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6 effective email marketing campaign metrics to measure success

June 14, 2022

Every email marketing campaign will succeed or fail, but how do you categorize something as a success or a failure? That’s where metrics come in.

Marketing campaigns are measured differently depending on your overarching goal, but most of the metrics we all use are the same. Metrics are a way to measure how well your marketing campaign is doing, and they will show you where you need to adjust in order to succeed.

In this post, you will find 6 effective email marketing metrics to measure the success of your email marketing campaign.

Conversions through an email marketing campaign

A customer paying for the service through a mobile app

A conversion is characterized as a completed action towards a goal. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or buying a pair of sunglasses, someone performed an action that brought you closer to completing your goal.

For example, if a conversion is defined by a subscriber signing up for an email, I will calculate conversions by dividing the total number of signups by the total number of successfully delivered emails. Conversion rates vary widely depending on the industry you are in and what the goal of the campaign is.  Typically, if you are sitting between 1% – 3%, you’re doing pretty well.

Click-through rate

Don’t conversions all start with a click? The answer is yes, in case you didn’t know, but how do I know how effective my email is at getting people to my landing page? Allow me to introduce you to the click-through rate (CTR).

CTR is the number of clicks on links within your email that take potential customers to a landing page. It could be a button, picture, or text,but the important thing is someone clicked-on something that was meant to be clicked on.

Different factors will influence the number of clicks you receive, such as:

  • ad copy
  • an image
  • call-to-action
  • color of text/buttons

You should always A/B test your emails to measure the effectiveness of different versions of the same email have on CTR. If you don’t know what A/B testing is, watch the short video below.

To calculate CTR, simply divide the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions, or, in this case, the total number of people the email was successfully sent to.

Like all metrics, CTR is going to vary depending on the industry, but a good average benchmark is around 3.42%.

Click to Open Rate

Click to open rate

The Click to Open Rate (CTOR) measures the number of unique clicks versus the number of total unique opens an email had. Unlike CTR, it doesn’t take into account the people who didn’t open the email. CTOR gives you an idea of whether or not the content within your email is clicking with the audience.

To calculate this metric, divide the number of unique clicks by the number of unique opens an email has. As always, the CTOR will vary depending on the industry, but a good standard is between 20 – 30%.

Unsubscribe rate

Let’s get this out of the way. No one likes seeing someone unsubscribe from an email list. It hurts knowing someone just sent you away after you sent them something you put your blood, sweat, and tears into.

But it shouldn’t.

Unsubscribers aren’t all bad. In fact, people who unsubscribe are saving you time because you’ll no longer be sending an email to someone who won’t convert. But, if an unsubscribe rate is high, it can indicate a few things:

  • You’re emailing too frequently.
  • You’re targeting the wrong audience.
  • You’re offering low quality content.


To calculate an unsubscribe rate, divide the number of unsubscribes by the total number of successfully sent emails, and multiply by 100. Generally, a good unsubscribe rate is below 0.5%.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate

The bounce rate is the number of emails that “bounce back” after being sent. The person who the email was intended for never receives the email, and the sender receives a message saying the email was never sent.

Bounce rates can be identified as either a hard or soft bounce:

  • Hard Bounce: The email address doesn’t exist.
  • Soft Bounce: The address exists, but there was a temporary issue when the email was sent.

To calculate an email bounce rate, divide the number of returned emails marked as undelivered by the total emails sent. A high bounce rate is above 2%. If you continue to send emails that get bounced, it will ruin your customer service reputation and hurt your future level of deliverability.

Spam percentage

According to, spam made up 53.5 percent of emails around the world in 2018. It’s important to keep your email out of the spam folder so people see what you have to offer. Spam percentage measures the percentage of individuals who sent your email to spam versus the total number of emails sent. The higher the percentage, the more likely it is that your emails will automatically be marked as spam.

To calculate the spam percentage, divide the number of emails reported as spam by the number of successfully sent emails. The ideal percentage is 0, but we don’t live in a perfect world. So, if your emails receive a spam percentage of less than 0.1% you can sit happily at your computer.

Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for more blog posts on different marketing metrics!

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