Email Marketing Analytics: Understanding Key Metrics

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By: Jamie Cain

When it comes to analyzing your email marketing tactics, there is a great deal of metrics you have at your disposal. It’s important to consistently assess the metrics that matter most to your business in order to gain insight into whether your current strategy is working.

I’ve listed five key email marketing metrics which are essential to improving your overall email program that should be tracked and monitored on a recurring basis.

Delivered Rate

Delivered rate, simply put, is the number of emails delivered to your subscriber. Different from total emails sent, this metric also includes email addresses that were sent, but never delivered because they were bounced or blocked from the ISP. This is the first metric that you should be focusing your attention on. If you are emailing addresses that are continuously getting bounced, the work you are doing to increase all other metrics will be pointless. This gives you an opportunity to clean up your list and remove email addresses that aren’t getting delivered.

Open Rate

Open rate is the percentage of email subscribers that received your email and also opened it. Keep in mind that there is a total open rate as well as unique open rate. While total open rate can account for the same person opening an email several times, unique open rate would only include one open per recipient. Open rate is a great metric to test subject lines to see which resonate best with your audience. Another test you could try is changing the time of day or day of week that you are emailing your subscribers to see if that moves the needle with your open rate.

Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the percentage of email subscribers who clicked on a link in your email. Similar to open rate, there are unique and total clicks to account for. CTR is frequently used in testing new email creatives, placement of CTA buttons and content within your campaign. This metric provides insight into what percentage of your email list is engaged with your brand and where you need to make improvements.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate (CVR) is the percentage of email subscribers who clicked on a link within your email campaign and then performed a specific action such as making a purchase. The main objective of most marketers is to drive sales and revenue. By monitoring this metric, you can best determine which offers/promotions have the highest propensity for success.

Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe rate measures how many recipients unsubscribed from your email list from that particular campaign. The unsubscribe rate may differ greatly depending on the campaign that you are sending. Take a look at what your current strategy is. Are you mailing your customers too frequently so that they feel bombarded and feel the need to unsubscribe from your mailing list? Or maybe you aren’t segmenting your lists. Delivering personalized content will help keep subscribers interested in hearing from you.

Now that you better understand a few of the essential ​email marketing metrics and how they are used to measure success, you can make changes to your program based on the results.


Jamie Cain is an experienced digital marketer with both client-side and agency experience having spent over 9 years in the field; specializing in email, deliverability and CRM. Her email marketing and deliverability expertise has been featured by Return Path, Ellevate Network and The Huffington Post. Find more about Jamie on her Linkedin page.

Ellevate Network is a global women’s network: the essential resource for professional women who create, inspire and lead. Together, we #InvestInWomen.

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