Top 10 Email Marketing Metrics You Should Keep Track Of

Learn the important email metrics that reveal how well your email marketing campaign is performing.
Email metrics might seem like a puzzle, especially if you're new to email marketing.

But don't worry, we're here to help you understand them without any confusing stuff.

Today, we'll take a look at some important numbers that tell you how well your emails are doing. These are like report cards for your emails, showing you what's working and what needs improvement.

In this guide, we'll talk about ten email metrics, including:
  1. Open Rate: How many people opened your emails.
  2. Click-Through Rate (CTR): How many clicked on your links.
  3. Conversion Rate: How many turned into customers.
  4. Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR): How clicks relate to opens.
  5. Bounce Rate: How many emails didn't make it.

No need for math whiz skills here. We'll explain what each number means and how you can use them to make your emails even better.

So, let's dive in and make email metrics easy to understand!

1- Deliverability Rate

Deliverability Rate refers to the percentage of sent emails that successfully reach their intended recipients' inboxes. It is a critical metric that plays a key role in the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

High deliverability rates are indicative of a clean and healthy email list, confirming that your emails are landing in the right inboxes. Conversely, a decline in deliverability rates may signify that your emails are being marked as spam or that you're sending messages to invalid email addresses.

To calculate the deliverability rate, you can use the following formula:
Deliverability Rate = (Number of Delivered Emails / Total Number of Emails Sent) x 100

As for what constitutes a good email deliverability rate, while achieving 100% deliverability is the ultimate goal, it may not always be attainable due to various factors. Therefore, seeking a deliverability rate of around 99% is recommended, allowing for some margin of error or irregularities in your email list.

However, if you consistently observe a deliverability rate of 97% or lower, it's a signal that you need to investigate potential issues. In such cases, consider conducting an audit of your email marketing practices, assuring you're giving yourself the best chance at email campaign success.

2- Open Rate

Open rate measures the percentage of recipients who have opened the emails you've sent. This metric provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

High open rates can signify several positive factors, including compelling subject lines or the anticipation of your emails by customers in their inboxes.

Contrarily, if you notice low open rates, exploring strategies to improve engagement is essential. Consider experimenting with subject lines, leveraging personalization, incorporating emojis, or reevaluating your sending frequency.

To calculate the open rate, you can use the following formula:
Open Rate = (Total Number of Emails Opened / Number of Recipients) x 100

It's important to consider industry benchmarks when determining what constitutes a good open rate. Generally, a good open rate falls within the range of 20% to 22%. However, it's important to note that open rates can vary by industry and audience.

If your email service provider indicates that your open rate is consistently lower than this range, consider conducting A/B testing on your subject lines to identify what resonates best with your specific audience.

3- Click-To-Open Rate (CTOR)

Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR) evaluates the percentage of individuals who clicked on a link inside your email after initially opening it.

CTOR combines two essential metrics: the number of email opens and the number of clicks on your email content. Many email marketers rely on CTOR to measure the overall success of their campaigns, as it offers valuable insights into how engaging and click-worthy your email content is to your audience.

Calculating CTOR is straightforward, and you can use the following formula:
CTOR = (Number of People Who Clicked on a Link in an Email / Total Number of People Who Opened the Email) x 100

The resulting CTOR percentage helps you understand the proportion of email recipients who not only opened your email but also engaged further by clicking on the links contained within it.

A higher CTOR indicates that your email content resonates well with your audience, encouraging them to take action. Contrarily, a lower CTOR may suggest that your content could be improved to make it more compelling and click-worthy.

  • When determining what constitutes a good CTOR, industry benchmarks are a helpful reference point. Aim for a CTOR of approximately 10.5%, as reported as the average industry benchmark by Campaign Monitor in 2021.

4- Conversion Rate

The conversion rate measures the percentage of subscribers who have taken a specific action, often the ultimate goal of an email campaign, such as making a purchase.

This metric holds significant importance because it directly reflects the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts in achieving your desired outcomes.

To calculate the conversion rate, you can use the following formula:
Conversion Rate = (Number of People Who Took the Desired Action / Number of Emails Delivered) x 100

The resulting conversion rate percentage provides insights into the proportion of email recipients who not only received and engaged with your email but also completed the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

In the context of e-commerce, where conversion rates can be notoriously low, a good conversion rate is typically considered to be anything above 2%.

Additionally, incorporating automated emails into your strategy can be highly effective. Automated emails can help you reach customers at the right time, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

For instance, the industry average for conversion from a welcome email is around 3%, according to eMarketer. You can set up welcome emails directly on platforms using marketing automation tools.

5- Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate represents the percentage of users who have chosen to opt-out or unsubscribe from a subscriber list after receiving an email campaign.

It reflects the level of attrition within your email audience and plays a crucial role in understanding the overall effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

To calculate the unsubscribe rate, you can use the following formula:
Unsubscribe Rate = (Number of People Who Unsubscribed / Number of Emails Delivered) x 100

The resulting unsubscribe rate percentage provides insights into the proportion of email recipients who, for various reasons, have decided to discontinue their subscription to your emails.

In terms of what constitutes a good unsubscribe rate, the lower, the better. Aiming for an unsubscribe rate of 0.5% or less is a practical goal.
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6- Bounce Rate

Bounce rate quantifies the number of emails sent but could not be successfully delivered to the intended recipient's inbox, for various reasons. Bounces typically fall into two categories: "soft bounce" and "hard bounce."

A soft bounce occurs when an email is temporarily unable to be delivered, often due to issues like a recipient's inbox being full or their email server experiencing a temporary problem. On the other hand, a hard bounce indicates that the email is undeliverable because the recipient's email address is invalid or non-existent.

To get more in-depth information, check out our blog post: Why do emails bounce?

To calculate bounce rates, you can use the following formula:
Bounce Rate = (Total Number of Bounced Emails / Number of Emails Sent) x 100

A good bounce rate is typically considered to be two percent or less. Seeking for a low bounce rate is essential because while "soft bounce" email addresses might eventually receive your emails once the issues are resolved, "hard bounces" represent permanent problems, such as invalid or non-functional email addresses.

To maintain a healthy email list and improve your bounce rate, regularly remove addresses that have generated "hard bounces" from your email list. This practice helps ensure your emails reach valid and engaged recipients while minimizing the risk of being flagged as spam due to excessive bounce rates.

7- Total Link Clicks

Total Link Clicks measures the overall number of times recipients have clicked on links within your email campaigns. This metric provides valuable insights into the level of engagement and interest your email content generates among your subscribers.

To calculate Total Link Clicks, you simply sum up all the individual clicks on links within your email campaigns.

There isn't a specific industry benchmark for Total Link Clicks since the ideal number can vary widely based on factors such as your industry, the nature of your emails, and your audience's preferences.

However, a higher number of Total Link Clicks generally indicates that your email content is resonating well with your audience and that your calls-to-action (CTAs) are effective in driving action.

8- Forwarding Rate

Forwarding rate quantifies the number of recipients who have shared your email content with their social networks or with friends and family. This metric is typically tracked through features like a "Share this" button or a "Forward to a friend" button within your emails.

It represents an effective way to expand your email list and increase your reach with minimal effort.

To calculate email sharing or forwarding rates, you can use the following formula:
Forwarding Rate = (Number of Clicks on the "Share this" Button / Number of Total Delivered Emails) x 100

There are no specific benchmarks for what constitutes a good email sharing or forwarding rate because the value of each share or forward can vary. While any share or forward is generally considered positive, it may not directly translate into new subscribers to your email list.

However, it can still have significant benefits, such as increasing brand visibility and potentially driving recipients to visit your website, click on links, or take other valuable actions.

Email sharing or forwarding rates provide insights into the level of engagement and advocacy your email content generates among your subscribers.

Encouraging sharing and forwarding can help your messages reach a wider audience, potentially leading to additional positive interactions and conversions.

9- Email Return-On-Investment (ROI)

Email Return on Investment (ROI) evaluates the effectiveness of a campaign by measuring the revenue or sales it generates in relation to the amount invested in it.

To calculate ROI for an email campaign, you can use the following formula:
ROI = (Total Revenue from the Campaign / Total Amount Spent on the Campaign) x 100

A good ROI means that your email campaign has generated a positive return in comparison to the investment you made. It's important to note that ROI can vary widely based on factors such as industry, campaign type, and audience. The benchmark for a good ROI may differ for each organization and campaign.

On average, email campaigns are known to generate an impressive $42 for every $1 spent, resulting in an ROI of 4,200%. However, it's essential to recognize that achieving such remarkable numbers may not be the norm for all businesses.

10- Spam Complaint Rate

Spam Complaint Rate measures the percentage of recipients who have marked your emails as spam. High spam complaint rates can be detrimental to your email marketing strategy as they increase the likelihood of your future emails being filtered directly into recipients' spam folders.

To calculate the spam complaint rate, you can use the following formula:
Spam Complaint Rate = (Number of People Who Reported Email as Spam / Number of Emails Sent) x 100

Ideally, a good spam complaint rate is 0%, indicating that no recipients have marked your emails as spam. While achieving a completely spam-free rate may not always be attainable, the goal is to keep this rate as low as possible to maintain a positive sender reputation and inbox placement.


In conclusion, email marketing metrics are your trusted companions on the journey to email campaign success. While they may initially seem like complex figures, we've simplified them for you. These metrics are like guiding stars, helping you understand how well your emails perform and where improvements can be made.

By mastering these key numbers—open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, click-to-open rates, and bounce rates—you gain the power to optimize your email campaigns, enhance engagement, and drive meaningful results.

Remember, these metrics are more than just numbers; they represent the interactions and connections you build with your audience. So, embrace the insights they offer, fine-tune your strategies, and keep sending emails that captivate, inspire, and convert.

Also, email warm-up tools like can help you maintain a healthy email domain, and your email metrics on-track!
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