is no good. Then again, sending a 4,000-words email is not good too. Find a sweet spot for your audience and make sure it’s high-quality content.
Note: Learn more about different subscription cancellation reasons.
8. List Growth Rate
To calculate the list growth rate, take the number of new subscribers and subtract it by the number of unsubscribes (added by any complaints about spam and the like).
Let’s take a look at the following:
You have 100 new subscribers and 25 unsubs and/or spam complaints. Subtract those numbers and divide it by the number of subscribers currently on your list:
100 - 25 = 75
75/1000 = 0.075
0.075 * 100 = 7.5 percent
Therefore, your list growth rate is 7.5%. Focus on this as email marketing lists can ‘decay’ over time. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as people no longer receiving emails, the email is no longer used, and so on.
9. Number of Reports as Spam
Granted, not everyone is going to be happy with the number of emails you send regularly. You could send one a day or send multiple per day leading up to a big sale. Spam complains and unsubscribes are two different things. But they can work together to plummet the rest of your KPIs.
Be sure to watch this number if you made any changes to the deliverability or the overall message.
10. Sharing/Forwarding Rate
Sharing/Forwarding Rate is the number of subscribers forwarding the emails to others or sharing them on social media. Those who receive forwarded emails are often more receptive than the original recipients.
The sharing/forwarding rate helps you determine how engaging your email is.
11. Conversion Rate
The conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers that have successfully achieved the task you want them to complete. For example, if we send 1,000 emails and 100 subscribers convert successfully, we have a 10% conversion rate. The conversion rate is probably the most important email marketing KPI.
This rate depends on the goal of your email strategy. It might be generating sales or the goal might be signing up participants for an upcoming webinar?
12. Email ROI
The email return on investment (ROI) is your total revenue divided by the total amount that you spend. Let’s say you made $5000 in sales while investing $1000 in the campaign. Dividing the two numbers you get 5, multiply by 100 and you get a 500% ROI.
The higher the ROI, the better.
13. Revenue Per Subscriber
Revenue is the rate at which you generate money from each subscriber. To calculate revenue per subscriber, take the revenue generated from an email and divide it by the number of subscribers you have.
14. Revenue Per Email
To calculate revenue per email, divide the revenue from an email divided by the number of emails that are successfully delivered.
These 14 email marketing KPIs are worth tracking for a reason. You will be able to determine what parts of your email are working and which ones may need improving.
It’s important that you make sure that your emails are optimized for both desktop and mobile devices as they may affect those numbers.
Furthermore, you want to make sure that you stick to your email campaign’s end goal. Whether it’s the subject line, the content, or even the CTA, it’s important to make sure that you keep testing to see what works and what’s not hitting the mark.