8 Email KPIs You Still Need to Be Tracking in 2023

Marian Sahakyan
Marian Sahakyan

Content Manager

About the author

Published on: June 16, 2023

Last updated on: November 14, 2023

With a 36 to 1 return on investment, email is the most effective marketing tool that helps companies capture new audiences, secure efficient communications, and drive subscribers towards favorable conversions.

When you weave collected email marketing data into your email strategies, they begin to paint a vivid picture of why measuring email marketing KPIs is so crucial to driving high conversions.

But what are these email marketing metrics, and why should email marketers track them? Let’s get back to the basics by looking at some of the high-impact KPIs for email.

How Are Email Marketing KPIs Tracked?

Email KPIs change depending on the specific goals you have for each of your campaigns. Here are the eight email marketing metrics you should keep in mind for better optimization and higher conversions.

  • Deliverability Rate
  • Inbox Placement Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Open Rates
  • Unsubscribe Rate
  • Click-through Rate (CTR)
  • Email Forwards
  • Conversions

1. Deliverability Rate

Monitoring the number of emails delivered on a given campaign gives an in-depth look at the actual state of an email subscriber list. For instance, just because you have 1,500 emails on your list or segment, it doesn’t mean they all receive your emails. Some email addresses may be misspelled in your list; some emails may bounce back; others may land in a subscriber’s spam folder due to spam complaints.

Understanding what affects your email’s deliverability will help you discover and identify potential issues with your email marketing platform, email list, or email address.

Did you miss our deliverability workshop at MailCon in Las Vegas this past January? Check out this comprehensive roundup of how you can master email deliverability through data and personalization.

2. Inbox Placement Rate (IPR)

An inbox placement rate or IPR monitors the percentage of emails delivered to the inbox instead of spam or the promotions folder. This percentage will indicate the number of emails your customers or audiences will see. You can take the IPR and measure bounce rates, conversions, and more.

3. Bounce Rate

Bounce rates represent the percentage of email addresses in your subscriber list that did not receive your message because the message was returned to you, the sender. There are two types of bounce rates:

Hard bounce rates measure how many messages were not delivered because you sent them to non-existent domain names or misspelled email addresses.

Soft bounce rates are temporary; they happen when a recipient’s email server is down, their inbox is full, or other less critical causes.

4. Open Rates or Emails Opened

Knowing how many of your emails were delivered to an inbox is a good starting point but not enough to help you measure ROI outcomes. To get closer to full ROI clarity, you need to know the actual open rates for a given email.

Tip: The number one factor that affects open rates is the email subject line, so the more engaging and insightful it is, the higher your open rates will be.

5. Unsubscribe Rate

High unsubscribe rates indicate that subscribers are not interested in the content offerings they receive. Therefore, segmenting subscribers into relevant lists will help avoid high churn, sending only relevant messages to the relevant subscribers.

Tip: High unsubscribe rates are much better than getting emails marked as spam. One way to avoid spam complaints is to offer a simple opt-out process for those who want to unsubscribe.

6. Click-through Rate (CTR)

After a subscriber opens your email, the next step is to measure how many people clicked on your email’s call-to-action (CTA) link. This rate will segment the high-interest clients from the rest, indicating that further engagement may be necessary if the click doesn’t result in a conversion.

7. Email Forwards

Email forwards are an excellent indicator that your emails provide value to your subscribers. These metrics also indicate a broader reach toward a more receptive and engaged audience.

Tip: To increase your email forwards, you can launch referral campaigns that reward subscribers when they invite others to purchase your products or join your programs.

8. Conversions

A conversion happens when the recipient of your email takes the action indicated in your CTA. How your company measures conversions is totally up to you and what outcome you want to achieve from this email campaign.

For some, that outcome can be a direct sale; for others, it can be a vote in a survey. In MailCon’s example, a conversion would mean a sign-up for an upcoming event or webinar.

Blending All Email Marketing KPIs Together

Whatever ESP you’re using or whatever campaign you’re blasting, monitoring the proper email marketing KPIs will help optimize email conversions, maximize ROI, and secure great deliverability rates.

When optimizing your emails, also look at social shares, spam reports, and click-to-open rates so you can get a 360-degree view of your email performance and marketing analytics.

Keep your finger on the email marketing pulse by staying tuned and connected with MailCon to receive more insightful content, industry news, trends, and strategies. 

About the author

Marian Sahakyan
Marian Sahakyan

Content Manager

Marian Sahakyan is a Content Manager at MailCon. She’s a journalism graduate from California State University, Long Beach with a background in marketing, technology, as well as writing for Business-to-Business audiences.


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