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7 Email KPIs You Should be Tracking & Sharing With Clients

Did you know that 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI?

Email marketing is huge, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

If you're running email marketing campaigns for you or your clients, you should also be showing them exactly how succesful they are and what the overall return on investment is. To do this, below we'll discuss seven email KPIs you should be tracking and sharing with your client as soon as possible.

1. Open Rate

The first email marketing KPI to share with your clients is the open rate, which is the percentage of people that actually open a given email. With the huge number of emails we all receive each day, getting people to actually open your emails is easier said than done.

While open rate is the first step towards taking the desired action, it should be noted that it is only a part of the puzzle and needs to be paired with other email metrics such as click-through rate and conversion rate. That said, open rate is a very useful comparative metric that can help you optimize your subject lines week over week.

2. Click-through Rate (CTR)

Next, your clients will want to know whether or not their email list is actually reading their marketing emails and taking action. So how can you prove it to them? By monitoring the click-through rate.

The click-through rate is the percentage of people who open the email and clicking through to an attached link or file (not to be confused with the conversion rate). It should be noted that the click-through rate doesn't take into consideration if the recipient actually followed through with the call to action (i.e. made a purchase).

If you're using AgencyAnalytics as your reporting platform it'll calculate CTR for you. Below you can see an example of six emails sent from a demo MailChimp account, which includes the number of emails sent, open rate, click rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, and the send time:

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Click-through rate allows you to monitor who in your audience is actually engaging with your brand or product. With this information, you can now narrow down which emails are resonating with people and which need improvement.

3. Unsubscribe Rate

How many times have you personally unsubscribed from a subscription list? Chances are, plenty. There are many reasons why we as consumers discontinue our subscriptions with various companies, and these reasons are much the same for your email audience.

One of the most common reasons is that they're receiving way too many emails. No one likes to constantly delete marketing emails. Thankfully, you're able to track the unsubscribe rate and fix it before it becomes a problem.

Typically, acheiving below 0.5% is a good unsubscribe rate for an email campaign. So if you're going over that number, you should think about scaling back a bit.

A few ways you can keep the unsubscribe rate down include:

  • Look at how many emails you've sent out within your highest month of unsubscribes. If you're sending too many emails, you'll likely notice an increase in the unsubscribe rate.
  • Consider what type of information you were sending within those emails. Were they too promotional? Was the information not relevant to your client's customer base?
  • What was the tone of the emails? Were they dull and boring? Did you excite the audience at all? Lower subscription rates and several instances of unsubscribing may indicate an engagement problem.

This is where A/B testing can come into play, which is another valuable metric to show clients—you can learn more about A/B testing for email here.

4. Bounce Rate

Ah, the dreaded "Your email could not be sent" response. Possibly the most annoying aspect of email marketing; but it happens, and it can affect how you're viewed in the eyes of email service providers. Too many bounced emails result in your client looking like spam. Certainly not the look you're going for. If you scroll down on your AgencyAnalytics page you can see the bounce rate of that email campaign in the blue graph below:

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As highlighted in our article on Bounce Rate Tips:

There is no "good" bounce rate metric. This differs for every company and every type of business. The best you can do is monitor this rate to give yourself a benchmark, and then track your progress for better or worse.

There are two types of bounce rates: soft and hard bounces.

Soft Bounces

Soft bounces occur when there's an issue with the recipient's mailbox. Maybe they have too many emails or their server is down. Usually this won't affect anything on your end because you can simply resend this email without any problem.

Hard Bounces

Hard bounces are the ones that can negatively affect your reputation and deliverability, but they're also the type that you can fix on your end. Hard bounces occur when an email is sent to an invalid or missing email address.

Perhaps you entered the email address incorrectly. Or, the subscriber could have hit the wrong key when they were entering in their own address. Things happen, but you can fix it by immediately removing these addresses from your mailing list. This way, you won't sacrifice your bounce rate. If you want to learn more about how to improve your bounce rate, check out these 12 tips from OptinMonster.

5. Forward Rate

Chances are your clients want to know exactly how many times their content is being shared, which brings us to the forward rate.

So why is this important? You and your client are always looking for more potential leads, and finding them isn't always easy. So, when the audience shares or forwards an email, you're instantly gaining new contacts. Not only that, but this metric allows you to track which emails and content are the most popular. Take this information and apply it towards your future email marketing strategies.

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6. Conversion Rate

This is one of the most important KPIs to monitor for your client since the whole point of a marketing email is to get the reader to take action.

So how do you track various conversions for emails?

Simply create URLs that are specific to your email campaign links, and you're able to monitor who completed the task because of your email. This is known as UTM tracking, which you can learn more about in our guide on the subject.

You can then go back to your Google Analytics report in AgencyAnalytics and click Channel > Email, which provides you with detailed information on your conversion rate, goal completions, goal value and more:

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7. Overall ROI

Finally, just like any other marketing channel, you want to show your clients exactly what the total revenue and overall ROI of their email marketing campaigns. In order to track total revenue of email in AgencyAnalytics, all you need to do is set up Goal Values in Google Analytics and then divide this by your email-related costs to get the ROI:

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The Takeaway

In most cases, simply telling your clients that their email strategy is working isn't enough—many of them want cold hard facts to back up your statements.

Adding these key performance indicators to your client reports and monitoring them on a regular basis will not only benefit your relationship with your client, but you'll also be able to use the data for future campaigns.

What metrics do your clients typically want to see when it comes to email marketing? Are there any KPIs you would add to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Written by Joe Kindness

Joe is the CEO of AgencyAnalytics, but often spends his day programming, designing or executing marketing tasks. And like most Canadians, he can be found playing or watching hockey!