You’re sending your email campaigns and newsletters out in regular intervals and look at your reporting to see what’s working and what could be improved, but do you really know what your email data means?

As a modern marketer, you wear a lot of hats and are in charge of many moving parts of your marketing mix. It’s easy for your email marketing data to get lost in all the metrics and key performance indicators you have to keep an eye on.

In this post, we’ll explain six simple email marketing metrics and how you can use them to improve your email campaigns.

Why is monitoring your email marketing metrics important?

VentureBeat recently conducted a study of 48,000 companies that use email tools and found that marketers aren’t doing a great job at capturing data and applying it to their decision making.

In fact, thirty-two percent of enterprises don’t know on which devices their customers are opening emails and twenty-nine percent aren’t tracking revenue through emails, according to the study.

That’s problematic, especially considering email delivers the highest ROI of any marketing channel and you can get significant gains in conversions by monitoring your analytics and running A/B tests.

Email is a marketing channel you definitely want to be tracking and optimizing to ensure you get the best possible results.

But how do you know what data to track? And how do you use this data to optimize your campaigns and get better results?

Let’s take a look at six email marketing metrics you should be tracking and how you can use that information to get better results from your email campaigns.

Common email marketing metrics in your Campaign Monitor reporting

Total opens to date

Total opens to date simply means the total number of times your campaign was opened by your recipients. This means that if you send a campaign to two recipients and one of them reads your email twice while the other reads it once, the “total opens to date” will be three.

The total number of opens to date is shown below unique opens:

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Unique opens

Unique opens does not take repeat opens from a single recipient into account. So, if you sent a campaign to 3 different recipients and 2 of them opened it a total of 6 times, it would still show up as 2 unique opens as that’s how many individual people opened and viewed your campaign.

How to use this information for better results: Email opens are a good measure of how successful your subject line is at convincing your subscribers to open your email campaigns.

While benchmarks do exist, they vary depending on your industry, list size, how your list was built, so it’s best to monitor your open rates over time and compare them from campaign to campaign. If you are getting an open rate between 20% and 40%, you are probably somewhere around average.

If you find your open rates are falling, then you can try using various subject line formulas or power words to help increase them.

Bounces

The bounce data tells you the total number of subscribers who did not receive the campaign because the email bounced.

One of the most important metrics to monitor after you’ve sent a campaign is the bounce rate, which is calculated by taking the total number of bounced emails dividing it by the total number of recipients the campaign was sent to.

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Bounce rates are directly related to the quality of your subscriber list and low bounce rates (between 2-3%) are a sign of a healthy, permission-based list with active and engaged subscribers.

For an explanation of the different types of bounces and why your emails may be bouncing, check out this helpful post.

How to use this information for better results: If your bounce rate is topping 3% it could indicate that there may be problems with the way your list was grown, or how it is being managed.

It’s important that you are only sending campaigns to people who have specifically opted-in to hear from you, and by following our two-part email list building formula you can start to build a list of highly engaged subscribers and reduce your bounce rate.

Clicked a link

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Your click data tells you what percentage of people who opened your campaign went on to click a link.

Email marketing tools like Campaign Monitor will tell you your click-through rate, as well allow you to dive deeper to determine exactly what links were clicked and what subscribers clicked them.

How to use this information for better results: Knowing which links in your emails are getting clicked is one of the key indicators of your campaign’s success.

Using this information, you can figure out what content resonates most with your subscribers as well as get a sense of how successful your links and calls to action were. What content did your subscribers click-through on? Did they click your text links, your CTA buttons, images or all of the above? All of this insight can help you choose how to optimize your next email campaign and help to continue to improve your click-through rate.

Unsubscribed

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The unsubscribed data tells you the total number of recipients that clicked the unsubscribe link in the campaign. If you did receive a number of unsubscribes, you can also click through to see who opted-out of your campaigns.

We often get asked what a “good” unsubscribe rate is, so generally, if you receive less than a 2% unsubscribe rate, you are within industry norms. The one exception is when you send to new lists, as they naturally tend to generate a higher unsubscribe rate than previously emailed lists.

How to use this information for better results: If you notice your unsubscribe rate is higher on a particular campaign, look at what is different about that campaign. Did you change the mailing day or frequency of how often you mail? Did you change the from address to something people might not be expecting? Did you change your content? And, did you make any changes to your list? Any one of these factors, as well as numerous others, can account for a change in your unsubscribe rate.

This explanation of six email marketing metrics and how you can use them to get better results should help you get a better handle on capturing your email data and applying it to your decision making.

Your turn: What other email marketing metrics do you look at and how do you apply your insights to your campaigns? Please share your thoughts in the comments below

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  • Ravi Jha

    Hi, you shared great email marketing metrics that is helpful for good result. Check the huge list of 39 email marketing tools
    http://www.techbiz3.com/39-email-marketing-tools
    It also may helpful for better result.

  • Kristen

    Hi there,

    In terms of the unique opens, when I compare the unique opens on the campaign results page and in the Opens & Clicks over time, there is quite a significant difference, do you know why?

  • Kim

    Hi Kristen,
    Thanks for reading and for your question. The Opens and Clicks over time report shows the opens day by day, whereas the Campaign report combines them all. For example, if Sally opened on Sunday and Monday, both of those would be counted in the Opens and Clicks for those two days, but would only count once for the overall report. If you have more questions concerning your reports, feel free to reach out to our awesome Support crew.

    Cheers and thanks again for reading!
    Kim

  • Paige

    This is a great resource for email metrics. Included things I never thought of before. Thanks for the tips.

  • Thomas

    Kim,

    Great article and very insightful. I would love to hear your thoughts/ideas on companies that utilize email not as a monetization tool, but instead as a information dissemination tool. What metrics would be key to follow? Would all of the aforementioned concepts and metrics be best to keep an eye on?

    Thanks,
    Thomas

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