As you know, the key to success in email marketing is tracking and measuring the metrics regularly. By doing this, you will be able to analyze if your marketing strategy and goals match the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
The fact that you can get a lot of insights about how the recipients interact with content from the email sent is unmissable. Besides, having that information will make it easier to reach your target audience and to know which things are working and what must be changed.
So you should take these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as an essential tool for your business. For this purpose, this article is going to explain everything that you need to know about email marketing KPIs.
Firstly, what are Email Marketing KPIs?
KPIs are measurable values to track key business objectives. They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-related, or SMART for short. These quantifiable metrics will help you calculate the Return On Investment (ROI) and track performance.
Moreover, some KPIs will give a quick view of the overall performance and will tell you if the recipients are engaged with you, for instance, the bounce rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate.
As Avinash Kaushik says “Don’t skip this part, what happens after that email click will either deliver high conversions or kill the most valuable offer you ever had.”
Email Marketing KPIs you should be tracking
If you are feeling lost and don’t know how to start, you should carry out the most important email metrics. Let’s learn about them:
Open Rate (OR)
The first email marketing metric that you should track is the Open Rate. It tells you the percentage of emails opened of the total amount sent. More opened emails indicates more people are interested in your subject. However, it does not tell you anything about the performance of your strategy.
The calculation is simple: divide the number of emails opened by the total emails sent, then multiply by 100.
A good open rate is between 15-25%, though it can differ by industry. For example, in financial services 27% is good, in the food industry 41% is good, and in technology it is 26%.
It would be good practice to compare results week on week to better understand any changes.
Click-through rate (CTR)
The click-through rate is the percentage of people who click a link in your email. It is an important metric because it gives you insights into how the engagement is going. With this information, you will be able to understand more about the behavior and motivation of your subscribers.
Regarding the calculation, you just have to divide the number of clicks made by the total of emails delivered, and then, multiply by 100.
A good result will be around 15%, which will show that your content is interesting for your audience. You should track the ones that are clicked. But you have to be careful with the unsubscribe link because it is going to be counted as well.
For this KPI you should carry out A/B tests if you want to see progress in it. We can set up an A/B plan for you and make that success in the email campaign happen.
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This is the percentage of recipients that unsubscribe from your email list. It will indicate where you can make improvements. So it is a really good opportunity to see if a re-evaluation of your strategy is needed.
For example, if you sent an email campaign and you have 10,000 emails delivered and 20 unsubscribes, divide 20 by 10,000 and you get 0.002; multiply it by 100 to get the unsubscribe rate of 0.2%.
A good unsubscribe rate is 0.2% or less, but if you have a rate of 0.5% it is normal. You should worry when it is higher than 0.5%. Besides, the number of unsubscribes should not be bigger than the number of new subscribers.
Moreover, if you see a drop in your rate when you launch a new campaign or promotion, it means you have done something wrong and you must see what the issues are. It could be the content, the frequency of your messages, or the fact that you are not aligned with their interests. You should do the same if the result of the rate higher than 0.5%.
This is the percentage of emails that did not reach the inbox. There are two types of bounce rates: the hard bounce and the soft bounce.
The hard bounces are when the error is permanent. Meanwhile, the soft bounces are caused by a temporary error.
You can find the way to calculate bounce rate in the following picture. Furthermore, the optimal result should be lower than 0.2%. If you reach more than 2% the email service providers could block your domain.
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This is the percentage of recipients that carry out the action you set up as an objective. Perhaps your objective is for them to make a purchase, read an article, click on a link, fill a form, or any other action you intend. Good use of call to action buttons and test it so you will be more likely to be most effective.
Email sharing / forward rate
This next KPI is only available if you add a sharing/forward button into the email. It is the percentage of people who received the email and also click on the sharing button. The final purpose of this button could be to post it on social media or to share it with a friend. So, it would tell you how many brand advocates you have.
This is a good way to increase your audience size. You should enable your audience to easily share it with others and track how many new contacts you may get.
For example, you can insert a button that says “Share us with your friends this offer” as a call to action button.
Moreover, the place where it is the button is important. It shouldn’t be in the header or in the footer, it should be next to the message that you are sharing. In this way, it will have more impact on your audience. Besides, another strategy that you can follow is to make the people choose between two different social media. For example, you can put “Share this on Facebook” and “Share this on Instagram” so they will take this as a signal to resend it instead.
If you have 50 clicks on a share/forward button of 5.000 emails delivered, you are going to have 1% of email sharing/forwarding rate. Because 50 clicks on a share/forward button divided by 5,000 delivered emails multiplied by 100 = 1% email sharing/forward rate. A higher rate means better engagement and a higher probability of making a sale.
This is an important KPI as it measures the cost-effectiveness of your entire campaign. It will measure the cost-effectiveness of your email marketing.
How can I calculate it? Well, the most basic formula is this: the value of sales minus campaign investment, divided by the campaign investment, multiplied by 100.
Spam complaint rate
Being reported as a spammer will make the email service provider land your emails in the spam folder. To prevent this, you should have a good sender score, the unsubscriber link must be easy to find, avoid any malicious links in the content and don’t include “spammy” keywords.
Some examples of “spammy” keywords could be: “apply now”, “buy”, “call”, “click here”, “expire”, “take action”, “please read”, “special promotion”, “now only” and others.
Your spam complaint rate should be less than 0.1% in order to be considered normal. The lower the better. For example, if you send 4,000 messages and 4 people reported you as spam, your spam rate will be 0.1% ((4/4,000)*100).
List growth rate
This is the rate that indicates how much your email list is growing. Obviously, the fact of knowing that it is increasing will give you the security to continue what you are doing. If it is decreasing, you should look for the source of the issue.
As your list growth rate increases, you will reach more people and your business may grow too. The calculation for this KPI is in the picture below and a good result will be at least 22.5% per year.
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