The Major Marketing Email Metrics to Track (and Ignore!)

March 10, 2016 Andy Beohar

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Email marketing is a powerful inbound marketing tool, but trying to measure and report its effectiveness can be overwhelming even for the most experienced marketers. With so many metrics available to track, it’s hard to know which matter and which don’t.

To help you out, we’ve listed three of the most important email metrics to track below, along with two that you can safely ignore.

Major Marketing Email Metrics to Track and Ignore

The Most Important Email Metrics to Track

Bounce Rate

If your email list isn’t up-to-date and relevant to your campaign, you’ll have a tough time gaining any traction. One of the most useful email metrics you can use to track the strength of your list is bounce rate, which shows how many emails were automatically rejected.

There are two kinds of bounces: hard and soft. Soft bounces aren’t permanent, and could be because of a temporary connection issue, full inbox, or spam filter. Hard bounces are due to invalid email addresses and these leads should be removed or updated immediately.

Clickthrough Rate

Most marketers know the importance of monitoring the clickthrough rates (CTRs) of email marketing campaigns. It shows exactly how many people were interested enough in your message to click your link and take a further look. CTR is the perfect email metric for assessing the success of each individual message, and is the metric to use if you want to judge the impact of different headlines, calls to action, etc. A low CTR indicates that you need to take a long, hard look at your entire campaign.

Conversion Rate

Email marketing is proven to generate more conversions and sales than other inbound marketing tactics, so a particularly low conversion rate is s sign of a major problem. A low conversion rate could mean that your call-to-action isn’t effective enough, or that your overall offer simply isn’t compelling enough.

Top Email Metrics Not to Track

Churn Rate

Churn rate measures exactly how much your email list is growing. It looks at the number of new subscribers while subtracting any unsubscribes and hard bounces. Sounds useful, right? But unfortunately, churn rate is hard to interpret. If you’re following best practices and maintaining multiple lists, you might lose subscribers for one list while gaining them in another. Low churn isn’t always a bad thing, either. It’s often better to have a smaller, more engaged list than a larger, less enthusiastic one.

Open Rate

Open rate simply isn’t as useful as metrics that track engagement, like clickthrough or conversion rates. A high open rate doesn’t mean your email campaign is successful, it simply means that you have an enticing headline. Along the same lines, a low open rate doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong. Emails that don’t load completely aren’t considered ‘open’. That means if somebody is using an image blocker but ends up clicking through and converting, their email won’t be considered opened.

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