Key Takeaways
  • Email marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are crucial metrics that measure the success and effectiveness of email marketing campaigns.
  • These metrics are pivotal in improving email campaigns by providing insights into subscriber engagement, content relevance, and overall performance.
  • Key email marketing metrics to track include open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, unsubscribe rate, revenue per subscriber, and more.
  • Examining email marketing KPIs is necessary to measure success, optimize performance, understand audience preferences, maximize ROI, and maintain list quality and compliance.

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, every email you send is a potential game-changer.   

But what truly sets our blog apart is the profound understanding that data is not just information; it’s the secret sauce to email marketing success.   

Welcome to a blog that’s more than just insights; it’s a treasure trove of strategies and secrets.  

Imagine crafting the perfect email campaign, carefully choosing every word and image. You press “send” and eagerly wait for results.   

But how can you be sure if your email is making an impact or getting lost in the crowd?  

This blog dives deeper, revealing the intricacies of these vital statistics. We won’t just show you what they are; we’ll explore how to interpret them, why they matter, and how they can revolutionize your email marketing game.  

So, if you’re ready to move beyond the basics and discover strategies to elevate your email campaigns from good to exceptional, you’re in the right place.  

What is a KPI? 

A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a quantifiable metric that organizations use to measure the success or performance of a specific goal or objective.  

KPIs serve as essential benchmarks that help evaluate progress toward achieving desired outcomes.  

In the context of email marketing, KPIs are specific data points and metrics that allow you to assess the effectiveness of your email campaigns. 

What are email marketing KPIs? 


Email marketing KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators for email marketing, are a subset of KPIs tailored to assess the performance and impact of your email campaigns.  

These metrics provide insights into various aspects of your email marketing efforts, allowing you to gauge their effectiveness and make informed decisions for optimization. 

Common email marketing KPIs include open rates, click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, bounce rates, list growth rates, unsubscribe rates, revenue per email, and more.  

Each KPI serves a specific purpose in helping you understand different aspects of your email campaigns. 

Role of email marketing KPIs and metrics in improving email campaigns 

Email marketing KPIs play a pivotal role in optimizing your email campaigns: 

  • Performance evaluation: KPIs provide a snapshot of your campaigns’ performance. By regularly assessing these metrics, you can identify trends, strengths, and weaknesses. 
  • Targeted improvements: KPIs highlight areas that require attention. Whether it’s low open rates, high bounce rates, or low conversion rates, these metrics guide you in making targeted improvements to enhance campaign effectiveness. 
  • Segmentation and personalization: KPIs often reveal differences in engagement among various segments of your audience. Leveraging this data, you can personalize your email content and targeting to improve engagement and conversion rates. 
  • Testing and optimization: A/B testing and experimentation are critical for email marketing success. KPIs help you evaluate the results of different tests and optimize your campaigns based on what works best. 

Email marketing KPIs and metrics are indispensable tools that enable you to measure success and drive continuous improvement in your email campaigns, leading to better engagement, higher conversion rates, and, ultimately, a more successful email marketing strategy. 

Email marketing KPIs & metrics you need to track 

Email marketing success hinges on your ability to measure and analyze key metrics and KPIs.  

These vital indicators provide insights into the performance and effectiveness of your email campaigns, enabling you to fine-tune your strategy and achieve better results.  

Let’s explore the essential email marketing metrics you should be monitoring: 

1. Click-through rate (CTR) 

  • Meaning: CTR measures the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links in your email. It helps gauge the effectiveness of your email’s content and call to action.  
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of clicks by the number of delivered emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: A high CTR indicates engagement and interest, leading to potential conversions. 
  • Example: If you sent 1,000 emails and received 100 clicks, your CTR would be 10%. 
  • Tips: Use compelling calls-to-action, clear and concise messaging, and A/B testing to improve CTR. 

2. Delivery rate 

  • Meaning: Delivery rate represents the percentage of emails successfully delivered to recipients’ inboxes without bouncing. 
  • How to calculate: Subtract bounced emails from the total sent, divide by the total sent, and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: High delivery rates ensure your emails reach their intended audience, improving campaign effectiveness. 
  • Example: If you sent 1,000 emails and 20 bounced, your delivery rate would be 98%. 
  • Tips: Maintain a clean email list, follow best practices, and monitor bounce rates. 

3. Conversion rate 

  • Meaning: Conversion rate measures the percentage of email recipients who completed a desired action, such as purchasing or signing up for a newsletter. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of conversions by the number of delivered emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: It directly reflects the effectiveness of your email marketing in achieving your goals. 
  • Example: If you received 50 conversions from 1,000 delivered emails, your conversion rate would be 5%. 
  • Tips: Optimize your email content and landing pages for higher conversions. 

4. Bounce rate 

  • Meaning: Bounce rate indicates the percentage of emails that could not be delivered for various reasons, like invalid email addresses or entire mailboxes. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of bounced emails by the total sent emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: High bounce rates negatively impact the sender’s reputation and deliverability. 
  • Example: If 30 emails out of 1,000 bounced, your bounce rate would be 3%. 
  • Tips: Regularly clean your email list and use double opt-in processes to reduce bounces. 

5. List growth rate 

  • Meaning: List growth rate measures how your email subscriber list expands. It tracks the percentage increase in your email list over a specific period. 
  • How to calculate: Subtract the number of unsubscribes and email list attrition from the total new subscribers, then divide by the previous total subscribers and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: A healthy list growth rate is vital for maintaining and increasing your potential customer base. 
  • Example: If you had 500 new subscribers, 50 unsubscribes, and 20 attritions from a list of 10,000, your list growth rate would be [(500 – 50 – 20) / 10,000] x 100 = 4.3%. 
  • Tips: Use sign-up forms, incentives, and referral program to boost list growth. 

6. Email sharing/Forwarding rate 

  • Meaning: This metric reflects the percentage of email recipients who share or forward your email to others. It signifies the viral potential and content quality of your emails. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of shares or forwards by the total delivered emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: A high sharing rate indicates that your content resonates with your audience and can extend your reach. 
  • Example: If 50 recipients shared or forwarded your email out of 1,000 delivered, your sharing/forwarding rate would be 5%. 
  • Tips: Encourage sharing by including share buttons and creating share-worthy content. 

7. Open rate 

  • Meaning: Open rate represents the percentage of recipients who opened your email. It indicates how engaging your subject lines and sender information are. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of unique opens by the number of delivered emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: High open rates show your email was compelling enough to capture your recipients’ attention. 
  • Example: If 400 recipients opened your email out of 1,000 delivered, your open rate would be 40%. 
  • Tips: Craft attention-grabbing subject lines and sender names, and segment your list for personalized content. 
  • Meaning: This metric tracks the number of clicks on specific links or URLs within your email, helping you understand which content or offers are most attractive to your audience. 
  • How to calculate: Count the clicks on each link/URL in your email. 
  • Importance: It provides insights into the interests and preferences of your recipients, allowing you to refine your content. 
  • Example: If your email contains three links, and they received 50, 30, and 20 clicks, respectively, you have the click counts for each URL. 
  • Tips: Analyze click data to tailor future emails and optimize your calls to action. 

9. Email read rate 

  • Meaning: Email read rate, also known as the email read percentage, measures the percentage of recipients who open and read your email. It provides insights into how engaging and compelling your email content is. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of recipients who opened and read your email by the total number of delivered emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: A high email read rate signifies that your email content resonates with your audience and encourages them to consume your message. 
  • Example: If 400 recipients opened and read your email out of 1,000 delivered, your email read rate would be 40%. 
  • Tips: Improve email read rates by crafting relevant and valuable content, optimizing subject lines, and considering the timing of your emails. 

10. Event lag 

  • Meaning: Event lag is the time recipients take to engage with your email after it’s delivered. It helps in understanding the delay between email delivery and recipient actions. 
  • How to measure: Calculate the time difference between email delivery and the first recipient engagement, such as opens or clicks. 
  • Importance: Event lag provides insights into how quickly or slowly your audience interacts with your emails, which can inform your follow-up strategies. 
  • Example: If, on average, recipients open your email within 12 hours of delivery, your event lag is 12 hours. 
  • Tips: Use event lag data to optimize the timing of your email campaigns and follow-ups. 

11. Mobile click-to-open rate 

  • Meaning: Mobile click-to-open rate measures the percentage of mobile email recipients who clicked on a link or CTA after opening the email. It highlights the effectiveness of your mobile-friendly email design and content. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of clicks from mobile devices by the number of mobile email opens and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: With the increasing use of mobile devices for email, this metric helps optimize mobile email experiences. 
  • Example: If 80 mobile recipients clicked on a link after opening the email out of 200 mobile opens, your mobile click-to-open rate would be 40%. 
  • Tips: Ensure responsive email design, legible text, and mobile-friendly CTAs for better mobile click-to-open rates. 

12. Unsubscribe rate 

  • Meaning: The unsubscribe rate represents the percentage of recipients who opted out of receiving further emails from your campaign after receiving one. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of unsubscribes by the total number of delivered emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: Monitoring unsubscribe rates is essential to maintain list quality and deliverability. 
  • Example: If 20 recipients unsubscribed from your campaign out of 1,000 delivered emails, your unsubscribe rate would be 2%. 
  • Tips: Offer straightforward unsubscribe options, segment your list, and deliver relevant content to reduce unsubscribes. 

13. Spam complaint rate 

  • Meaning: Spam complaint rate indicates the percentage of recipients who marked your email as spam. It reflects the quality of your email content and sender reputation. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of spam complaints by the total number of delivered emails and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: High spam complaint rates can harm your email deliverability and sender reputation. 
  • Example: If five recipients marked your email as spam out of 1,000 delivered emails, your spam complaint rate would be 0.5%. 
  • Tips: Avoid sending unsolicited emails, adhere to email regulations, and maintain list hygiene to minimize spam complaints. 

14. Revenue per subscriber 

  • Meaning: Revenue per subscriber measures the average revenue generated from each subscriber on your email list. It helps evaluate the monetary value of your email marketing efforts per subscriber. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the total revenue generated from email marketing by the total number of subscribers. 
  • Importance: Tracking revenue per subscriber helps in understanding the profitability of your email campaigns and identifying high-value subscribers. 
  • Example: If your email marketing generated $10,000 in revenue from a list of 2,000 subscribers, the revenue per subscriber would be $10,000 / 2,000 = $5 per subscriber. 
  • Tips: Focus on increasing the value of your email marketing campaigns by targeting high-value segments and offering relevant products or services. 

15. Social shares 

  • Meaning: Social shares represent how often your subscribers share your email content on social media platforms. It indicates the reach and virality of your email campaigns. 
  • How to measure: Count the instances where subscribers share your email content on social media. 
  • Importance: Social shares extend the reach of your email content, potentially attracting new subscribers and customers. 
  • Example: If your email was shared on social media 50 times, you have 50 social shares. 
  • Tips: Encourage social sharing by including social sharing buttons in your emails and creating shareable content. 

16. Subscriber lifetime value (SLV) 

  • Meaning: Subscriber lifetime value is the estimated total revenue a subscriber is expected to generate throughout their engagement with your brand. It helps assess the long-term value of each subscriber. 
  • How to calculate: Multiply the average purchase value by the intermediate purchase frequency and then multiply by the average customer lifespan. 
  • Importance: SLV informs marketing strategies by identifying the most valuable subscribers and guiding customer retention efforts. 
  • Example: If the average purchase value is $50, the average purchase frequency is 4 times a year, and the average customer lifespan is 5 years, the SLV would be $50 x 4 x 5 = $1,000. 
  • Tips: Focus on retaining high-value subscribers, providing excellent customer experiences, and fostering loyalty. 

17. Subscriber churn rate 

  • Meaning: Subscriber churn rate, or attrition rate, represents the percentage of subscribers who opt-out or unsubscribe from your email list over a specific period. It measures subscriber retention. 
  • How to calculate: Divide the number of unsubscribes or lost subscribers by the total number of subscribers at the start of the period and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: High churn rates indicate potential issues with content relevance or email frequency that must be addressed. 
  • Example: If you started the month with 1,000 subscribers and lost 50 subscribers, your churn rate would be (50 / 1,000) x 100 = 5%. 
  • Tips: Reduce churn by delivering valuable content, segmenting your list for relevance, and implementing re-engagement campaigns. 

18. Overall ROI (Return on Investment) 

  • Meaning: Overall ROI in email marketing calculates the net profitability of your entire email marketing program, considering both revenue and expenses associated with email campaigns. 
  • How to calculate: Subtract the total costs of email marketing from the total revenue generated by email marketing, then divide by the total costs and multiply by 100. 
  • Importance: Overall ROI provides a holistic view of the profitability of your email marketing efforts. 
  • Example: If your email marketing generated $20,000 in revenue and incurred $5,000 in costs, your overall ROI would be [(20,000 – 5,000) / 5,000] x 100 = 300%. 
  • Tips: Optimize your email campaigns to improve ROI, reduce costs, and increase revenue. 

Why is it necessary to examine email marketing KPIs? 

Email marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the vital signs of your email campaigns. They provide you with actionable insights into the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.  

Examining these KPIs is necessary for several compelling reasons: 

Measuring success 

KPIs serve as benchmarks for assessing the success of your email marketing campaigns. They help answer questions like, “Did our campaign meet its objectives?” and “How well did it perform compared to previous campaigns?” 

Data-driven decision making 

KPIs offer tangible data that can guide your decision-making process. By understanding which metrics are performing well and which need improvement, you can make informed choices on content, design, targeting, and timing. 

Optimizing campaigns 

By examining KPIs, it’s easier to optimize your email campaigns for better results. You may miss opportunities to enhance open rates, click-through rates, and conversions if you don’t analyze what’s working and what’s not. 

Improving engagement 

Metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and email read rate reveal how engaged your audience is with your content. Identifying areas of low engagement allows you to fine-tune your messaging and design to capture your subscribers’ attention. 

List health and growth 

Metrics such as unsubscribe, bounce, and list growth rates are crucial for maintaining a healthy email list. High unsubscribes and bounce rates can harm your sender’s reputation, affecting email deliverability. 

Revenue tracking 

Metrics like revenue per subscriber and overall ROI (Return on Investment) tie your email campaigns to revenue generation. By tracking these KPIs, you can demonstrate the tangible impact of email marketing on your bottom line. 

Customer insights 

Subscriber lifetime value and churn rate metrics provide valuable insights into customer behavior and loyalty. Understanding these metrics helps you tailor your email marketing strategies to retain and nurture valuable customers. 

Content effectiveness 

KPIs such as social shares and clicks by link/URL indicate which content resonates most with your audience. This knowledge can be used to create more engaging and relevant content in future campaigns. 

Compliance and reputation 

Monitoring spam complaint rates is essential to maintain a good sender reputation. Ignoring this KPI can lead to email deliverability issues, hindering your ability to reach your audience’s inbox. 

Continuous improvement 

Email marketing is not a static endeavor. It requires constant optimization and adaptation to changing customer preferences and market trends. Examining KPIs provides a feedback loop that supports ongoing improvement. 

Examining email marketing KPIs is essential because it empowers marketers to make data-driven decisions, optimize campaigns, and ultimately achieve better results. 

These metrics offer valuable insights into the performance of your email marketing efforts, ensuring that you can refine your strategies, enhance engagement, and maximize the impact of your email campaigns. 

How do you choose email metrics based on your objectives? 

Understanding which email metrics to monitor based on your objectives is essential for a successful email marketing campaign. Here’s a detailed explanation of how to make this determination, considering the keywords you mentioned: 

Define your email marketing objectives 

Start by clearly defining your email marketing goals and objectives. Are you looking to improve sales productivity, increase website traffic, boost engagement, or achieve another specific outcome? Your objectives will guide your choice of metrics. 

Align metrics with objectives 

Each email marketing objective can be associated with specific metrics: 

  • If your goal is to drive sales, focus on metrics like conversion rate, revenue per subscriber, and overall ROI. 
  • For increasing website traffic, monitor click-through rate (CTR) and clicks by link/URL. 
  • To boost engagement, track open rate, email read rate, and social shares. 
  • If reducing unsubscribe rates is a priority, keep a close eye on unsubscribe rates. 

Prioritize key metrics 

Identify the most critical metrics that directly impact your objectives. These are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). For instance, if your main goal is to increase revenue, revenue per subscriber and conversion rate become top KPIs. 

Segment your audience 

Segment your email list based on subscriber behavior, demographics, or preferences. It allows you to tailor content and objectives for different groups and track metrics accordingly. 

A/B testing 

Conduct A/B tests to determine which elements of your emails (subject lines, content, CTAs) most effectively achieve your objectives. Analyze the metrics related to the test variables. 

Set benchmarks 

Establish benchmarks or baseline metrics for your objectives. These benchmarks can serve as targets for improvement and help you gauge the success of your campaigns. 

Regularly analyze and adjust 

Continuously monitor your chosen email metrics and assess their performance with your objectives. If you’re not achieving your goals, be prepared to adjust your strategies and tactics accordingly. 

Use data to inform decisions 

Leverage the insights gained from your email metrics to make data-driven decisions. For example, experiment with different subject lines to improve engagement if your open rates are low. 

Focus on long-term objectives 

Consider the long-term impact of your email campaigns. Metrics like subscriber lifetime value and subscriber churn rate are crucial for assessing the sustained value of your email marketing efforts. 

Maintain a balanced approach 

While aligning metrics with your objectives is essential, pay attention to other metrics. A holistic view of your email performance can reveal opportunities for optimization. 

Selecting the right email metrics to monitor depends on your specific email marketing objectives.  

By defining your goals, aligning metrics with those goals, and continuously analyzing and adjusting your strategies, you can optimize your email marketing campaigns and achieve meaningful results. 


In email marketing, success hinges on understanding and harnessing the power of essential metrics and KPIs. These 18 metrics, ranging from open rates to subscriber churn rates, provide invaluable insights into campaign performance. 

By analyzing these data points, you can refine your strategies, create more engaging content, and work toward achieving your goals. Embracing a data-driven approach allows you to make informed decisions that drive success in your email marketing efforts.

Remember, this field is dynamic, so continuously adapt, experiment, and strive for excellence to build stronger connections with your audience, foster brand loyalty, and attain remarkable results in email marketing.