Email Performance Metrics

  1. Getting the Most Out of Email Marketing Metrics The Complete Guide to Analyzing Email Marketing Performance Get Your Email Metrics Handbook Subscribe to Benchmark’s Blog DOWNLOAD Should be Empty: Learn How to Analyze and Improve Your Email Marketing Metrics Here it is, the complete guide to understanding your email marketing metrics. Each segment of data.
  2. When monitoring email statistics, the data displayed should be high-level, actionable and easy-to-read, as well as allow for data comparison between email campaigns. Here are the must-have email statistics metrics digital marketers should track. Email Marketing Statistics KPIs Campaign Performance.

Luckily, Mailchimp has created the best resource ever for taking a peek into your peers’ email marketing metrics. This resource provides averaged email performance data for 46 different industries, ranging from Arts and Artists all the way to vitamin supplements. Email List Growth. Finally, I want to call out your email list as a significant email metric. Without a growing and healthy list full of engaged users, the above metrics won’t matter or even exist. Closely monitor how much your email list grows over time. Also keep track of those who unsubscribe from your emails.

The email performance report has some similarities to the email sends report, but it offers the ability to gain additional insights to successes of certain marketing tactics. Within this report, you'll find data relating to the volume of email sends for a given period, the open and click metrics of each type of email, and (most importantly) the lead conversion of each.

By utilizing this report, you'll be able to make such statements as 'our Zyker model launch announcement email had a 35% open rate, 12% click-through rate and a 3% lead conversion rate.' Once you are able to capture data to this level of granularity, it also becomes possible as you convert those leads to sales that you can make conclusions about ROI for each email send.

When analyzing the data in your reports, it will be import to understand how the metrics are calculated. Below are some statements about the data in this report, as well as how they related to other data points you might find within Aimbase.

Lead conversion as it is measured in this report is not based upon data driven by tracking URLs you might have used within your emails. Instead, lead conversion is defined by a prospect who has entered a lead and received and opened/clicked an email within 90 days prior to the lead entry date. If multiple emails were sent to the prospect within that 90-day window, then the credit for the lead is evenly distributed across all emails that the prospect interacted with.

The difference in looking at this data based upon tracking URL usage vs. the method in the report is that capturing the data based on tracking URLs will tell you how many leads were entered more immediately upon receipt of the email. The report allows you to see how many leads were entered by people after engaging with the email who may not have acted upon it immediately.

Watch the Summary Tab Video

Summary Tab

Beginning on the Summary tab, there are a series of filters that allow you to scale back the data you're reviewing in a more targeted manor. The most important filter to start with is the data filter. Setting the date range will determine the the data displayed in the report. This filter will parse the data down based on the send date of the email.

When you initially load the report, you'll notice that there is a filter set on the Email Type. The Email Types that are chosen by default are used for Lead Autoresponders, Lead Nurtures and Campaign emails. In short, the report is setup to show you data relating to, primarily, consumer facing email by default. You can view data for all Email Type by clicking on the down arrow for that dropdown and selecting all other values. Any filter you set will impact data on all tabs of the report.


The KPIs in this report allow you to see the volume of emails sent, unique opens, unique clicks, their corresponding rates and the volume of leads generated by the email sends. By default, the report will show data for all emails (of the filtered types) for the time frame. By utilizing the Email Name filter, you can scale back the data displayed to be specific to an individual email.

Lead Conversion by Email Sent

This chart will allow you to see month-by-month what your lead conversion volume has been for the emails sent within each month. What's interesting about this view is that it allows you to see both the information based on the date the email (which generated the lead) was sent, as well as the months following the email send in which leads were entered.

For example, in the screenshots below (as with the one above) you will see data for a single email (not email send, but email) this means that this data is reflective of all instances of this email being sent. For a campaign email, most of the time this will be a single send, but it is possible to send the same email multiple times. You may do this, for example, if you are trying to target different lists and embed unique tracking parameters per list.

What this initial view is illustrating is that within the month of June 2019, emails sent resulted in 13 leads.

By hovering over each month/bar, you'll see additional details about the timing for which the leads were entered. In the example below you'll see that the 13 leads that where entered as a result of an email sent in June, were entered throughout June, July, and August.

Unique Opens/Open Rate and Unique Clicks/Click Rate by Email Type

On these charts you'll be able to see by email type what the open rates and click-through rates are for each email type. By hovering over each bar you'll see the actual number of unique opens/clicks respective to the charts below for each email type.

URL Unique Clicks Details

In the table below is displayed the unique click count for each URL title present within the emails. URL titles are not always specific to a single email as they may be used within multiple emails to identify the same link. What you're seeing below gives you some idea of which links within your emails produce the most engagement or interaction.

Watch the Autoresponder & Lead Nurture Tab Video

Autoresponder & Lead Nurture Tabs

Within the Autoresponder tab is data specific to the email type. Here you'll find open and click metrics related to the emails your prospects receive immediately after lead entry.

Unique Open/Click Rate for Autoresponder Emails

On this graph, each set of bars represents an autoresponder. This view may have more or less bars depending upon the number of autoresponders you use within your version of Aimbase. For each autoresponder you'll see the unique open rate as well as the unique click rate. It is important to note that percentages on this view are based off of how the unique opens and clicks relate to the total number of autoresponders sent. Example: Within the time frame, 11,003 autoresponders were delivered to a combination of the autoresponders in use. Of those delivered, 978 unique opens occurred on the Request Brochure autoresponder. 978/11,003 = 8.89% open rate.

Unique Open/Click Rate by Email Name

The next set of charts display similar types of metrics, but these are specific to the email and not dependent on the whole. For example, according to the data below, the Request Brochure email is opened 23.89% of the time and clicked-through 6.03% of the time.

URL Unique Clicks Detail

The final table on the tab displays data once you click on a bar from either the Unique Open Rate or Unique Click Rate charts. The data displayed represents the links that were clicked within the email selected. This data differs from the data in the Unique Click Rate chart because the Unique Click Rate reports a single click within the email. The data in the Detail table tells you unique clicks for the specific links within the email.

Watch the Details Tab Video

Details Tab

The Details tab provides an overall look at the key metrics of each email type, and it allows you to drill into each section to see those same metrics for each email sent within the respective email type. In the example below, the bold row refer to email types, and the items nested below them are the names of the emails sent. The last column within the view indicates how many leads each email type/email name is being credited for. Remember, for the purposes of this report, lead conversion is defined by a prospect who has entered a lead and received an email within 90 days prior to the lead entry date. If multiple emails were sent to the prospect within that 90-day window, then the credit for the lead is evenly distributed across all emails sent.

If I gave you $1 to spend in your business, where would it go?

Your first instinct might be to invest in Facebook ads or maybe to sock it away and save for the latest marketing software.

But you’re missing a crucial opportunity.

While social media came in hot, casting its spell on advertisers—its existence has yet to make email marketing become irrelevant.

Marketing software is definitely creating huge progress in our industry, but it can’t succeed if it doesn’t integrate with your email marketing platform.

Ninety-nine percent of consumers check their email every day. What’s even better than that?

Email is a much quieter place to try to get a reader’s attention and keep it, unlike social media platforms.

“Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.”

Direct Marketing Association

There are 4 email marketing metrics that you need to pay attention to, yes just 4 🙂.

Email performance metrics

These email marketing metrics are UNIVERSAL and will help you measure the success of your emails, so you can create effective email marketing campaigns no matter,

  • How big your list is (Fledgling vs. Full-Grown Eagle)
  • What kind of business you have (ecommerce vs brick-and-mortar)
  • The email platform you’re using (Mailchimp vs. Maropost)

Let’s get right to it!

Email Performance Metrics

The 4 Metrics To Track In Every Email

So, why only 4 metrics?

Each of these metrics corresponds with a specific, high-leverage part of your email.

If performance dips, reviewing which of these numbers changed can help you understand EXACTLY what happened and HOW to fix it.

The 4 metrics are…

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through rate
  4. Disengagement rate

Let’s dig into each of these and go over what they are and how you’ll use them in your own email marketing. If you want to learn more email marketing terms so you can be fully “in the know”, you can read our article on email marketing terms marketers need to know.

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #1: Deliverability

Deliverability, also known as delivery rate, is calculated by dividing delivered emails by sent emails.

Email performance metrics

Deliverability tells you what percentage of emails sent actually make it to the inbox. In other words, it clues you into how likely people are to get your email.

In general, deliverability gives you a sense of how well your emails pass the “spam test” for Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Yahoo.

If your emails don’t use flagged words and are well received by your audience, your deliverability should be quite high. A healthy deliverability percentage should be in the upper 90th percentile.

Be sure to pay attention to emails with low deliverability. This is a great way to identify copy that ESPs don’t like, such as:

Email Performance Metrics And Industry Average

  • “No Investment Needed”
  • “Zero Risk”
  • “No Money Down”

The next metric is one most people are familiar with…

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #2: Open Rate

Email marketing performance metrics

Your email’s open rate tells you how likely people are to read your email and is determined by dividing unique Opens by received emails.

This measures the frequency with which your emails are opened—and thus, read.

Open rate is one of the easiest metrics to affect, making it a well-known metric and a frequent blog topic, including for us.

Open rate describes how well your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email.

Since you’ve got roughly 30 characters to catch someone’s eye with a subject line, punchy copy can be the difference between 700 and 7,000 people reading your email.

You should use open rate as a barometer of how well your messaging resonates with your target audience.

The third metric is arguably the most crucial because it most closely correlates with sales…


Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #3: Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate tells you how likely your audience is to engage with your email, which means it indicates the likelihood someone will click on a link within your email.

The formula to calculate click-through rate is the number of unique clicks divided by the number of unique opens.

Click-through rate is important because it measures whether or not people are actually taking the desired actions with your emails.

Clicks in an email are what drive:

  • Visits
  • Engagement
  • Sales

A low click-through rate usually indicates that your email copy is falling flat and is a sign of a weak or unclear call-to-action (CTA).

An easy way to improve click-through rate is to avoid over-selling your products or services through email and instead focus on getting people to click your link.

The body of the email only has one job—sell the click.

The last metric is one almost no one is thinking about but may give you the most insight into how your email list feels about you and your email strategy.

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track #4: Disengagement Rate

Disengagement ratetells you how likely people are to hate your email.

You can figure out the disengagement rate by adding spam complaints to unsubscribes and dividing the sum by unique opens.

Your emails will always drive some people away, either towards you or away from you. While you can’t please everyone (and shouldn’t aim to do so), you do need to make sure that the vast majority of readers on your list like what you have to say.

That’s why you want to make sure you keep an eye on your disengagement.

With disengagement rate, you can pinpoint messaging that doesn’t work and cut that out of your copy toolbox.

You absolutely must keep your average disengagement rate below 0.15% for your emails or you’ll start to see your deliverability drop.

You’ve got your 4 metrics, as well as the basic uses for each of them—now, let’s talk about how to get the best possible metrics for your email campaigns.

How to Track Email Performance (and the Two Categories of Email)

Not all emails you send are the same and the distinction is key when it comes to measuring our 4 metrics.

There are 2 different categories of email, but this distinction has nothing to do with the content of the emails. Instead, these categories describe how emails are delivered to customers.

The 2 categories are:

  1. Broadcast emails
  2. Automated emails

Email Category #1: Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails are manually set up, scheduled, and sent out of your email marketing software to many people at once.

These are mass communication emails. Here’s an example from Postmates, sending a broadcast email for their $3 off of a $15 purchase discount:

And from a metrics perspective, broadcast emails are easy to evaluate; since all the emails are sent at the same time, data is reported in aggregate about these emails.

Here’s an example of a broadcast email report we would get out of our email platform, Maropost.

You can see 3 of our four metrics are automatically generated…

  1. Deliverability
  2. Open rate
  3. Click-through rate

And while the platform doesn’t actively provide our disengagement rate, it can be easily calculated from the formula provided earlier.

Email Category #2: Automated Emails

Automated emails on the other hand act more like a personal letter.

They are customized to the individual recipient, usually containing more details about a customer and their interests.

These emails are sent out based on actions customers have taken. They can be triggered to send when customers do things like:

  • Fill out a form
  • Purchase a product
  • Visit a certain webpage

Here’s an example of an automated email from Nectar, with the order number and tracking number for a recently ordered product (in this case, a mattress).

While the higher personalization means these emails typically perform better than broadcasts, they are also more difficult to track and evaluate because data isn’t always automatically aggregated for these and reporting is provided at a contact level.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

This granular reporting makes it hard to see the big picture and evaluate performance because you have to compare hundreds or thousands of individual reports.

But you need to track both broadcast and automated emails if you want to level up your email marketing.

To level up your email marketing, you must track it.

Why You Absolutely, Positively MUST Own Your Own Email Marketing Metrics

When your email platform provides all of the metrics for analysis in a neat package, it’s easy to conclude that all your work is done. Just check individual email marketing metrics and move on to the next thing.

This is a HUGE trap when it comes to email marketing because it feels efficient at the time.

To build a sustainable, long-term email strategy, you need to take any data you get in your business and hold it yourself.

There are 2 key reasons this is critical.

1. Turning Your Email Marketing Metrics into Decision-Making Tools

Keeping all your information in one place, ideally one that lends itself to data modeling, helps you turn your email marketing metrics into a decision-making tool.

A simple chart looking at dates and deliverability can help you track how well you’re maintaining compliance over time and whether or not you need to adjust your messaging.

Also, having a unified place for all your email marketing metrics makes it much easier to analyze and evaluate big chunks of data. You can track trends over time, by the category or the content of the email.

2. Being Prepared for Migrations

As a business grows, your platforms come and go.

Email Campaign Performance Metrics

Your business will grow and its needs will change over time, meaning that a migration is almost assuredly in your future. Storing email marketing metrics externally makes it easy to be prepared when the time comes.

For example, since 2011 DigitalMarketer has leveraged 4 different email platforms.

If I wanted to compare a campaign we ran in 2011 or 2012 to one we ran today, or just see what the year-over-year trend in open rate was, I’d be out of luck without our platform-agnostic historical data.

What Does Success Look Like? How to Benchmark Your Performance

Figuring out how your emails stack up can be very tricky.

One of the biggest questions I get from people about their email marketing metrics is, “What kind of performance do you see at DigitalMarketer?” Unfortunately, the answer to that isn’t useful for most.

Looking at different markets, products, and email lists won’t help you decide how you’re doing. You need to look closer to home, in your own industry.

There are 2 great resources to help you define what success looks like.

#1: Benchmarking Your Performance by Keeping an Eye on Your Peers

The first resource is other people in your industry.

If you’re a law firm, knowing how email marketing performs for other businesses offering legal services will give you a great benchmark for what success should look like.

How do you find these answers?

Luckily, Mailchimp has created the best resource ever for taking a peek into your peers’ email marketing metrics.

This resource provides averaged email performance data for 46 different industries, ranging from Arts and Artists all the way to vitamin supplements.

And because Mailchimp sends over 10 billion emails a month, the information is extremely representative of behavior patterns.

Here’s a look at some of that email marketing data:

The other resource you should use to evaluate your performance is your own data.

Benchmarking Your Performance by Looking to the Past

Looking at past performance is one of the best ways to get a sense of where your email marketing program is at the moment.

To turn your historical data into something usable, you need to compile it.

This can be done pretty easily by generating averages for your 4 metrics based on the past:

  • Six months
  • Year
  • Three years

See what direction performance is trending and to come up with benchmarks to compare your current performance to.

Whether or not your email marketing is where you want it to be today, the only way to start improving it is to understand where you are at the moment.

Leveraging these 2 different sets of data will give you reasonable expectations and help you understand how your email marketing shapes up.

In addition to the details on how to improve individual metrics, making your audience more or less specific is the next best way to improve performance. To beat your baseline, try experimenting with a smaller list, targeted by topics you know they’re interested in.

Then experiment with the email’s subject line and body copy to boost performance.

Remember: always focus on improving one email marketing metric at a time, that way you can figure out what’s causing the lift.

Email Performance Metrics

Now you can do what all marketers dream of.


Email Performance Metrics

As Richard Lindner, co-founder of DigitalMarketer, says, “Prove, then automate.”

Once you’ve got the basics of tracking and using your email marketing metrics, you can take it one step further by leveraging your broadcast emails to improve your automated emails.

Get a good sense of what exceptional performance looks like and you can cherry-pick your best broadcast emails and turn them into automated emails.

Every time you send a broadcast, you’re also working in your email marketing laboratory—testing and improving your campaigns!

Email Marketing Performance Metrics

And by keeping close eye on these 3 metrics, you can figure out how to create and maintain effective email marketing campaigns.