When it comes to email marketing, a lot of the attention is invested in layouts and copy. But how do we know if what we’re producing is really working? There are 9 key email metrics that once mastered will provide you with a complete picture of what’s working and what needs to be improved.
Here are the 9 email marketing stats every email marketer should know:
- Open Rate (OR) – Open rates remain one of the key email marketing metrics to monitor. The open rate as the name suggests measures the number of subscribers that open your email as a percentage of everyone who received your email. Open rates are coming under increasing pressure with the rollout of Apple iOS 15 and greater levels of privacy protection. At the time of writing the impact of Apple iOS 15 has been much less than anticipated, never the less this may change in the coming months.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)- Having a great open rate is obviously critical to your email marketing, but equally as important is the action your subscribers take after reading that email. CTR is a metric that measures link clicks from your email as a percentage of those who received it. (Not those that opened it). CTR is a great top-level metric for user engagement, but the next metric is even more powerful for rating your content quality.
- Click to Open Rate (CTOR) – Similar and often confused with CTR, the click to open rate measures clicks as a percentage of those who opened your email. Why bother splitting CTOR and CTR into two metrics? Well, although both of them are attempting to measure subscriber engagement with your content,CTR can be heavily influenced by open rates. Just because a subject line performed poorly and resulted in fewer people opening your email, doesn’t mean your content isn’t engaging. It just means your subject line needed work. CTOR lets you see through this and focus on what’s connecting with those that open your emails.
- Conversion Rate (CR) – Conversion rate is the number of people purchasing as a percentage of those clicking on a link. 100 people clicking on a link resulting in 10 sales, which means you have a 10% conversion rate. The conversion rate can of course be heavily influenced by the experience the buyer receives after clicking on the link. Monitoring conversion rates is a great way of making incremental changes to your website that compound over time.
- Return On Investment (ROI) – Return on investment is perhaps the most important of all the email marketing metrics. ROI is used to determine the marketing spend as a percentage of top-line revenue. A typical formula is to calculate total revenue from a campaign, then subtract the marketing investment (cost) for producing the campaign from that total. Then divide the two and multiple by 100.
Example: A campaign costing 5K that generated 10K in revenue would have an ROI of 100%.
- Email Bounce Rate – This metric measures the percentage of emails sent that bounce back. Bounces simply mean the email address wouldn’t accept the email that was sent. This can be for a multitude of reasons but is generally because the email address is no longer valid or was mistyped into a form. This seemingly unimportant number contributes to the overall deliverability of your entire list. The greater the percentage of bounced emails the lower the quality of your list as a whole, and the greater the likelihood that email providers and ISPs will flag you as a spammer.
- Spam Complaint Rate (SCR) – Similar to bounce rates, your Spam complaint rate is a ratio of spam complaints to emails sent. A high number of complaints will again impact the overall quality score of your list. Minimise SPAM complaints by utilising double opt-in on new subscribers sign-ups and keeping in regular contact with your audience. More often than not we see complaints arise because of a lapse in email marketing that was resumed after several months of silence. Subscribers will forget very quickly who you are and what they signed up for if you leave them in the dark for too long.
- Unsubscribe Rate – At the other end of the engagement measurement spectrum, sits your unsubscribe rate. If you see falling open rates, low CTR, and SPAM complaints, you’re probably going to see a dramatic increase in unsubscribes as well. Monitoring this metric helps you make changes to your content and improve audience engagement.
- List Growth Rate – Obviously the goal of all email marketing is to grow a list of highly engaged high converting subscribers. Measuring list growth rate month on month is the best way of measuring that progress. To calculate this metric you simply take the number of new subscribers in a month and deduct the unsubscribes (depending on the email software you use, this could also include the email addresses which bounced and were automatically removed). Take the remaining number and divide it into the size of your list in the previous month and multiply by 100 to get the percentage growth.
Example: If you had 100 subscribers last month. 10 new subscribers joined this month and 5 left. Your list grew by 5, which translates into a 5% list growth rate
Email marketing metrics might seem at first glance like something best left to the accountants, but in truth, these 9 metrics give you incredible visibility on the effectiveness of your email marketing investment. Not only do they provide a financial calculation to keep the accountants happy, but they also provide you with vital feedback on your content strategy as a whole.