The Measure of Your Success: 5 Key Metrics Email Marketers Can’t Afford to Ignore!


Email metrics are critical to evaluating your online campaign. The information that metrics provide serve as a gauge as to whether or not your email messages are effective — and also tell you what steps should be taken to make your communications more impactful.

Following are top five email metrics that should be reviewed on a continual basis to ensure that your campaigns are delivered, opened, and engaging:

  1. Overall delivery – The number of emails that were sent and accepted by a receiving server

    Having a high delivery rate is crucial. Lists are optimized by eliminating invalid, duplicate, opt-out email addresses, and spam traps. Overall delivery rates take the total number of messages received and subtract the number of abuse complaints, emails marked as spam, and hard and soft bounce-backs. Soft bounce-backs may happen when recipients’ inboxes are full, and in this case it is okay to resend to those recipients. Hard bounces mean that email addresses failed permanently, and those addresses should be removed from marketing lists.

  1. Open rate – The number of recipients who opened your email message, and how many times they opened the email

    Boost your open rates with these tips:

  • Write compelling subject lines and continually try new ones to see which subject lines work best.
  • Choose the right “From” name and email address. Recipients are more likely to open emails from people they know and trust.
  • Craft pre-headers carefully. Pre-headers — the lines of text that follow a subject line when an email is previewed — can add value to your message by providing context to your subject line, offering a strong call to action, or incentivizing recipients to open your message with a special deal or exclusive content.
  1. Click-through rates– The number of clicks each of your emails generates

    Click-through rates of an email deployment are calculated by dividing the number of clicks you get by the number of email messages that were delivered.

    Here are some proven ways to boost your email click-through-rates:

  • Make sure your message delivers on the promise of your subject line.
  • Provide a clear call-to-action near the top of the email so recipients don’t have to scroll down to click on it.
  • Entice action with a bonus, incentive, or discount.
  • Optimize your emails for mobile devices. If your emails are receiving poor click-through rates, make sure they are easy to click on a phone.
  1. Opt-outs – Email recipients who have chosen to opt-out or unsubscribe

    Do you know how many people have opted out/unsubscribed from your email messages? A spike in opt-outs could indicate that you are over-messaging your audience or sending content irrelevant to their interests. Opt-outs should immediately be removed from lists.

  1. Viewer engagement – The many different ways you interact with your audience

    To gauge your audience’s initial level of interest in your message, combine the number of opens and clicks.

    This will give you a click-to-open rate (CTOR) percentage.You will also want to answer questions such as:

  • How much time did recipients spend reading your message?
  • What type of email client did they use to read it?
  • Which devices were used?
  • Which links were most effective?

Reviewing this data can help you determine how to improve your message and your results.

To assess long-term engagement, measure all audience actions including open rates, click-throughs, downloads, and purchases or sign-ons over a defined time period. You can then assess the active percentage of your audience — for example, 65% of your recipients interacted with you during the past 6 months — to determine which messages were most effective, and in what areas you need to test different options. email summary reports include all of the above metrics for an in-depth analysis of your email marketing efforts.  In turn, the information provided enables you to further customize your campaigns and improve overall results. We’d be glad to help answer any questions you may have, and to create a program that works for you. For more information, contact us at 800.633.5478 or

Garth Elliott, President
mms, Inc.


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