20 Email Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success and Drive Action - Litmus (2023)

Every email marketer knows that feeling of satisfaction when sending an email: part relief, part fear. When you hit send, the hard part is over and you can sit back and wait for the results so you can assess whether or not the email you sent was successful. Knowing these insights is powerful - they drive the future growth of your email marketing program.

But what email metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) should you be measuring? What do your email service provider (ESP) or marketing automation platform (MAP) and third-party analytics tools offer you?

We asked thousands of marketers what metrics they currently track. We found that.

The state of email analytics in 2021

Almost all ESPs provide the basics — opens, clicks, and unsubscribes — and the vast majority of brands track these metrics. After that, however, visibility decreases rapidly.

according to ourE-Mail-Scan-Statusbericht, nearly half of brands (45%) don't track email interactions into conversions. Less than a fifth (17%) measure their return on investment (ROI) in email marketing. And only 12% of brands measure Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV).

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Brands that use third-party analytics tools are much more likely to measure the monetary value of their email campaigns, such as B. Revenue per subscriber, LTV and ROI.

This is great because the better you can track, the better you can optimize. Marketers who use third-party analytics tools see a 25% higher ROI than those who don't.

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Similarly, if you give everyone, not just your email team, insight into how your email program is performing, you give them the opportunity to do soUse email insights across your entire organization. This, in turn, can improve overall marketing effectiveness. Brands that regularly email results to their marketing and other teams see a 28% higher ROI!

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Learn more about email performance visibility

Would you like more information? Check out our State of Email Analytics report to see how your email analytics compares to your competitors, learn where you have gaps in visibility, and understand how your email -Take performance tracking to the next level.

Download the free report →

Basic and advanced email metrics

Let's dive a little deeper into each of these email marketing metrics, what they mean, and how they're calculated. Remember: make sure you have oneholistic view of email metricsand compare it with your own program. They don't know what is "good" or "bad" for a brand, or what tactics are used to reach their numbers. All that matters is thatAreThe program is constantly striving to improve.

open area

Open rate is a measure of how many of your delivered emails were "opened" and is great for measuring subject line effectiveness, monitoring email deliverability, and measuring subscriber engagement at high levels. This is how it is calculated:

Open rate = (number of emails opened / number of emails delivered) x 100

Not sure what delivered means? Continue to the bounce rate section below.

(Video) Classic Webinar: The Email Metrics You Should Measure

I put "open" in quotes because an open is recorded when the open message tracking pixel has loaded in your email tool. This can happen if someone has their inbox's preview pane turned on by default or just opens your email to delete it. In other words, people may not have opened or read your email. It also means you can't see if people who blocked images opened your email (even if they did). There's a reason many refer to open rate as a vanity metric.

And withApple Mail PrivacyOn the horizon, the open rate could be too high (and useless) for your Apple Mail users. So be careful not to over-rely on open rates for the overall success of the program, especially if your target audience is made up mostly of Apple Mail users.

Email read rate or read time

Isreading speedIt indicates how many of your opened emails were actually read. This is a great metric for editorial emails, important updates like privacy notices, and those without a call-to-action (CTA). To calculate this:

Read rate = (number of emails read / number of emails opened) x 100

The definition of "read" can vary by email tool, but in most cases you've opened an email for eight or more seconds.

ConLitmus email analysis, you can drill down even further to see who browsed (2-7 seconds) or peeked (less than 2 seconds) the page, as well as get a detailed view of read time - how long your email was open.

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Klickrate (CTR)

Click-through rate (CTR) is how many of yourdeliveredEmails were clicked. Some may refer to CTR as clicks-on-opens, but for clarity we'll use results here and will talk about clicks-versus-opens in the next section. How is the CTR calculated?

CTR = (number of emails clicked / number of emails delivered) x 100

CTR sheets are taken out of the equation, giving you an unbiased view of email performance.

Click-to-Open-Rate (CTOR)

The click-to-open rate (CTOR) indicates how many of yourOpenEmails were clicked. This differs from CTR in that it's based on opens and is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your subject line. Did your email meet the expectations stated in the subject line andpreview text(High CTOR)? Or was it justmisleading(low CTOR)? This is how the CTOR is calculated:

Click-to-open rate = (number of emails clicked / number of emails opened) x 100

Want to improve your subject line? Check out these 18Subject line tipsby experts

deregistration fee

The unsubscribe rate measures how many people unsubscribe from receiving your emails, and in general you should aim for less than 1-2% to stay on the good side of deliverability. To calculate this:

Unsubscribe rate = (number of unsubscribes / number of emails delivered) x 100

Depending on your email platform, an unsubscribe may be logged when a person actually unsubscribes or simply clicks on your unsubscribe link.

Tracking your unsubscribe rate is a good way to check how good your email list and permission practices are, and if certain content isn't performing well with a specific audience. Logging out isn't necessarily a bad thing—let gois infinitely better than being marked as spam, so make suremake it easy to unsubscribe.

bounce rate

The email bounce rate indicates how many of yourPostedEmails were bounced or were not delivered, regardless of whether it was aHard-Bounce oder Soft-Bounce. How do you calculate that?

Bounce rate = (number of emails bounced / number of emails sent) x 100

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On the other hand, you can opt for measurementdelivered rateinstead 100% minus the bounce rate. So if your bounce rate is 5%, your delivery rate is 95%. For any calculation that requires the number of emails delivered, it should be the number of emails sent minus the number of emails bounced.

You want to aim for a bounce rate of 2% or less (or a delivery rate of 98% or more).

If your bounce rate is too high, it's a sign that the email addresses on your list are bad, usually because of badE-Mail-Listen-HygieneÖproblematic procurement sources(You don't buy or rent lists, do you?). Ultimately, if you don't do something about it right away, it may affect your ability to reach your inbox.

Spam Complaint Rate

What else can throw your emails in the spam folder? The spam complaint rate. Measures how many people report or mark your email as spam. How to get this number:

Spam Complaint Rate = (Number of Spam Complaints / Number of Emails Delivered) x 100

Anything above 0.1% is worrying. Typically, you get spam complaints when people don't know or remember you, are really upset with your content, or don't know how to unsubscribe. That's why it's important to make finding the unsubscribe link, and the actual process of unsubscribing, ridiculously easy. You may also want to take a closer look at your acquisition practices, send frequency, and content or segmentation strategies.

Deliverability rate or inbox placement rate

All of the above (and so many other factors that nobody knows about) affect your deliverability rate, aka inbox placement rate. The deliverability rate shows how many of your emails end up in the inbox compared to the junk or spam folder. HeDifference between deliverability and deliveredis that an e-mail is also considered to have been delivered if it is in the recycle bin, i.e. it has been received by an incoming mail provider, with deliverability being considered in concrete termsWoYour email has been delivered. How deliverability is measured:

Deliverability Rate = (# of non-spam emails delivered / # of emails delivered) x 100

If your inbox placement rate is low (below 80%), it could mean you're not sending the right content to the right audience at the right time. No, we don't talk about itSpam trigger words. It's way more complicated than that. The most important thing is to make sure you have a great list,authenticate your emailsand send relevant content.

Conversion Rate (CVR)

IsEmail ConversionRate measures how many people took the action you requested on your email. A conversion depends on the destination of your email and can be anything from a purchase or donation to signing up for a webinar or downloading an eBook. This is how it is calculated:

Conversion rate = (number of conversions / number of emails delivered) x 100

Personally, I like to look at conversion rate based on email clicks to see a direct attribution, but looking at it based on how many emails were delivered gives you an ideaindirectlyattribution. Just because someone didn't click on your email doesn't mean they didn't convert because of it.

Revenue per email (RPE)

Revenue per email (RPE) gives direct monetary value to your email sends. How to get the number:

Email revenue = revenue generated / number of emails delivered

By calculating this for different email types, you can reliably forecast revenue per email while planning for the months ahead. What if the RPE is below your average? It could mean that your content, product, or service isn't resonating with your audience.

Revenue per Subscriber (RPS)

Revenue per subscriber (RPS) is a little different from RPE because you're looking at the value of an email subscriber and not an email sent. This distinction is important to include all of your active subscribers, even those you don't always broadcast to (and you shouldn't broadcast everything to everyone anyway). How is RPS calculated?

Revenue per subscriber = revenue generated / number of active subscribers

Be sure to look at a specific point in time, e.g. B. the last month or the last year.

Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV)

Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV) measures the value a subscriber brings to your list over their lifetime. In fact, this is difficult to calculate because you need the right data:

(Video) The TOP Email Marketing Metrics...YOU NEED TO BE TRACKING

Subscriber Lifetime Value = monthly revenue per subscriber x average number of months a subscriber stays on your list

Months can be replaced with days, weeks, or years depending on your subscriber's lifecycle. To determine the average time a subscriber stays on your list, you need to look at your unsubscribe or unsubscribe list and determine the average time between the subscribe and unsubscribe dates.

For example, if your monthly RPS is $30 and subscribers tend to stay on your list for 7 months before unsubscribing, then assume your Subscriber LTV is $210.

Subscriber LTV is a particularly useful metric compared to acquisition cost (more on that below) because you want to ensure that LTV is higher to make the acquisition worthwhile. You may even want to calculate the LTV per acquisition source to determine which sources are working or not.

I also like to use this when considering whether it's worth sending an email based on the value of subscribers I expect to lose from unsubscribing versus the value I would gain from sending the receive email.

Return on Capital (ROI)

Email marketing return on investment (ROI) is a measure of how much value your email marketing program offers compared to the cost. It is calculated like this:

ROI = (Email Revenue - Email Marketing Cost) / Email Marketing Cost

Your email marketing costs can be difficult to measure unless you're managing the email marketing budget. This cost takes into account both your tools and equipment (including agencies, contractors, and freelancers). ROI, and above allpotentialROI is the perfect way to get a budget for more resources or acceptance of a new project.

20 Email Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success and Drive Action - Litmus (5)

What leads to a better ROI?

The average ROI for email marketing is 36:1, but some brands are getting much more. Find out what factors correlate with higher returns in our CMO's Guide to Email Marketing ROI (not just for CMOs!).

Download the free report →


20 Email Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success and Drive Action - Litmus (6)

Email forwarding is the number of times people click the forwarding feature in your email client after opening your email. Pretty easy, right? 😉 Keep this in mind if your goal is to create content worth sharing. To get this:

Forward rate = (number of emails forwarded / number of emails opened) x 100


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Impressions measure how many people click the print function in the email client after opening your email. Consider this metric for coupons that need to be printed and taken to the store, and things like directions, directions, tickets, or confirmations. How to get this number:

Impression rate = (number of emails printed / number of emails opened) x 100

Email list size or growth rate

Without an email list, you have no one to send your emails to. What if your list doesn't grow? Then your e-mail program cannot grow either. Email list growth indicates how much your list is growing rather than changing. So you always want this to be positive. To calculate this:

List growth rate = ((monthly new subscribers - monthly unsubscribed subscribers) / list size) x 100

Feel free to change the monthly period to make sense for your brand.

Alternatively, you can view churn rate, which measures how many people are being removed or suppressed from your email list. This includes unsubscribes, bounces, manual deletions, or even non-engaged subscribers. It's good to have this number so you know how much you need to expand your list to get a positive growth rate. How to get this:

(Video) KPIs and Metrics That Really Matter for High-Performance Recruiting

Cancellation Rate = (Monthly Canceled Subscribers / List Size at Beginning of Month) x 100

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Healthy Mailing List. healthy returns.

Subscribers contribute to the overall success of your email program. Learn how to get more good subscribers. And more income.

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Subscriber Acquisition Costs

Email Subscriber Acquisition Cost indicates how much it costs, on average, to acquire a new subscriber. This one is useful for those doing paid ads, giveaways, or joint marketing campaigns. How did you get this number?

Email Subscriber Acquisition Cost = Marketing or Advertising Cost / Number of New Subscribers

Lower costs may seem ideal at first, but that can sometimes result in lower-quality subscribers. Use your Subscriber LTV to determine how much you're willing to pay for quality email subscribers.

Email production time

How efficient is your email marketing process? Where can improvements be made? Knowing your email production time can help with this. There are two types of times you want to keep track of:

  • Actual time to complete each task (e.g. 90 minutes to code an email)
  • Time from email conception to execution (e.g. 14 days to create and send an email)
20 Email Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success and Drive Action - Litmus (9)

What is your workflow like?

Find out how marketers like you manage your email marketing time and identify opportunities to improve your time with our State of Email Workflows report.

Get the report →

While an email can take 10 business hours, people often juggle multiple tasks, requiring you to track at both a granular and high-level level. For example, it might only take 15 minutes to review an email, but the reviewer can't access it for two days.

Email Device and Customer Usage

Device and email client usage shows how many of your subscribers open emails in each email client, app, or device. Here's an example of what that looks like inLitmus email analysis:

20 Email Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success and Drive Action - Litmus (10)

Knowing this data is helpful in determining where to focus your development and QA efforts. I want to have funanimated gifsor embed a video in your email and you mainly have Outlook 2007 users? It's not worth it. This is also good for troubleshooting deliverability if you can isolate the issue to a specific inbox or internet service provider (ISP).

Email errors or error rate

Everyone makes mistakes, but making too many is bad for brand reputation, trust, and credibility.

A high error rate may mean you need to slow down or improve your quality control process. This is how it is calculated:

Error rate = (monthly number of emails sent with an error / monthly number of emails sent) x 100

As with many of the calculations here, choose the time frame that works best for you. It doesn't have to be monthly. The higher your broadcast frequency, the shorter the time frame you want to watch. For example, if you sent 54 emails this quarter and 2 of them had errors, your error rate is 3.7%.

20 Email Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success and Drive Action - Litmus (11)

Email Errors to Watch Out for (And How to Fix Them)

Dive into the most common issues that corrupt your emails, discover how they impact your email marketing program, and get practical tips and tricks for creating flawless, branded emails. every time

Download e-book →

persecutionGUTEmail KPIs are important

You can't track every possible data point, and you shouldn't. And a metric may be important to one campaign but not another. It all depends on your goals and what KPIs can help you measure success in relation to those goals. With the right insights, you can see what's working and what you need to improve so you're always delivering what both your subscribers and stakeholders want.

What are the metrics doing?OfA notice? Are there any that we miss on this list?

(Video) Beyond Opens & Clicks How to Measure Email’s True Business Impact

20 Email Metrics and KPIs to Measure Success and Drive Action - Litmus (12)

Go beyond opens and clicks with Litmus Email Analytics

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Originally posted on April 23, 2019 by Whitney Rudeseal Peet. Last updated on July 20, 2021.


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