7 email marketing metric myths debunked and explained

Do you think that Monday mornings are always the best time to send out your emails? Or do you fear that sending more email campaigns will inevitably lead to more unsubscribes? Well, think again. Most of these assumptions about email marketing metrics are plain gibberish! Time to debunk these myths and see what‘s really worth measuring…

1. A large subscribers list is the best way to measure your email marketing success

When it comes to subscribers, quality always overrules quantity. The engagement and activity of your contacts is the best way to measure your email marketing success. Are subscribers opening your emails? Do they click your links? Try reaching exactly the right people, not the most people.

2. Your subject line is responsible for your open rate

There is no doubt your subject line is crucial to convince people to open your email campaigns. But it is definitely not the only factor. If you want to reach for the highest possible open rate, be sure to focus on your sender name, time of day, email position in the inbox and preview text as well.

3. Click rate is the most important metric to measure engagement

At first sight, it seems only logical that clicking gets your subscribers one step closer to becoming customers. But in reality, it is not that simple. As an email marketeer you’ll need to monitor 10 or more email metrics to track the exact performance of a campaign: open rate, click-through rate, click-to-open rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, number of unsubscribes, list growth rate, spam complaints, forwarding rate/email sharing, engagement over time, overall ROI, revenue per email and revenue per subscriber. Generally speaking, your click-to-open rate is probably the most important metric for tracking engagement.

4. Sending more emails will increase your unsubscribe rate

True: receiving too many emails can be a reason for a subscriber to unsubscribe. But it’s certainly not the only reason. The majority of people state that irrelevant content is the main trigger for unsubscribing. And by irrelevant content they mean that they feel the content isn’t made ‘for them’ or that the content is specifically made to sell them something. Be sure to always create content that in one way or another answers your subscribers needs.

5. Shorter subject lines result in better email metrics

Let’s be blunt. When it comes to subject lines, length matters. If they’re too long, they might not boost your open rates, because the second half might get cut off. Making them too short isn’t beneficial either. Having too little information in your subject line may not convince your contacts to open the mail. Testing is the only way to determine what the ideal length is for your audience. The general rule: short subject lines — say, less than 30 characters — are ideal for push notifications and mobile devices, but they aren’t a perfect fit for engagement.

6. Sending the same email twice is disadvantageous for your email metrics

We’re not saying you should send every email twice to exactly the same segment or list that received the campaign originally. But sometimes it can be a smart idea to send out the same email campaign twice. If you want to do so, make sure you only re-send the mail to the contacts that didn’t open the first time. And tweak your subject line, the preview text and maybe even the intro or title of the email. You’ll save some time and money on email design and coding.

7. Sending emails in the morning and the beginning of the week is best for your metrics

Mailchimp uncovered that recipients are more likely to open their email after 12 pm. And investigation shows that Monday and Tuesday are not necessarily the best days to send out. Our advice: test it. In a world of mobile and portable devices, we are online 24/7. So, get to know your audience, track their behavior and get to know when they are more likely to open your email and click wherever you want them to.


Myths about email marketing metrics usually have a grain of truth in them, so don’t completely ignore them. Always try to put them in context and keep in mind that it’s best to test what works for your audience and what doesn’t.


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Posted on
Jul 10, 2019