Email Marketing Metrics to Consider for Mapping Your Campaigns

Author: Bhuvnesh Wadhwa | Categories: Email Marketing & Automation, Digital Marketing, Online Marketing

Overwhelmed by the reports from your latest email marketing campaign? Well, you aren’t alone struggling to compile (and measure) the efforts of your drive!

Digital marketers love to explore the email marketing channel, most of all. This is one of the best approaches that you can use to reach out to your potential and existing customers and enrich their experience with your brand. However, it also offers you several data points to aid your research. While this in itself is a great feature; sometimes, confusion over the essential and secondary data points can intimidate you with the vast amount of available information. This can result in leaving out the important data points to the not-so-important ones.

Through this blog, I am trying to clear the cloud so you can focus on the key metrics to ensure that you capture the right points and effectively measure all your marketing efforts.

An overview of the key metrics

Out of the different data points that are available, here is the list of metrics (attributes, actually) you should ideally focus on.
  1. Unique click through rate

  2. Bounce back rate

  3. Email forwards

  4. Unique opens

  5. A/B Testing – Not an individual metrics, but helps in getting better counts for the metrics mentioned above
Other than these, there are a few variable metrics that many digital marketers consider. As a best practice, do not focus too much on these as they can be misleading at times. These include:
  1. Open rate

  2. Unsubscribe rate

What do the email marketing metrics mean?

Unique click-through rate

This tells you the rate of your recipients (percentage) who clicked on one or more links in your email. This is an excellent metric to concentrate on as it can interpret your campaign’s performance. A decent click-through rate is capped between 20 and 30 percent; however, this will also depend largely on the size of your mail list, the frequency of your campaigns, and other factors.

To calculate unique click-through rate, use the below formula:

Total unique clicks divided by the number of delivered emails, multiplied by 100.

So, how do you sum up the benefits of unique click-through rate? Well, for sure:

  • It helps to calculate the performance of your email campaign

  • Helps in A/B testing your campaigns

  • Facilitates your customers to engage with your content

Quick tip: To improve the unique clickthrough rate of your emails, make them mobile-friendly!

Bounce back rate

One important attribute that can help you capture the right customer information is the bounce-back rate. For the starters, email bounce back highlights the percentage of your emails that were undelivered to the recipients. This can be a result of several factors – identifying which of the two types a particular bounce belongs to, can be handy. A bounce back can either be a soft bounce or a hard bounce. While the former is temporary, the latter is serious and permanent. In case the recipient’s mailbox is full, it can result in a soft bounce – once there’s some space available in his inbox, your mail will be delivered. Invalid email addresses lead to hard bounces.

Quick tip: Keeping note of your bounces can help filter your email list and speed up delivery.

Email forwards

Tracking this metric offers you dual benefits:

  • You can nurture your existing or a previous customer

  • You can add new names to your database

Yes, when a recipient chooses to forward your email to a friend or share on a social platform, you are introduced to new accounts. By appropriately connecting with these accounts, you can turn an unknown to a known (potential) customer and perhaps even establish a long lasting relationship with him/her.

In addition to the above, you can also enjoy a real-time insight into the type of content that’s best liked by people. The content that is liked will stand better chances of being forwarded in groups. This way you can add more of such content to your repertoire.

Quick tip: Take all your new contacts seriously and promptly add them to your nurture list.

A/B Testing

This isn’t a metric in the real sense but worthy nonetheless. While you are evaluating the performance of your email campaigns by tracking the different metrics, it’s important that you regularly also conduct A/B tests. Try different subject lines, different banners and images, and most certainly different styles of content. However, to derive the most of this, try testing one thing at a time. It would be futile testing many things (or all the things) in one go, as that way, you’d lose focus, and you wouldn’t be able to capture the results appropriately.

Quick tip: Test one field at a time and test often.

Variable email marketing metrics

Open rate

There’s an invisible pixel, a small image, which loads every time an email is viewed – this is how email campaigns work. So, the number of times the image will load, the email will be counted as open. In this sense, this can be a misrepresentation of the actual instance. In case a recipient chooses not to view your email, even after the image has loaded – it will be counted as an opened email. On the contrary, if a recipient has the image-blocking facility enabled on his/her email client, an opened email will incorrectly be left out from the group.

Unsubscribe rate

Not every recipient may want to walk the entire path to unsubscribe from your mailing list. They may just choose to ignore your marketing emails. In that sense, the unsubscribe rate may not be relevant. Therefore, if you have considered it as an important attribute so far for your campaigns, now is the time to alter it.

At the same time, you should be transparent in all your marketing collaterals by allowing your users to choose to not receive communication from you. This will not only help you retain the good contacts in your emailing list – the uninterested ones will want to opt out – but will also help you to reduce your spam levels. Most marketers provide double opt-outs, which is a way to confirm that they wish to be left out of your subsequent email campaigns. It is a must-practice, which you should invariably include as a part of your email campaigns.

In case the opt-out rate is high, focus on finding out the root. You may have to work upon your marketing collaterals or filter the email lists appropriately. This should help you improve the quality of your emails and also decrease the unsubscribe rate.


Every email marketing campaign may have a different goal – while some may primarily be designed to engage customers, some others may be designed to prompt a sale. There can be a third variety to test the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. So, in this sense, you may want to track the relevant (different) attributes to gauge the efficiency of your efforts. The email marketing metrics shared above can help you to track your goals appropriately as they are positive attributes to capture the correct picture for you. In your next campaign, don’t miss to track these attributes – identify your goals and solidify your marketing efforts!