Email Marketing KPIs: Metrics for Email Analytics

Jun 25, 2024 - By Skirmantas Venckus

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Marketing is both an art and a science; and just like in any scientific activity, you need to know your facts and numbers. 

Are your email campaigns hitting the mark? 

Knowing the right metrics to track can transform your email marketing from a shot in the dark to a precision-guided strategy. 

Understanding and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just getting started. 

In this guide, we’ll dive into the essential metrics that reveal the health and effectiveness of your email efforts. 

Top 11 Email Marketing KPIs You Need to Know

Just sending out emails isn’t enough. You need to track the right email campaign KPIs to see what’s working and what’s not. Imagine driving a car without a speedometer – scary, right? That’s how running email campaigns without tracking KPIs feels.

First, why should you care about email marketing’s key performance indicators? They tell you if your audience is engaging, your messages resonate, and your investment is paying off. Without these insights, you’re basically flying blind.

Second, which are the most essential email marketing KPIs you should never ignore? We’ll break down each metric, explain why it’s important, and how you can leverage it to sharpen your strategy. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting, understanding these KPIs will help you maximize your email marketing efforts.

Email Deliverability 

If your marketing emails aren’t being delivered to your subscribers, all your efforts are wasted. Deliverability is the foundation of successful email marketing campaigns. Think of it as an indicator that your emails are landing in the inbox, not the dreaded spam folder.


High deliverability rates mean more eyes on your content, leading to higher engagement and better results. Here are some factors that impact email deliverability: 

  • Sender reputation. Your domain and IP reputation play a crucial role. A poor reputation due to spam complaints and irrelevant campaigns can significantly impact your deliverability and send a negative signal to internet service providers;  
  • Bounce rate. It measures the percentage of emails that couldn’t be delivered. A high bounce rate can harm your email sender’s reputation and indicate issues with your email list quality;
  • Authentication protocols. Implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols can improve your deliverability by proving that your emails are legitimate and not fraudulent.

In the next sections, we’ll look at other metrics directly impacting email deliverability.  

Open Rate

Open rate is the first benchmark you can track in an email marketing campaign. It tells you how many recipients open your email.

The email open rate is a crucial indicator of the effectiveness of your subject lines and sender names. A higher open rate means your emails are compelling and relevant to your subscribers.

Tracking and optimizing your open rate ensures your emails make a great first impression, leading to better overall engagement. 

  • 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line; 
  • 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line; 
  • Emails with preheaders get an open rate of 32.95%;  
  • Personalized emails have an open rate of 30.26%. 

Here are some factors to boost open rates: 

  • Subject lines. Crafting enticing subject lines is essential. A compelling subject line can significantly boost your open rate by grabbing attention; 
  • Sender name recognition. People are more likely to open emails from familiar and trusted senders. Using a recognizable sender name can increase your open rates; 
  • Timing matters. The time and day you send your emails can influence your open rate. Experiment with different times to see when your audience is most responsive; 
  • Segment your email list. Sending personalized content to segmented lists often results in higher open rates. Tailoring your emails to specific audience segments makes them more relevant and engaging.

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Click-Through Rate (CTR)

You’ve got your audience to open your email – fantastic! But the real magic happens when they click on your links. That’s where Click-Through Rate (CTR) comes into play. It’s the heartbeat of your email marketing, showing how many recipients are taking the next step.

Clickthrough rate is a valuable metric to track, as it gives direct insight into how many people are engaging with content and interested in learning more about the company’s brand or offer. Here are some statistics: 

  • Emails linking to invoices and payments had the highest CTR at 25.7%
  • Emails with a link to a resource, such as a blog, had a CTR of 6.7%; 
  • Communications as an industry has the highest average CTR at 5.77%. 

Here are some tips to improve click-through rates: 

  • Engaging content. Your email’s content should be captivating and valuable. Great content encourages readers to click on your links to learn more; 
  • Clear call-to-action. Make sure your CTA stands out and tells the reader exactly what to do next; 
  • Link placement. Test different positions to see where your audience is most likely to click.

Conversion Rate

So, your readers are clicking your links – great! But are they taking the final step and buying your product or availing your offer? 

Conversion rate is one of the most important indicators of email success. It tells you how many recipients are completing your desired action, whether purchasing, signing up for a webinar, or downloading a resource. 

In 2021, the average email conversion click-through rate was 15.2%. This rate peaked in 2018 when it was converting over 18.4% and has decreased since then.

A high conversion rate means your emails are engaging and effective in driving results. 

To make people buy into your offers, here’s what you should do: 

  • Create irresistible offers. Ensure it provides clear value and aligns with your audience’s needs and interests; 
  • Highlight the offer. Make readers curious by highlighting the offer in the subject line and pre-header. Invoke FOMO by announcing limited-period discounts or deals; 
  • Follow-up. Sometimes, people need a little nudge. Use follow-up emails to remind and encourage those who clicked but didn’t convert immediately.

Bounce Rate

Imagine sending out invitations to a party and having a bunch of them returned unopened. That’s essentially what happens with email bounces. Your emails are sent, but some never reach their intended destination. 

Bounce rate measures the percentage of your emails that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient’s inbox.


 There are two types of bounces: 

  • Soft Bounces. These are temporary issues, like a full inbox or server problems. Monitoring soft bounces can help you decide when to retry sending your emails; 
  • Hard Bounces. These are permanent delivery failures, often due to invalid email addresses. Cleaning your email list regularly helps reduce hard bounces and increase the number of emails delivered. 

Let’s look at both one by one. 

Soft Bounces

A soft bounce means your email reached the recipient’s mail server but was bounced back due to a temporary issue.

Tracking soft bounces helps you understand and address temporary delivery issues. While these bounces don’t immediately harm your sender’s reputation, consistent soft bounces can indicate larger problems. 

There can be many reasons for soft bounces: 

  • Temporary problems like a full inbox;
  • Server issues;
  • Unavailable recipient’s account.  

While soft bounces don’t have a serious impact, regular soft bounces indicate potential issues with your email list quality or timing. Most email service providers will automatically retry sending emails that soft bounce, giving your email another chance to be delivered once the issue is resolved.

Hard Bounces

A hard bounce means your email couldn’t be delivered due to a permanent issue, such as invalid email addresses, non-existent domains, or blocked email addresses.

Hard bounces directly impact your sender’s reputation and deliverability. High hard bounce rates can cause email service providers to flag your emails as spam, reducing your campaign’s effectiveness.

Hard bounce contacts should be removed from your mailing list immediately to prevent harming your sender’s reputation.

Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate tells you how many recipients opt out of your emails, signaling potential issues with your content or frequency or simply because they’ve lost interest. 

The unsubscribe rate is a critical indicator of how well your emails resonate with your audience. If a large number of subscribers are unsubscribing, you must be on alert. 

A high unsubscribe rate means your content might not meet your subscribers’ expectations, while a low rate suggests you’re on the right track. Here are some things you can do to keep unsubscribe rates under control: 

  • Relevance. If your content isn’t valuable or relevant to your audience, they’re more likely to unsubscribe; 
  • Frequency. Sending too many emails can overwhelm your subscribers, leading to higher unsubscribe rates. Find the right balance in your email frequency to keep your audience engaged without overloading them.

List Growth Rate

Imagine your email list as a garden. The healthier and more diverse it is, the more vibrant your email marketing can be. List growth rate tracks an increase in your subscribers over time. 

List growth rate is a vital metric for understanding the effectiveness of your acquisition efforts. A growing list means more potential customers to engage with, while a stagnant or shrinking list could indicate issues with your email lead generation strategies.

Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV)

Think of everyone in your email list as walk-ins in a cozy coffee shop. Some pop in once and never return, while others become regulars, bringing in consistent business. 

Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV) measures the long-term worth of your subscribers, showing how much value they bring over their entire engagement with your emails.

A higher LTV is a positive indicator, showing that your subscribers trust and love your brand/product. 

Here’s why calculating subscriber lifetime value is important:  

  • Revenue insights. LTV clearly shows how much revenue each subscriber is expected to generate, guiding your budgeting and marketing investments; 
  • Retention focus. High LTV indicates strong subscriber retention and loyalty, suggesting that your content and engagement strategies are effective; 
  • Marketing ROI: By understanding LTV, you can better calculate your marketing campaign’s return on investment (ROI), ensuring you’re spending wisely to acquire valuable subscribers. 

Revenue Per Email

Revenue per email informs you how much revenue each email brings in, helping you evaluate the profitability of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions. It measures the direct financial return generated by each email you send out. 


Here’s why this metric should be on your reports: 

  • Financial insight. RPE clearly shows the revenue impact of each email, helping you assess the direct financial benefits of your email marketing efforts; 
  • Campaign performance. By tracking RPE, you can compare the performance of different campaigns, identifying which ones drive the most revenue and why; 
  • Optimization opportunities. Understanding RPE allows you to tweak your content, offers, and strategies to increase revenue from future campaigns.

ROI (Return on Investment)

Ever wonder if your email marketing is worth the investment? That’s where Return on Investment (ROI) comes in. It’s like the ultimate scorecard, showing you how much value you’re getting back for every dollar spent on your campaigns.

ROI is the gold standard for measuring the success of your email marketing efforts. It helps you understand the financial effectiveness of your campaigns, guiding your email marketing strategy and budget decisions. In the simplest way, here’s how you can calculate ROI of your email marketing efforts. 


A high ROI indicates that your marketing efforts are paying off, while a low ROI suggests it’s time to re-evaluate and optimize your approach.


According to the latest email marketing statistics

  • Email marketing generates, on average, $36 for every dollar spent; 
  • 18% of companies generate $70 in revenue for every 1 dollar spent on email marketing.  

Spam Complaints

Spam complaints tell you that you’re not relevant or valuable to your audience. It’s like your audience’s telling you that your newsletters don’t deserve their time. They’re a clear signal that something might be off with your email strategy. 

High spam complaint rates can lead to your emails being blocked or sent to spam folders, undermining your entire email marketing effort. 

Here’s why you should track spam complaints periodically: 

  • Sender reputation. High spam complaint rates damage your sender’s reputation, making it harder for your emails to reach inboxes. Maintaining a low spam rate is essential for high deliverability;
  • Content relevance. Frequent spam complaints often indicate that your content isn’t useful for your audience. Send valuable emails to reduce complaints; 
  • Permission practices. Only email recipients who have explicitly opted-in. Use GDPR-friendly practices and double opt-ins to reduce spam scores;
  • Easy unsubscribe. Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe if they wish. This reduces frustration and the likelihood of them marking your emails as spam.

Time of Open

Time of Open is like having a secret window into your subscribers’ habits, showing you exactly when they’re opening your emails.

It helps you understand when your audience is most active and receptive to your emails. Knowing the optimal times allows you to schedule your campaigns to maximize visibility and engagement, ensuring your message hits the perfect moment.


Key points about the time of open:

  • Optimal timing. Discovering the best times to send your emails can significantly boost open rates. Timing your emails when subscribers are most likely to check their inboxes ensures higher visibility; 
  • Audience behavior. Understanding your audience’s habits and routines allows you to tailor your email schedule to match their preferences, enhancing engagement; 
  • A/B testing. Experiment with sending emails at different times to see what works best for your audience. Continuous testing and analysis can help fine-tune your strategy; 
  • Time zones. Consider the time zones of your global audience. Scheduling emails to accommodate different time zones can increase the likelihood of your emails being opened. 

If you want to be precise with your sending time, check out the best time to send emails in 2024 (by email type).

Overlooked Email Marketing Metrics Worth Tracking

While open rates and click-through rates steal the spotlight, other hidden gems in email marketing metrics can offer valuable insights. Let’s uncover these often-overlooked email KPIs and why you should not ignore them: 

  • Email sharing/forwarding rate. If subscribers share your emails, it means your message resonates so much that they want others to see it, too. This metric can help you identify content that has the potential to reach a broader audience organically; 
  • Email client and device analytics. Understanding how and where your subscribers open your emails is important for success. This data point helps optimize your email design, ensuring compatibility and enhancing the user experience. Ignoring these metrics can lead to poorly rendered emails, frustrating your audience and reducing engagement; 
  • Engagement by device. This helps you understand how your audience interacts with your emails based on their device. It will also help you segment your audience and create more contextual campaigns that look good on the devices they open on, improving user experience; 
  • Email sharing platforms. Understanding which platforms your emails are shared on tells you where your content is being spread and how it’s gaining traction beyond your subscriber list. It also reveals where your audience is most active, helping you retarget with contextual offers; 
  • List segmentation performance. Segmented lists typically see higher open and click-through rates. Tracking email marketing KPIs to identify which segments are most engaged and deliver future messages to the right audience, boosting engagement and conversion rates while maintaining a happy subscriber base; 
  • Social media engagement. Content shared by users on social media is seen as more trustworthy. Social proof can enhance your brand’s credibility and attract new subscribers. High social media engagement can lead to more interactions, driving traffic back to your site or other content. This can create a cycle of engagement where your emails and social media efforts complement each other; 
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score. CSAT measures how satisfied your subscribers are with the content and value they receive from your emails. High CSAT scores can foster stronger brand loyalty, turning satisfied subscribers into brand advocates who promote your content and products; 
  • Net promotor score (NPS). NPS measures your subscribers’ willingness to recommend your content to friends or colleagues. A high NPS indicates strong loyalty and satisfaction, while a low NPS signals that you might need to address issues. High NPS scores show that your subscribers are satisfied and loyal to your brand, increasing the likelihood of word-of-mouth promotion; 
  • Email automation performance. This metric provides insights into how well your automation workflows engage subscribers, allowing you to optimize timing, content, and triggers for better results; 
  • A/B testing results. A/B testing, or split testing, compares different versions of your emails to see which one performs better. Analyzing these results helps you understand what resonates most with your audience, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to improve engagement metrics and conversion rates. 

Learn more about what is customer segmentation: Definition, examples & tools.

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