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Email marketing measurement: 10 indispensable KPI’s

The great thing about email marketing is that you can track and measure practically anything. But on the other hand, if you can measure anything, it’s difficult to keep track of what’s really important. To make sure that you focus on the most important things first, we assembled the 10 KPI’swe use most frequent. 

Opened rate: Don’t be fooled when people tell you that opened rate is not important, and you should merely focus on CTR. Nonsense. Opened rates give you an idea of the number of brand impressions, which is essential in staying top of mind. 

Click-to-open rate: tells you how many visitors click through to your landing page. But beware, CTO can give a deceptive result: if you have 1,000 opens and 200 clicks, your click-to-opened rate is 20%. If your opens drop to 500 and your clicks drop to 150, your CTO is 30%. So it seems that you’re doing a good job, but in reality your traffic is declining. 

Unsubscribe rate: reveals how many people unsubscribe from your emails. If you want the number of unsubscribes to drop, then add a short 'reason why' on the unsubscribe page, and take action based on people's feedback.

Bounce rate: if your emails start bouncing hard or soft, or if you get a lot of spam complaints, it’s time to call your ESP. Work out a plan together to make sure everything runs smooth again. 

Conversion rate: the number of people that convert after the click. But beware: it’s a bit more complex than that, because not everyone had a direct conversion. Moreover, not all sales can be directly attributed to email. Check our post on attribution here

List churn: add up all your unsubscribes, bounces, spam rates,… and see how it effects your total database size. If your churn is larger than your growth, it’s time to take action. 

Email address value: what’s the value of an email address? If you know the average turnover per email campaign, you can calculate a value per email address. 

List growth: how is your list growing in volume and quality? 
Sign-up source: track where your sign-ups are coming from. If you see that over 50% is coming from whitepaper downloads, it’s time to invest in content and publish or distribute more whitepapers. 

Time on site: often forgotten in email marketing, but time on site is very important. High click through rates mean nothing, if you have a high bounce rate on your site. So if people click AND stay on your site for a considerable time span, you’re doing a good job.


Pick your most important KPI’s and systematically keep track of the values. This way you’ll get the most accurate overview of your email marketing efforts.

Posted on
Apr 16, 2015