Email Metrics: Are Your Emails Getting Through?

Determine How Effective Your Emails Are With Data (email metrics)

Email marketing is a critical component to your business, but how do you know if you’re getting through to your clients or customers? The answer lies in email metrics. You don’t want to waste time, energy, and your audience’s patience on something that doesn’t get the job done. If email metrics are new to you, don’t worry, we have you covered.

Here are six metrics you must track:

  1. Click-through Rate (CTR):

The clickthrough rate is the percentage of email recipients who click on one more links in any given email. It is calculated by Total (or unique clicks) divided by the number of delivered emails. Take that number and multiply it times 100 to get your percentage number. You can use total or unique clicks, but make sure you keep it consistent throughout your tracking, as those numbers will rarely be equal.


The clickthrough rate is the absolute minimum tracking requirement. It is a daily marketing metric and gives an easy performance calculation. You’ll want to track your CTR over time so you can catch trends as they happen.


A/B testing is a common way to test your email effectiveness. CTR will be the primary form of tracking used during these tests.

2. Conversion Rate:

The conversion rate is a percentage of recipients who perform your call to action request through the email. It can be filling out a form, purchasing a product, signing up for another list, or free webinar. The sky’s the limit. Remember that each email should have only ONE call to action. It is determined by the number of people who completed the desired action divided by the total number of emails delivered. Take that number and multiply times 100 to reach your percentage.


Clicking through the email to a desired location (the CTR) is important, but getting them to take you up on your offer, taking that action you requested in the email is the conversion. This type of tracking must be integrated with your web analytics. You can create unique tracking URLs for email links so you can identify exactly where they came from.

        3. Bounce Rate:

A bounce rate is the percentage of your total emails sent that couldn’t reach the recipient’s inbox. You take the total number of bounced emails and divide it by the number of emails sent. Multiply the answer by 100 to get your percentage. There are two types of bounces: hard and soft.


Soft bounces are temporary problems such as full inbox or problems with the recipient’s mail server. You can try to resend these messages later just in case they aren’t delivered.


Hard bounces are invalid, non-existent, or closed email addresses. Immediately remove hard bounce addresses because bounce rates are a key factor in determining an email sender’s reputation. Too many bounces can mark you as a spammer. You don’t want that.

        4. List Growth Rate:

This is the rate at which your list is growing. This is our most complicated calculation so far. Take your number of unsubscribers and add your email/spam complaint numbers. You’ll then subtract that number from your number of new subscribers. Once you have that number, divide it by the total number of email addresses on your list. Multiply that answer by 100 to get your percentage. Example: (400 new subscribers – 50 unsubscribes and email/spam complaints)/10,000 email addresses on the list*100 = 3.5% list growth rate.


You want to build a list of fans, so your audience is going to decay naturally. That’s okay. You can expect an average turnover of 20% a year. Keep an eye on your list and ensure that your growth is moving in a positive direction. This is a very important metric to track.

        5. Email Sharing/Forwarding Rate

This is the percentage of recipients who clicked a “share this” button to post the email content to a social platform, and/or clicked on a “forward to a friend” button. You take the number of clicks on a share/forward button and divide it by the number of total delivered emails. Multiply that times 100 to get your percentage.


It’s an often-overlooked metric that is very important. Here’s why: word of mouth is still the most influential form of marketing available. This generates new leads without you having to lift a finger, and it proves that others found your content useful. This is a perfect metric for finding content that intrigues others.

        6. Overall Return On Investment (ROI)

This is your total revenue divided by your total spend. You take the additional sales made and subtract the money invested in the campaign. Take that number and divide it by the number invested in the campaign and then multiply it by 100 to get your percentage. ROI is tracked differently for different businesses, but this is the basic formula.


If you spent $1000 in advertising and only made $500 in sales, your ROI is a loss of 50%. This is a very important metric.

There are many more metrics available for your business to consider. Tracking your email metrics is an important part of success. And remember, selling to a current customer or client is 70-80% more likely than selling to a new lead. You can track loyalty, average clicks per email address, and more. Determine what metrics meet your needs.