3 Email Metrics to Watch — and 2 More Metrics to Check

3 Email Metrics to Watch — and 2 More Metrics to Check

It’s no secret that online marketing has changed in the past few years. New platforms have been added, existing channels have updated time and time again, and the way we consume everything has changed. 

However, one thing has remained very consistent: the use of email.

According to 99 Firms, more than 4 billion people use email. That’s more than 50% of the world’s population! 

And here are some more email marketing statistics to consider.

It’s safe to say that using email is vital to your overall marketing strategy — and definitely not something you want to overlook.

What Email Marketing Metrics Should I Track?

After sending the perfect email to your potential customers, your job isn’t over. In fact, it’s just getting started. 

It’s important to analyze the data to see both what is working in your email marketing strategy and also what needs to improve to become more effective.

That’s why you need to pay attention to different email metrics. 

You can find these email metrics through your email provider and Google Analytics. A good practice is to use both places to track and compile your data together to get the most accurate results. 

Email metric lingo can seem like a foreign language when compared to other digital marketing terms. Let’s break down the most important metrics you should watch.

Open Rate

Your open rate is probably the most obvious metric you will track. 

In simple terms, of the total number of emails you sent, how many people on your list actually opened the email? 

Your open rate is impacted by a number of factors — such as the subject line, day of the week and time of delivery, and your sending frequency. (Psst — we have some tips for how you can write killer email subject lines.)

A Note About Apple’s iOS 15 Update

Historically, email service providers (ESPs) tracked open rate using a hidden pixel image in every email. When a user opened the email, the image was automatically downloaded and logged as an open by the ESP. 

With the introduction of iOS 15 in September 2021, Apple gave users the option to opt in to privacy features preventing third parties from tracking their email opens and other IP data. For users who opted in, these Apple devices register an open regardless of whether they actually opened the email. 

While fears of inflated or inaccurate open rates are relevant — Apple and Apple Mail users make up roughly 35% of the global email provider share — it’s important to focus on factors you can control (as listed above) to boost your open rate.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The purpose of your email is to drive your potential customers to take some sort of action — so you should always include links in your emails. 

Your click-through rate (CTR) — the number of opens divided by the number of clicks — demonstrates the number of people who took action.

If your CTR is low, here are a few things to check.

  1. Location. Where did you put your call to action (CTA)? Is it right at the top, or is it near the bottom? Are there multiple places for them to take action? 
  2. Content. Is your content directly relevant to your CTA? Is it driving people to take action? 
  3. Readability. When creating your email on a desktop view, it’s easy to overlook the fact that most of your audience will be viewing your content on a mobile device. Before sending, check the mobile view to make sure your content is easy to read from a mobile device. 

Unsubscribe Rate  

Your unsubscribe rate is the amount of people who opted out of receiving future emails from you. 

While unsubscribe rates should be kept low, they aren’t necessarily a bad thing. If you have people on your list who aren’t engaged, having them leave the list will only help improve your open and click through rates for future emails. 

With that being said, you are going to have people decide to leave who previously subscribed to your content. And that’s okay! You aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea all the time.  

It’s important to measure this metric to ensure there isn’t a large number of people leaving in a short period of time. If you see an alarming number of unsubscribes, re-examine your content and check for red flags, like offensive comments or wording that could have been misunderstood.

Additional Email Metrics to Monitor

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that were unable to be delivered to your list. 

You will want to keep this number low, as email providers and anti-spam networks use this as a grading system to determine if they’ll accept emails from you in the future. 

Your bounce rate is typically correlated with the quality of your email list. The higher the quality of your email list, the lower your bounce rate should be.

If your bounce rate is higher than you would like, here are some questions to ask:

  1. Are your subscribers engaged and active? 
  2. Are you providing relevant information that your list signed up for?
  3. Is your list stale? Have you been sending regular content or sporadic?

Average Session Duration (aka “Content”)

The content of your email is the real meat and potatoes of your work. The average session duration is how long your audience spends consuming your content once they’ve clicked through to your website. 

Did they open by accident and bounce off the site right away? Or did they spend some time reading what you have to offer?

Seeing the Fruits of Your Labor: UTM Tagging Your Emails

When set up correctly, a UTM tag will tell you where your website traffic came from. Simplified, a UTM tag is a string of text added to the end of URL link for tracking the activity of that link and source. 

Once you have tracked your data, jump over to Google Analytics. This is the place to see if your email referral traffic is hitting the benchmarks you have set.

If your email referral traffic is still lower than you would like, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and test the metrics listed above.    

How We Can Help You Improve Your Email Marketing

At 9 Clouds, we believe that email is an incredibly important part to your overall marketing strategy. It’s personal and helps you connect with your potential customers. If you feel like you’re in a rut with your email marketing, download our free email marketing ebook to up your email game.

And if you’re ready for some help, see how our email marketing services can help your overall business success.

Win the Inbox With Email Marketing »