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Email Marketing KPIs to Track

11 Email Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking

The only way your email marketing campaigns can improve and be perfected is through trial and error. Monitoring several key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow for the tracking of email campaigns in a wide range of ways so that no issue goes unnoticed. However, which KPIs are the most useful?

Email marketing is still thriving

Compared with 78% in 2020, only 41.5% of brands say email is a critical component of their marketing success.

Does this mean that email is becoming an extinct form of marketing?

No. We do not believe so.

This figure merely signifies the growing popularity of other formats amongst marketers. Platforms like social media networks have become a favourite for marketing teams, making email a little less competitive.

So, it’s good news for email!

With fewer brands using email for marketing, your prospective customers’ inboxes are emptier than ever. Rather than joining these companies in their use of Instagram and TikTok for marketing, email remains full of potential for all those building sales funnels and generating leads.

Though there may be less competition, you must still work hard if your email marketing campaign is to be successful.

Why are email marketing KPIs so important?

Many things constitute a thriving and effective email campaign, including great email design, effective CTAs, A/B testing, persuasive email copy, and a trustworthy image.

Above all, though, the practice of tracking and monitoring email performance is more effective than any of those aspects mentioned above. The reason for this is that the act of monitoring performance allows for future improvement.

Tracking email performance means you can spot flaws, make positive changes, and constantly improve. Email marketing KPIs take away the guessing: they shine a light on what needs more work and what’s functioning as it should. Better yet, monitoring the right combination of key performance indicators (KPIs) means every aspect of your email marketing strategy is surveyed.

Selecting a set of KPIs is much like putting soldiers at every door: it ensures every area is covered and prevents any issue from being missed. In that vein, your KPIs should cover everything from lead nurturing and customer satisfaction to sales, conversions, and re-engagement.

There are several KPIs worth tracking and others that are non-essential. The ones you’ll choose will depend on your business aims; however, you can always dip in and out of non-essential KPIs if you need a little extra data.

This article highlights the top 11 KPIs you should be tracking for maximum success. Here’s what we’ll cover:

1.Conversion rate
2.Bounce rate
3.Net promotor score
4.Click through rate
5.Unsubscribe rate
6.Open rate
7.List growth rate
8.Time of day emails are opened
9.Earnings per subscriber
10.Return on investment
11.Sharing and forwarding rate

Let’s dive in:

11 email marketing KPIs you should be tracking

1.Conversion rate

(number of recipients who took desired action / number of emails delivered to recipients) x 100

Conversion rate is an important metric for practically every email marketing campaign, as it signifies the number of subscribers who complete a desired goal after opening and reading your email.

The goal could be to make a purchase or to follow a link to read a blog post. Whatever it may be, your conversion rate will let you know how many subscribers feel compelled to action it.

If your conversion rate is low, there are certain actions you can take to improve it. For instance, it could be that the intent of your email isn’t clear enough. In this case, focusing on one primary CTA is much clearer and less overwhelming to readers.

It’s unlikely that you’ll see a significant increase in conversions overnight. However, you can improve this issue over time by consistently providing your subscribers with value and remaining relevant to them.

2.Bounce rate

(number of bounces / number of delivered emails) x 100

Whilst bounce rate in the e-commerce world refers to the percentage of website visitors that leave a page without interacting with it; it means something a little different in email campaigns.

In email marketing, a bounce rate signifies the percentage of email addresses from your list that didn’t receive your email. There are two types of bounces: hard and soft bounces. Here’s what they mean:

Hard bounces occur when the recipient’s email address is either non-existent, invalid, or closed. In these cases, there’s no chance your email can be sent successfully. It’s essential that you clear your mailing list of these addresses, as a high bounce rate can negatively affect your reputation as a sender.

Soft bounces are only a temporary issue due to things such as a full inbox or a faulty server. You can try resending these emails after a short period of time, or the server may deliver the email once the issue is resolved.

Across all industries, the average bounce rate is 9.96%.

Though neither hard or soft bounces reflect on you as a business or the quality of your email campaigns, it’s good to monitor these in case they affect your sender reputation. Internet service providers (ISPs) will identify you as a spammer if your bounce rate is too high.

3.Net promoter score (NPS)

Ask customers to rate your business on a scale of 0-10. Calculate the total of these scores and divide by the number of participants to find the average score.

Your business’s NPS measures things such as customer satisfaction, the likelihood of someone referring someone to your business, and future growth and sales.

Although this KPI is about more than your email marketing campaign, it’s still a relevant measurement to have when thinking about your business’s communication with its customers. Plus, much of the feedback from the survey will likely be implemented via email – whether that’s improved customer service, less frequent emails, or changing the time at which you send emails.

4.Click through rate (CTR)

(number of people that have clicked on your email campaign / number of emails sent) x 100

If your campaign sent emails to 200 people, and 20 people clicked on a link in that email, your CTR would be 10%.

You can use this formula to figure out how “clickable” your emails really are. Are your CTAs persuasive enough? Is your email design attractive enough? Is the campaign relevant to readers?

Unfortunately, these questions aren’t answered directly by calculating a CTR. Knowing this metric, though, can set you on the right path. To measure the efficacy of the variables above (persuasive copy, attractive design, relevancy), you’d use A/B testing.

It might help to know that CTRs are highest for B2B marketers when their emails announce new features or products.

5.Unsubscribe rate

(email unsubscribes / emails delivered) x 100 = percentage unsubscribes

Your unsubscribe rate shows the percentage of subscribers that are unsubscribing from your mailing list. Email recipients can choose to opt-out of your mailing list – whether they feel like they’re receiving too many emails or because they’re not relevant to them. Though unsubscribing is predominantly negative for your business – there is a positive.

Since some recipients will find your content irrelevant or uninteresting, they’re not going to be engaging with your emails or make purchases. A high number of inactive recipients means a lower open rate – which can affect your sender reputation.

Providers such as Google do monitor this kind of thing, and if you’ve got too many inactive recipients or a very low open rate, they could mark you as spam.

To prevent this, say goodbye to inactive recipients yourself by removing them from your mailing list, and don’t feel too regretful when they unsubscribe yourself. In the end, you want high-quality leads, i.e., those likely to make a purchase.

Obviously, if your unsubscribe rate is high, your first steps should be to make your emails more relevant, interesting, and useful, as well as reducing their frequency if this is an issue. But beyond that, unsubscribes are actually protecting you from a worse fate – a reputation as a spammer!

If you feel the inevitable need to replace those leads lost through unsubscribing, it’ll be time to focus on lead generation outside of your email campaign.

6.Open rate

(number of emails opened / number of emails sent) x 100 = percentage open rate

This KPI shows the percentage of your subscribers that open a given email. From that, you’re able to glean an understanding of how interesting your emails are to your subscribers.

Subscriber “interest” can be affected by several things such as time, day, email copy, email intent, sender identity, device type, and relevance, amongst others.

If your open rate is low, you may want to investigate ineffective subject lines, the frequency of your emails, and whether you’re sending content to uninterested subscriber segments.

Welcome emails see the highest open rates, with more than 8 out of 10 people opening them. However, this could skew your data as it generates four times as many opens than other email types.

7.List growth rate (LGR)

((number of new subscribers – number of unsubscribes) / total number of email addresses in list) x 100

You’d track LGR if you wanted to know the rate at which your mailing list is growing. If you recently updated the mailing list sign-up CTAs on your website, you’ll want to monitor their effectiveness.

Knowing how many people are willing to join your mailing list can be really telling when it comes to your website or social media platforms. It relates to everything from company values to web design. If this rate is high, it’s a sure sign you’re doing something right. If it’s low, you may want to reconsider your lead generation processes and examine how you can draw in more sign-ups.

8.Time of day emails are opened

When do your subscribers open their emails? Perhaps they’ve even let you know the time they prefer in a feedback survey.

Though it’s not an indicator of performance, looking at this data does provide crucial information that can benefit your campaign’s performance in the future.

Finding out this figure allows you to identify the most optimal time to send emails – a time at which there’s the highest chance subscribers will open, read, and engage with your emails.

Across the world, Fridays see the highest open rates for emails at just under 19%.

If you have mixed data about this issue, you could find it out yourself using A/B testing.

9. Earnings per subscriber (EPS)

(total revenue generated / number of subscribers)

This KPI helps businesses put a monetary value on each of their mailing list subscribers. It’s calculated by looking at the revenue generated by one or several email marketing campaigns.

You could compare the EPS of different campaigns to measure the effectiveness of certain variables and their impact on revenue. You can also use EPS to measure the lifetime value of a subscriber.

Like many of the KPIs on this list, EPS is helpful for determining the success of your email campaigns. On top of that, though, EPS can indicate the level of loyalty and commitment subscribers feel towards a business.

Upsells at checkout may help with increasing EPS, as well as personalisation techniques and discount coupons. In the long term, EPS will increase when your mailing list is full of high-quality leads that feel an affinity with your business and what it offers.

10. Return on investment (ROI)

(money gained – money spent) / money spent

The ROI KPI is used to evaluate how profitable email marketing campaigns are. Out of all the email marketing KPIs you could track, ROI is one of the most complex. Here’s why:

Many of the goals that businesses set out to reach with email marketing are difficult to quantify. For instance, you can’t put an exact figure on raising brand awareness. Therefore, calculating the ROI isn’t always straightforward.

To combat this, you must identify the measurable aims of your strategy in order to target specific metrics that, in turn, indicate ROI.

For example, brand awareness means more web traffic, increased search volume, and more interactions on social media, among other things. These results are measured more easily than something like brand awareness. Though indirect, measuring these factors will help track your goals.

So, if you can track web traffic, search volume, social media engagement, and the leads and income resulting from those channels, you can obtain the data required to calculate ROI.

Calculating ROI isn’t always complex. Namely, if you aim to acquire more leads, you can use Google Analytics to calculate the value of each lead obtained via your email campaign, including web traffic.

If you want to improve your ROI, you could conduct A/B testing to identify the factors that generate more revenue.

11. Sharing and forwarding rate

(number of clicks on a forward and/or share button / number of delivered emails) x 100

This KPI is used to measure the percentage of email recipients who share or forward your email content with a friend, family member, or social media network community.

Businesses are more likely to value this KPI if their email campaigns contain long-form content. For instance, those wanting to become Thought Leaders or attract more interest in their blog will prize shares and forwards.

If you want to increase your sharing or forwarding rate, why not encourage subscribers with a reward? You could offer referral codes that result in discounts or enter them into a prize draw if they share your content.

What to do with your KPI information

There’s no use monitoring KPIs if you don’t take advantage of their data. For instance, did you know that 1 in every 5 email campaigns isn’t mobile-optimised? If your KPIs showed that emails opened on mobiles had lower CTRs, it’d be clear that mobile optimisation was necessary.

Unfortunately, taking action isn’t always straightforward, as KPIs don’t explicitly explain email recipient behaviour. Sometimes something like A/B testing is necessary to confirm or deny suspicions. Additionally, segmenting the data from your KPIs can add extra colour to your sketch – such as in the case of the mobile optimisation.

Generally, keeping a keen eye on your KPIs can ensure you catch problems when they arise and keep you more in tune with your campaign’s health.

Start tracking your email KPIs today

Evidently, with the right combination of KPIs, you can have eyes on every aspect of your email marketing campaigns – missing no detail.

By calculating everything from open rates to earnings per subscriber, you can collect all the relevant data you need to make appropriately informed decisions for your email campaigns. With no stone unturned, you’ll have everything you need to craft the most effective email sequences possible.

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