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July 29, 2015

Which Email Marketing Metrics Should Be Tracked?

your_data_handsDiving into the world of email marketing analytics can seem a bit overwhelming, especially with the wide variety of metrics to keep track of. How do you know which email metrics to track and how your results measure up? 

The truth is that what “success” looks like for your email marketing campaign depends on your industry, your organization and your marketing goals. 

Although success can vary greatly, below are some of the essential email marketing metrics you should be tracking, and some general performance benchmarks you can compare your results to.

1. Bounce Rate

Bounces are the number of emails that are not delivered to the sender. Measuring bounces is important in determining the reliability of your list and checking who from your list is missing out on your email communication.

There are two forms of bounces – hard and soft. Soft bounces are the result of a temporary problem, such as a full inbox or an offline email server. Hard bounces, on the other hand, are more severe because your emails are permanently rejected.  Hard bounces are usually because of an invalid email address or a blocked delivery.

2. Open Rate

Though your open rates shouldn’t be the primary focus of your email marketing campaign tracking, (click-through and conversion rates are better metrics to keep an eye on) tracking open rates can be a good comparative tool. Comparing the open rates of different emails you've sent may help you craft better subject lines that will get your future emails opened.

Tip:: For some extra insights on crafting subject lines, read the blog post Write Subject Lines that will Get Your Emails Opened

3. Click-Through Rate

Your click-through rate is a measurement of how your audience is interacting with your content. The click-through rate is the number of recipients that opened and clicked at least one link within your sent email. Measuring the number of clicks is a great way to see whether your audience is finding your content interesting and helpful.

Tip:: Low click-through rates? Try switching things up by linking to content that will be more helpful to your audience.

4. Conversion Rate

Conversion rates are another way of measuring the value of your content from your audiences' perspective. More specifically, conversion rates measure what your recipients are doing after clicking on links. Are they filling out forms on your linked landing pages? Are they submitting information for a quote? Conversion rates will give you insights into whether or not the content you are linking to, not just the email itself, is relevant, informative and helpful.

5. Social Sharing/Forward Rate

Looking to measure the real value of your email marketing campaign? Look no further than share rates. High social sharing and forward rates show you that your content is good enough to be shared with social networks.

It’s important to monitor forward and social sharing rates because ultimately, these shares bring you fresh contacts that can turn into new leads. 

Email Marketing Metric Benchmarks :: At a glance

Though email marketing benchmarks vary greatly based on industry, company size, number of emails regularly sent and the level of integration of your campaigns, here are some basic email metric benchmarks to keep in mind according to Marketo.

Marketo Benchmark Guidelines

Click Rate:

• Average companies: 2.1 – 5.0%

• Top performers: 5.1 – 10%

Click to Open Rate:

• Average companies: 11 – 15%

• Top performers: 16 – 20%

Bounce Rates:

• Average companies: 2.1 – 5.0%

• Top performers: < 2.0%

For a more in-depth look at email marketing benchmarks, check out the Q1 2015 Email Marketing Benchmark Report available from Experian.

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