How Do You Measure Email Marketing?

It takes a lot to do email marketing well. And it takes even more to measure the performance of your email marketing success in order to make it more successful or to see if it matches with your email marketing goals.

Kate Neuer
October 06, 2022

It takes a lot to do email marketing well. And it takes even more to measure the performance of your email marketing success in order to make it more successful or to see if it matches with your email marketing goals.



Most companies list email marketing as their top priority in marketing strategies for a reason. 


The data you can collect from email campaigns is often more valuable (and easier to read) than most other content you'll share on social media or other mobile ad strategy.

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Table of Contents


Why Measure Email Marketing?


Email marketing is vital to garner leads and convert them into customers. A/B testing can help you determine what types of marketing messages work best and engage more of your audience, but how do you measure these email campaigns to make the appropriate changes?


Your business will need to keep track of recipient engagement for each type of email, which we'll go over in this article. Everything will impact the open rates, bounce rates, and more, such as content and subject field. You will first have to measure and keep record of these metrics to compare to the effectiveness of future emails that recipients will read.


Importance of Making Email Marketing Campaigns


An email marketing campaign is an essential part of marketing for every company. You can spend most of your money and time into social media campaigns, but these ads and even landing pages will need to take your leads down the sales funnel somewhere. And that somewhere is email.


Email marketing performance is one of the easiest things to measure as well, making it a quicker process to fix or do A/B testing on your email campaigns. The point of these marketing emails is to lure people in and hopefully click on links inside your emails that lead them to your website or exact product page, which will then hopefully encourage them to make a purchase.


Some email campaigns most companies send include:


  • Holiday sales emails
  • Specific product sales
  • Loyal customer coupon code for anything on the ecommerce store's website
  • Welcome emails (with an "about this company"message)
  • Special birthday emails and deals


As mentioned before, email marketing is easy to read data on, such as deliverability, and the success of certain tools you use (think how many times one may click on a hyperlink or image). 


Email Marketing Metrics You Should Measure


Email marketing campaigns should record all email marketing metrics in most email software on the market, such as Mailchimp, TruVISIBILITY, and ActiveCampaign. But what are these metrics you should pay attention to? We've calculated some for in case an email software doesn't give you the percentage already.


List Growth Rate


This is the rate at which your contact list is growing.

Aside from the call-to-action metrics (CTR, conversion rates), you'll also want to be keeping tabs on your list growth and loss. Of course, you should be aiming to grow your list in order to extend your reach, expand your audience, and position yourself as an industry thought leader.


How to Calculate It: ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100


Example: (500 new subscribers - 100 unsubscribes and email/spam complaints) ÷ 10,000 email addresses on the list * 100 = 4% list growth rate


Clickthrough Rate


Tracking clickthrough rates may be the most confusing rate to calculate or understand at first. But it is simply the percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links in the email campaigns you sent.


Clickthrough rate (CTR) is likely the first answer you'll get when you ask an email marketer what metrics they track. It's what I like to call the "day-to-day" email marketing metric, because it lets you easily calculate performance for every individual email you send. From there, you can track how your CTR changes over time.


CTR is also frequently used for determining the results of A/B tests, as these tests are often designed with the intention of finding new ways to get more clicks in your emails.


How to Calculate It: (Total clicks OR unique clicks ÷ Number of delivered emails) * 100

Example: 500 total clicks ÷ 10,000 delivered emails * 100 = 5% clickthrough rate


Conversion Rate


After an email recipient has clicked through on your email, the next goal is typically to get them to convert on your offer -- in other words, to take the action that your email has asked them to take. So if you're sending an email to offer your audience the chance to download, say, a free ebook, you'd consider anyone who actually downloads that ebook to be a conversion.


Because your definition of a conversion is directly tied to the call-to-action in your email, and your call-to-action should be directly tied to the overall goal of your email marketing, conversion rate is one of the most important metrics for determining the extent to which you're achieving your goals. (We'll discuss more specific goal-related metrics later.)


How to Calculate It: (Number of people who completed the desired action ÷ Number of total emails delivered) * 100

Example: 400 people who completed the desired action ÷ 10,000 total email delivered * 100 = 4% conversion rate


In order to measure conversion rate on your emails, you'll need to integrate your email platform and your web analytics. TruVISIBILITY can show you your conversion rate quicker and with less need for integration because of their advanced all-in-one suite, which allows you to create a website, landing pages, and much more that can be integrated automatically with your email messaging.


Bounce Rate


This is the percentage of total emails you send that couldn't properly be sent to your recipient. There are two kinds of bounces to track: “hard” bounces and “soft” bounces.


Soft bounces are the result of a temporary problem with a valid email address, such as a full inbox or a problem with the recipient’s server. The recipient’s server may hold these emails for delivery once the problem clears up, or you may try re-sending your email message to soft bounces.


Hard bounces are the result of an invalid, closed, or non-existent email address, and these emails will never be successfully delivered. You should immediately remove hard bounce addresses from your email list, because internet service providers (ISPs) use bounce rates as one of the key factors to determine an email sender’s reputation. 


How to Calculate It: (Total number of bounced emails ÷ Number of emails sent) * 100

Example: 75 bounced emails ÷ 10,000 total emails sent * 100 = 0.75% bounce rate



ROI is the overall return on investment for your email campaigns. Whatever money you put into your marketing software, you should measure the profit you make from it when people click on your emails and make a purchase.


How to Calculate It: [($ in additional sales made minus $ invested in the campaign) ÷ $ invested in the campaign] * 100

Example: ($2,000 in additional sales - $200 invested in the campaign / $200 invested in the campaign) * 200 = a 900% return on investment for the campaign!


This is the most basic formula to calculate ROI — but there are several ways to approach calculating the ROI of your email campaigns. Depending on your type of business, you might prefer a different one.)


As with every marketing channel, you should be able to determine the overall ROI of your email marketing. If you haven't yet, set up an SLA system whereby you assign different values to various types of leads based on their likelihood to generate revenue for your company.


Email Sharing and Forwarding from Each Email Campaign

This is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on "share this" or forwarded the email to someone.


The rate at which your email recipients forward or share your email with others may not seem all that significant, but it's arguably one of the most important metrics you should be tracking.


Why? Because this is how you generate new contacts. The folks on your email list are already in your database. So while conversion is still a primary focus, this doesn't help you attract new leads. 


Encourage your readers to pass along your email to a friend or colleague if they found the content useful, and start tracking how many new people you can add to your database this way.


How to Calculate It: (Number of clicks on a share and/or forward button ÷ Number of total delivered emails) * 100

Example: 100 clicks on a share/forward button ÷ 10,000 total delivered emails * 100 = 1% email sharing/forwarding rate


Image Credit: ActiveCampaign

Open Rate 


Your email open rate is the percentage of email recipients who open emails at any given time.

Most email marketers are still bent over backwards trying to optimize their subject lines for higher open rates. While this can have a positive impact they really should be focused on optimizing their clickthrough rates, instead. 


The fact of the matter is that open rate is actually a very misleading metric for a few reasons. Most importantly, an email is only counted as "opened" if the recipient also receives the images embedded in that message.


And a large percentage of your email users likely have image-blocking enabled on their email client. This means that even if they open the email, they won’t be included in your open rate, making it an inaccurate and unreliable metric for marketers, as it underreports on your true numbers. The goal here, of course, is to have a high open rate. You may find that more people will open an email if they see their name (personalized email) in the subject line.


Unsubscribe Rate


This is the percentage of recipients who unsubscribe to your email campaigns after opening them.

As with open rate, the unsubscribe rate isn’t a reliable picture of the health of your email list. Many subscribers who are tired of receiving email messages from your brand won’t bother to go through the formal unsubscribe process. They’ll just stop opening, reading, and clicking on your email messages.


That's why it's much more effective to measure subscriber engagement by clickthrough rates and conversion rates. From there, you can track these unengaged subscribers so you can consider removing them at some point.


How to Measure Marketing Success


The success of an email campaign will depend on the goal of your business. It's common for an ecommerce business to depend on marketing email templates to help them see list growth rate and implement a privacy policy to legitimize their emails. 


So, what should keep an eye on when you measure email marketing?


Measure Email Marketing Performance


Look at the metrics, as mentioned throughout the article, of your email. Do you have many hard or soft bounces?


Don't forget to look into how many unsubscribers you have and pay attention to the list of contacts who click not just on your email but in your email campaign. This may be a sign that the content is not good enough if a low percentage of people actually click on an image, link, or download button in your emails.


Measure Social Media Metrics


Facebook metrics, for example, are a great indicator of how well you are reaching your audience. You can even measure how well particular posts are doing.


A bonus to social channels like Facebook is the fact that you can add ads to advertise your product or service to people who've viewed similar businesses. Have you ever been searching for dresses, looking at Facebook pages of ecommerce stores, only to later see a new store you've never heard of? Maybe you even bought that piece of clothing from that ad alone.


Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other popular social media platforms all have ways to measure more than likes or hearts, such as:


  • How many likes you get in a month, year, week, etc.
  • Best posts (which one did the best in terms of audience engagement)
  • Page engagement
  • New followers
  • Rates at which people click on or read ads or posts


To see how your content is doing for free, you can view the business page of Facebook. Other platforms, like LinkedIn may call this section the "Analytics" or "Insights" from the business page menu.


From these pages, did you notice some content did better when you advertised free products? Or did some content do better with a video? When you see what does well, you can change your future posts and ads. Oh, and a bonus tip: You can usually schedule posts and ads to go live on your channel at any given date.


Send Emails Consistently and Make Changes


You can use WPForms to not only make your business seem more legit, but it's a great tool in creating surveys in emails as well as helping customers pay online easily. These type of emails that aren't necessarily for marketing ultimately help you keep customers who have used the platforms we've briefly mentioned in this article.


Important side note: Always remember to give a cookies notification. Wherever you'll collect information, such as which products a potential customer was viewing, you will need to allow any visitor to your site (who wishes to view content) to accept that you use cookies. Tracking these different types of metrics, like a list of products that people mostly click on, will ultimately help you decide which content should be directed towards something. 


For example, you can track how many times someone may log into your site and view candles to buy. This means you should advertise your blog about candles, perhaps, to this certain individual to further encourage them to buy candles.


What's Next in Email Marketing Success?


Measuring your email campaign data should never be difficult. It's what you do with that data that will improve (or hurt) your customer list to grow as well as your profits.


You can proudly say now that you understand what to pay attention to in terms of metrics for email marketing campaigns. 


What else can you do with email marketing? Aside from measuring and readjusting a campaign, you can experiment with the type of marketing emails you send. You can also learn how to write the ultimate subject line to entice contacts to open your emails. 


Don't forget that you can partner with other platforms if you wish to integrate with TruVISIBILITY's Messaging app, for example, such as your Facebook or Twitter accounts. This is another great way to track how well content and deliverability are doing for your business.


Why not become a subscriber yourself and get tips each week on improving your marketing strategies and marketing metric overall? See how TruVISIBILITY can make your business more of a success in a shorter period of time with a free account.