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The Email Marketing KPIs You Need to Be Tracking 

email marketing, Brand Awareness, Subscriber List, Conversion Rate, Increase number of subscribers

Think email marketing is going out of style? Think again…

It’s estimated that more than 34% of the population (2.5 billion people) worldwide use email. According to a study by the Radicati Group, email usage is predicted to increase to 2.8 billion users in the next 2 years. Yup, email is popular.

There’s a good reason why.

Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with people. Just think about it. Do you even know anyone who doesn’t have an email address?

But, why is email marketing an integral part of a healthy marketing strategy?

When it comes to business, email plays a huge role in many customer interactions and is still the most used digital channel for customers seeking service.

While social media is an important first step in the customer journey, email marketing remains the real deal when it comes to converting people into members, customers, or supporters.

Email marketing is not only effective but inexpensive. With email, you can reach a large number of customers at a rate of nearly nothing per message.

But for you to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you must pay attention to the metrics that correlate with your campaign goals.

In this article, we’ll cover eight email marketing KPIs that will help you to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

Most Important Goals for Email Marketing

Before we get into how we need to look at why.

Creating SMART goals before you start an email marketing campaign will remove any ambiguity surrounding where your marketing team’s focus should be. It will also make marketing tracking easy and successful.

Here are a few marketing goals to work with:

Customer Acquisition/ Lead Generation

One of the main goals of using email is to acquire customers. Using emails to reach out to new leads by sending them your product or service offerings is a great way to turn them into customers.

Brand Awareness

Email marketing is a great way to create brand awareness, as well as awareness about a product, service, or event. Even if the recipient fails to open your email, they will still get to know you through your creative subject line.

Increase Engagement

Use email to engage your customers and get them excited to learn more about your brand and offerings. Emails with catchy images, graphics, and even videos will entice the recipients to read the entire email and digest all of the information you’ve provided.

Improve Customer Experience

A lot of customer support happens over email – from keeping customers posted about their orders or to inform them about what is going on in the company. The better the experience is for the customer the higher the chances of impulsing repeat purchases.

Upsells and Cross-Sells

Once you’ve acquired a customer, the journey continues. You want to turn them into loyal customers.

Email marketing is a fantastic way to continue the relationship with your existing customers. Take advantage of the ongoing communication to cross-sell or upsell your customers. This way, you continue enlarging your repeat customer base at a low cost.

Grow Your Subscriber List

The bigger your email list, the more successful your email marketing campaign will be. So you need to build and maintain a list of people who regularly open, read, and engage with your messages.

Retain Customers And Turn Them Into Brand Advocates

A loyal customer is easier to retain than acquiring a new one. Keep engaging old and new customers through email long after the sale is made. If their experience is positive you could encourage them to promote your brand through reviews or user-generated content.

See how swimwear brand 437 uses email marketing to re-engage with their customers.

The Email Marketing KPIs You Must Use To Track Your Goals

Now that you’ve identified the purpose of your email marketing campaign, next you need to know the email marketing KPIs that you would like to improve upon to fulfill the general purpose of the campaign.

Let’s take a look at the eight email marketing KPIs you should be measuring:

1. Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Clickthrough rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links added in a given email.

To calculate your clickthrough rate: (Total clicks OR unique clicks ÷ Number of delivered emails) * 100

CTR is important as it tells you how each email you send performs. It gives you a direct insight into how many people on your list are engaging with your content and interested in learning more about what you are offering.

This metric is especially important if your goal is to increase engagement, build awareness, acquire customers, or retain existing customers.

2. Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link within an email and took the desired action.

To calculate your conversion rate: (Number of people who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100

If your goal is to generate leads, then you certainly need to know how many people are converting.

3. List Growth Rate

This is the rate at which your email list is growing.

To calculate your list growth: ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100

People won’t stay on your email list forever. Email lists are known to decrease by 22.5% per year. It’s, therefore, important to keep tabs on your list growth and loss. The aim should be to grow your list so that you can grow your customer base.

Use social media posts to increase your email lists. You can do so by sharing your newsletter subscription link on your social media posts. To know how many subscriptions you acquire from your social media platforms, you can use a social media analytics tool such as Keyhole.

4. Open Rate

The open rate is the percentage of email recipients who open a particular email. It is the simplest email marketing KPI to measure. This metric shows how many recipients opened your email.

Most email marketing campaigns get an average open rate of a little over 24%. If you manage a campaign with open rates higher than that, then you’re doing something right.

Source: Lyfe Marketing

5. Number of Unsubscribes

As much you want to know how many people are opening your emails, you also want to know how many people are unsubscribing from your emails.

This metric is also easy to measure, your email manager will tell you how many people unsubscribed after receiving an email from you.

Your unsubscribe rate relates to your customer experience and/or retention goals – it will signal if your content is alienating your audience. It is still important to keep checking it every month and use it to calculate your overall email list growth rate.

6. Forwarding Rate/Email Sharing

Forwarding rate/email sharing is the percentage of email recipients who either shared your post via social media or forwarded it to a friend.

This metric tells you how many brand ambassadors you have. So if your goal is to retain customers and turn them into brand ambassadors, then you should not miss this metric.

7. Engagement Over Time

Engagement over time gives you insights into several things.

You get to know which headlines your recipients love the most, what kind of content they engage with, and what they do with this information, and the best times of day to send messages.

These are important to measure Customer Experience and Acquisition. Measuring engagement over time will give you the information you need to better understand and reach your audience.

8. Overall ROI

At the end of the day, you want to know how much money your email marketing brought to the company. You want to know if your investment is paying off.

Overall ROI tells you the overall return on investment for your campaigns. Measuring your ROI will not only help you track your budget but also help you allocate your marketing spending appropriately.

To calculate this metric:  [(money in additional sales made minus money invested in the campaign) ÷ money invested in the campaign] * 100


If you want to increase your revenue, then email marketing is a great tactic to use. But remember, success comes through continuous improvement and you can only improve through continuous marketing tracking.

Make sure you first Identify the appropriate email marketing KPIs for your email marketing goals. Then, consistently monitor your progress and make improvements as needed. These efforts will certainly pay off!

About the Author: Stella Mwangi is a Keyhole contributor and the face behind The African Nomad blog. Stella is a full-time freelance copywriter and Digital Marketing expert who has been helping businesses execute successful digital marketing strategies for over a decade.

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