How to Measure Email Marketing Success: 6 Metrics

Tracking and assessing your email marketing analytics is the best way to get to know your email list, figure out where your email marketing strategies do a fantastic job and where they fall short, and come up with a solid plan for the future. 

As a copywriter, I often get asked about how to improve subject lines and calls to action in email campaigns…

…but the truth is, if you don’t know which email metrics to track to see if your copy is working or not, it’ll be hard to reach your email marketing campaign goals.

Numbers and statistics can be spooky when you don’t know what they mean…

…but don’t worry, this blog post is going to break down the most important email campaign success metrics for you to stay ahead of the game 😎

6 Key Email Marketing Metrics to Track

1. Open Rate

Open rate is one of the most universal email success metrics out there — and it’s usually the first one that you start tracking when you’re new to email marketing. 

Open rate gives you a percentage of subscribers on your email list who have opened a given email. 

For example, your email marketing platform can let you know that your most recent email newsletter had an open rate of 30%. This means that 30% of your email list have opened that particular email. 

Open rates are great for tracking how effective your subject lines are.

Your subject line (and preview copy!) is the only thing that your subscribers see when they decide whether or not to open your email…

…so, your open rates directly reflect how compelling your subject lines are. 

If your open rates are not where you want them to be — typically you’re shooting for over 20% — it’s a sign that you need to spice up your subject lines. 

A/B testing different subject lines and seeing which ones get higher open rates is a GREAT way to use this email success metric to your advantage. 

2. Click-through Rate (CTR) 

Open rates are helpful to track, but it’s important to remember that people can open your emails…

…and not enjoy your content.

How do you know if they do? 

Well, enter the click-through rate (or CTR!) — one of the most important email marketing metrics out there. 

Click-through rate gives you the percentage of people who have clicked on a link in your email, which shows how engaging your copy was. 

For example, if you’re sending a sales email promoting your online course and want to direct your subscribers to your sales page, the CTR will show you how many people clicked on the CTA because they were interested in your offer. 

Typically, click-through rates are much lower than open rates — so don’t worry if you see a big dip. 

A 2% CTR is pretty average, but it’s always great to aim higher. 

One way to increase your click-through rate is to strategically place CTAs throughout your email — not just at the bottom. 

Chances are, your email list has different kinds of readers on it. Some people are impatient and expect a CTA to be right at the beginning of your email, others scroll through right to the end, and some people read every. single. word. 

Placing CTAs throughout your email maximizes your chances of getting more clicks — and a higher click-through rate! 

3. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is an even yummier email newsletter metric than CTR. 

CTR shows how many people clicked on a link in your email…

…while the conversion rate shows how many people clicked one that link and then actually took the action you wanted them to take (or, in other words, converted!). 

4. Unsubscribe Rate

This email marketing metric is a bit of a sad one…

…but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be tracking it! 

Your unsubscribe rate shows you how many people decided to unsubscribe from your email list. 

It can be REALLY frustrating to see people decide to leave after you send an email that you put so much time and effort into writing, but there’s a positive here, too. 

If people are leaving your list, it means that they weren’t a good match for your product or service to begin with. 

When people who weren’t interested in your offers unsubscribe from your list, it typically means higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates in the future…

…because your audience is becoming smaller and more engaged. 

So, don’t get discouraged! 

However, if you suddenly start seeing high unsubscribe rates, it may be a sign that you need to put more effort into your copy (or hire an email copywriter!). 

5. Bounce Rate

How do you know if all of the people on your list are ACTUALLY getting your emails? 

This is where your email bounce rate comes in. 

Your bounce rate shows how many of your subscribers didn’t get your email. 

You can get a “soft” bounce and a “hard” bounce. 

A soft bounce typically indicates a temporary problem — for example, there may be a problem with your subscriber’s server and your email will eventually be delivered.  

A hard bounce is permanent. It typically means that the email address you have on your list is invalid, so you should remove this contact right away. 

(In fact, NOT removing a hard bounce from your email list can increase the chances of your future emails to be marked as spam. No bueno.) 

6. List Growth Rate

Calculating your list growth rate is great for when you want to look at the bigger picture. 

Your list growth rate is, quite simply, the rate at which your email list is growing. 

To calculate it, do this: 

[# of new subscribers] — [# of unsubscribers] / [total # of subscribers] * 100 

You may not need to calculate your growth rate every week — unless you have a VERY rapidly growing list of subscribers — but it’s a great idea to do this monthly or quarterly. 

How to Track Email Marketing Metrics: Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to analyze email marketing data, it’s important to turn it into a regular business practice. 

It’s a good idea to create a Google Sheet or another tracking system so you have all of your email marketing data in one place. 

Want to improve your email marketing metrics but struggle with writing compelling copy? 

Check out Slade Copy House email copywriting services! 

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