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You might be following the best of practices in crafting your email but at the end of the day, what really matters is whether you hit your goal or not.

In this context, here are 6 key e-mail metrics that you must track in to judge their effectiveness and ultimately calculate the returns on your efforts.

1. Open rate

Open rate is the first and the simplest metric that you must track. This helps you in identifying two things: First, how effective are your subject lines and pre-text. Second, what is the best time and day to send the e-mails.

Tracking and analyzing your open rate helps you discover key insights on how you can increase the readership of your e-mails

2. Click rate

Taking a step forward from the open rate, it is time to analyze the effectiveness of the content of your emails. This is achieved by tracking the click rate.

Tracking and analyzing your click rate gives you two key insights: First, how optimized your emails are in delivering your message. Second, how relevant is the content for your target audience.

This helps you in optimizing your emails for better conversions and identifying the right content for your target audience

3. Conversion rate

This is the next metric to gauge the effectiveness of your email campaign.

Just to give you an idea of what conversion rate is, it is a metric which tells how many of the recipients went ahead and completed the goal of your email campaign i.e. either read a blog post or signed up for the offer (webinar, eBook, whitepaper etc).

This metric is at the heart of your email campaigns and ultimately tells you the emails’ effectiveness in your marketing strategy.

How to measure the conversion rate?

In order to measure the conversion rate on your emails, you’ll need to integrate your email platforms and web analytics.

For that, you will need to create unique tracking URLs for your email that identify the source of the click as coming from a specific email campaign.

4. Bounce rate

Bounce rate is an indication of the health of your email database.

Bounce rates can be divided into two separate categories: Hard bounce and soft bounce.

A hard bounce is when the email address has been closed down permanently. This usually happens when the recipient has changed his job. In this case, you should stop sending any more emails to this address.

A soft bounce is when the email address is temporarily invalid. This happens due to two reasons: either the recipient is facing some server issues or his email box is full. In this case, you should re-send the email at a later time.

You should continuously maintain your bounce rate to the lowest possible percentage to ensure that you have a clean and an active email list. (Ideal bounce rate is less than 5%)

5. Spam rate

There are times when your emails might seem obtrusive or irrelevant to your target audience in which case they would just mark it as a spam.

You should follow email best practices continuously to ensure minimum spam rates (no higher than 0.1%). A consistently high spam rates can potentially get you into trouble with your email service provider.

Note: There have been times when, in the case of high spam rates, the email service provider starts categorizing all your emails as spam thereby rendering your e-mail address useless.

6. Unsubscribe rate

Unsubscribe rate tells you the number of people who have shown a disinterest in your emails.

It helps you to discover two key insights: First, how frequently you are sending the emails to your target audience. Second, how interested your audience is in receiving e-mails from you.

While it might seem disheartening to lose subscribers, it ensures that you are only sending to those who want to hear from you.

This helps you in re-evaluating your email strategy to ensure you are only sending relevant and compelling content.


You should continuously track and analyze your e-mail campaigns. This helps you in improving their effectiveness thereby increasing the ROI on your efforts and resources.

A key way to do that is by having a final goal in mind and then breaking down that goal into small steps and then trying to improve upon those areas.

Resources and tools round-up

  1. How to create UTM codes to track your e-mails
  2. Automate your e-mail campaigns using MailChimp

What are the key e-mail metrics that you track? Please comment below