We could go on for days discussing the most important elements of an optimized email, typical email marketing errors you might be making, and inspiring examples of brilliant email marketing.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter how well-optimized your emails are if you can’t track their success or determine whether they are assisting you in achieving your objectives.

Therefore, take a moment to reflect before sending your next email and ask yourself, “What is the goal of my email marketing?”

  1. Clickthrough Rate
  2. Conversion Rate
  3. Bounce Rate
  4. List Growth Rate
  5. Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate
  6. Overall ROI
  7. Open Rate
  8. Unsubscribe Rate

1. Clickthrough Rate

What It Is: The proportion of email recipients who clicked on one or more of the email’s links.

How to Determine It: (Number of emails delivered x (total clicks OR unique clicks)) * 100

Example: 5% clickthrough rate equals 500 total clicks x 10,000 emails delivered x 100 (Using either total clicks or unique clicks in the calculation above works, as long as you use the same approach consistently.)

Asking an email marketer what metrics they track will probably result in them mentioning clickthrough rate (CTR) as the first response. It’s what I like to refer to as the “day-to-day” email marketing metric because it makes it simple to determine the effectiveness of each and every email you send. From there, you can monitor the evolution of your CTR.

Since A/B tests are frequently created with the goal of discovering fresh approaches to increase email clickthrough rates, CTR is frequently used to ascertain the outcomes of these tests.

The worth of a clickthrough rate

All email marketers should be tracking clickthrough rate because it gives you a clear picture of how many people on your list are interacting with your content and showing interest in finding out more about your company or your offer. Learn what a “good” clickthrough rate is in this blog post by reading industry benchmarks.

Customers of HubSpot can learn how to set up click tracking in emails using HubSpot by clicking here.)

2. Conversion Rate

8 Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs to Track

What It Is: The proportion of email recipients who clicked on an email’s link and carried out the desired action, such as completing a lead generation form or making a purchase.

How to Determine It: (Total number of emails delivered – People who took the desired action) * 100

Example: 10,000 emails were delivered, and 400 recipients took the desired action, for a conversion rate of 4%.

The next step is usually to persuade an email recipient to convert on your offer, or, in other words, to carry out the action that your email has requested of them, after they have clicked through on your email. Therefore, if you send an email inviting your subscribers to download something for free, like an ebook, you’d count any recipients who actually do so as a conversion.

One of the most crucial metrics for assessing how well you’re achieving your goals is conversion rate because your call-to-action should be directly related to the overall goal of your email marketing and your definition of a conversion is directly related to that call-to-action in your email. (We’ll talk about more precise metrics for goals later.)

You must integrate your email platform and web analytics in order to track conversion rates on your emails. This can be achieved by making specific tracking URLs for your email links that show that the click originated from a particular email campaign.

What is the value of your conversion rate?

Conversion rates are crucial if you want to generate leads because they demonstrate how effectively your newsletters produce prospects and leads.

3. Bounce Rate

What It Is: The proportion of emails you sent overall that were unsuccessful in reaching the recipient’s inbox.

How to Determine It: (Number of emails sent – Total bounced emails) * 100

Example: 0.75 percent bounce rate equals 75 bounced emails out of 10,000 total emails sent.

“Hard” bounces and “soft” bounces are the two types of bounces to keep track of.

Soft bounces are the result of an issue with a valid email address that is only momentary in nature, such as an overflowing inbox or an issue with the recipient’s server. You can try sending your email message again to soft bounces, or the recipient’s server may hold these emails for delivery once the issue is resolved.

Hard bounces are emails that cannot be delivered because the email address is invalid, closed, or nonexistent. Internet service providers (ISPs) use bounce rates as one of the key variables to determine an email sender’s reputation, so you should immediately remove hard bounce addresses from your email list.

What value does a bounce rate have?

Even though a bounce rate has little to do with your goals, you should still check it to make sure your emails aren’t having any major problems. A large number of hard bounces can give your business the impression that you are a spammer in the eyes of an ISP. To find out more about the distinction between hard and soft bounces, read this blog post.

4. List Growth Rate

8 Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs to Track

What It Is: The rate of expansion of your email list.

 How to Determine It: The total number of email addresses on your list is equal to ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)]).

Example: 10,000 email addresses on the list * 100 = (500 new subscribers – 100 unsubscribes and email/spam complaints) = 4% list growth rate.

Along with the metrics related to calls to action (CTR, conversion rates), you should also monitor the expansion and contraction of your list. Of course, you should be working to increase your list in order to reach a wider audience and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

How valuable is the rate of list growth?

Your email marketing list, believe it or not, naturally ages and loses about 22.5% of its subscribers each year. As a result, it’s more crucial than ever to focus on expanding and maintaining the size of your subscriber list.

5. Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate

What It Is: The proportion of email recipients who chose to “forward to a friend” or “share this” in order to post email content to a social network.

How to Determine It: (Total number of delivered emails * (number of clicks on the share and/or forward buttons)) * 100

Example: 10% email sharing/forwarding rate equals 100 clicks on a share/forward button divided by 10,000 delivered emails.

Even though it may not seem like a very significant metric, the rate at which your email recipients forwarded or shared your email with others is undoubtedly one of the most crucial ones you should be monitoring.

Why? because you make new contacts in this way. Your database already contains the people on your email list. Conversion remains the main goal, but this doesn’t help you generate new leads. Start keeping track of how many new people you can add to your database by encouraging your readers to forward your email to a friend or colleague if they found the content to be helpful. For advice on how to persuade people to forward your emails, read this blog post.

Why Email Forwarding and Sharing Rates Are Important

Keep a close eye on your sharing rates to learn which articles and offers tend to be shared the most, then use that knowledge to inform your future email campaign planning.

6. Overall ROI

8 Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs to Track

What It Is: The overall ROI of your email marketing campaigns. In other words, the ratio of total revenue to total expenditure.

How to Determine It: ($increased sales minus ($increased sales minus ($increased campaign investment)) $increased campaign investment] * 100

For instance: ($1,000 in extra sales – $100 spent on the campaign / $100 spent on the campaign) * 100 = a campaign’s return on investment of 900%

Although there are other methods of calculating the ROI of your email campaigns, this formula is the simplest. You might favor a different one based on the nature of your business.)

You should be able to calculate the overall ROI of your email marketing, just like you can with any other marketing channel. If you haven’t already, set up a SLA system that allows you to value different lead types according to how likely they are to bring in money for your business.

How important is ROI?

How many of each of these kinds of leads did email marketing help you produce? How might this affect potential earnings? Real money earned? These metrics will enable you to demonstrate to your manager and sales team the value of email marketing as a channel that produces real, measurable results.

7. Open Rate

The proportion of email recipients who actually open a particular email.

The majority of email marketers are still going above and beyond to make sure their subject lines are optimized for higher open rates. While this may have a positive effect and more opens are always a good thing, they should really be concentrating on improving their clickthrough rates.

The truth is that open rate is a very deceptive metric for a number of reasons. Most importantly, an email is only considered to have been “opened” if the recipient also receives any attached images. Additionally, a significant portion of your email subscribers probably have image blocking turned on in their email client. This means that even if they open the email, you won’t count them in your open rate, making it a misleading metric for marketers as it understates your actual results.

How valuable is the open rate of your emails?

If you use open rate as a comparative metric, you may be able to derive some value from it. Since the variables are somewhat controlled, you might gain some insight if you compare the open rates of this week’s email send to last week’s email send (both to the same lists).

8. Unsubscribe Rate

8 Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs to Track

What It Is: The proportion of recipients who remove their email addresses from your send list after opening a specific email.

The unsubscribe rate, like the open rate, is not a reliable indicator of the state of your email list. Many customers who have grown weary of receiving emails from your company won’t bother to follow the official unsubscribe procedure. They’ll simply stop reading, clicking, and opening your emails.

Because of this, using clickthrough and conversion rates to gauge subscriber engagement is much more useful. From there, you can keep an eye out for disinterested subscribers so you can eventually think about removing them, as we discussed earlier.

How important is a subscriber churn rate?

Even though it has nothing to do with your objectives, monitoring your unsubscribe rate on a monthly basis can help you figure out how quickly your list is growing as a whole. So, do occasionally keep an eye on it.


The top 8 email marketing metrics that every marketer should monitor are listed above. Although some of these metrics are undergoing significant changes, they are all still important to understand.

For more information read our previous posts on Marketing Strategy Framework Template and What to Include in a Social Media Strategy.

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