These Are The Most Important KPIs For an Effective Email Campaign

This is part 2 of our The last Email Marketing and Copywriting Course You Will Need.

If you are brand new to the series and want an introduction on the topic. Check out part 1 here.

As promised, here is an intro to some of the most important email marketing metrics and KPIs. Bottom line, you should be measuring them.

Click through rate

Email marketing Click-Through Rate (CTR) measures the percent of recipients. It tells who clicked on links in an email. It’s a key indicator of an email campaign’s effectiveness. It shows how well the campaign engages the audience and drives them to take action. This might be visiting a website, filling out a form, or making a purchase. CTR most effective looks at how effective you are in writing your emails. If your CTR is low, then you need to write better emails. Or, you over-promised what your email list provides. For example, you promised that signing up for your email list would make you rich. But, your emails are about something else. So, your click-through rate will be very low. Here is how to calculate CTR.

How to Calculate Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR is calculated by dividing the unique clicks by the emails delivered. Then, you multiply by 100 to get a percentage.


If you sent an email campaign to 1,000 recipients and 50 of them clicked on a link within the email, your CTR would be:

Importance of Click-Through Rate

  1. Measure Engagement: CTR helps measure how engaging your email is to your audience and how relevant it is.
  2. Evaluate Campaign Performance: Shows how well your email campaigns work and if they meet their goals.
  3. Understanding: CTR can help you optimize future email campaigns. It does this by identifying which content and calls-to-action your audience likes most.
  4. Benchmarking: This lets you compare your performance to industry standards or your past campaigns. It shows where you stand.

Open Rate

Open rate is the percentage of people who open your emails. It is probably one of the first and most important metrics to look at. The open rate is the number of unique opens divided by the number of emails delivered. Then, multiply by 100 to get a percentage.


If you sent an email campaign to 1,000 recipients and 200 of them opened the email, your open rate would be 20%.

Importance of Open Rate

  1. Measure Initial Engagement: Open rate shows the first interest your email gets. A higher open rate indicates that your subject lines and sender names are effective.
  2. Evaluate Subject Line Performance: It shows how well your subject lines are doing and how much your audience likes them.
  3. Identify Deliverability Issues: A low open rate might mean emails are marked as spam or don’t reach the inbox.
  4. Benchmarking: This lets you compare your performance to industry standards or your past campaigns. It helps you understand how well you are doing.

Factors Affecting Open Rate

  1. Subject Line: The subject line is one of the most critical factors affecting the open rate. It should be clear, compelling, and relevant to the recipient.
  2. Sender Name: The sender’s name and email should be recognizable. They should be trustworthy to the recipient.
  3. The preview: This appears next to or below the subject line in the recipient’s inbox. It can also influence the decision to open the email.
  4. Timing: The time and day you send the email can impact the open rate. Knowing your audience’s habits can help you decide the best time to send emails.
  5. Relevance is key: The content of the email must be valuable to the recipient. This can lead to higher open rates.
  6. Good email list: Quality leads lead to higher open rates. A list needs engaged subscribers.

Bounce Rate

The email marketing bounce rate is a metric. It measures the percentage of emails not delivered to the recipient’s inbox. This can happen for many reasons. For example, email addresses may be invalid. Or, mailboxes may be full. Or, there may be server issues. The bounce rate is important. It shows how healthy your email list is and how well your email campaign delivery works.

It is like the open rate. But, it only looks at the percentage of undelivered emails. The open rate looks at the percentage of unopened emails, regardless of the reason.

Types of Bounces

  1. Hard Bounces: These occur when an email is permanently undeliverable. Common reasons include:
    • Invalid or non-existent email addresses.
    • Domain does not exist.
    • Recipient email server has blocked delivery.
  2. Soft Bounces: These are temporary delivery failures. Common reasons include:
    • Recipient’s mailbox is full.
    • Recipient’s email server is down or temporarily unavailable.
    • Email message size is too large.

How to Calculate Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of bounced emails by the number of emails sent, and then multiplying by 100 to get a percentage:


If you sent an email campaign to 1,000 recipients and 50 emails bounced, your bounce rate would be 5%.

Importance of Bounce Rate

  1. Email List Health: A high bounce rate shows that your email list has many invalid or outdated email addresses.
  2. High Bounce Rates: cripple sender reputation, causing emails to be flagged spam.
  3. Deliverability: Bounce rates help ensure your emails reach your audience. They improve campaign effectiveness.

Reducing Bounce Rate

  1. Regularly Clean Your Email List: Remove invalid or non-existent email addresses from your list. Use email validation tools to check the validity of email addresses before adding them to your list.
  2. Use Double Opt-In: Subscribers confirm their email before being added to your list. This helps ensure the accuracy of the email addresses.
  3. Monitor and remove hard bounces: Regularly check your bounce reports. Remove email addresses that cause hard bounces.
  4. Check Email Formatting and Size: Make sure your emails are properly formatted and not too big. Big emails can cause soft bounces.
  5. Avoid Spammy Practices: Follow email marketing best practices. This will help keep a good sender reputation. It also helps improve deliverability.

list Growth rate

The growth rate of an email marketing list measures how fast your email subscriber list is growing. It shows how well your strategies attract new subscribers. It also shows how well they keep current ones. A healthy list growth rate is crucial for maintaining a vibrant and engaged audience.

How to Calculate List Growth Rate

List growth rate can be calculated by taking (new subscribes – unsubscribed )/ total subscribers x 100.


Suppose you started with 1,000 subscribers at the beginning of the month. During the month, you gained 200 new subscribers but lost 50 subscribers (unsubscribes). Your list growth rate would be 15%.

Importance of List Growth Rate

  1. Audience Expansion: It can increase engagement and revenue. A positive list growth rate shows that you are doing this.
  2. Campaign Effectiveness: Tracking growth rate helps evaluate how well your lead generation and email campaigns work.
  3. List Health: Fast growth can offset natural attrition. This includes unsubscribes and email bounces. They happen over time, but fast growth keeps your list healthy and big.
  4. Benchmarking: Comparing your list growth rate to industry standards or past data can show how well your email marketing is doing.

Strategies to Improve List Growth Rate

  1. Optimize Sign-Up Forms: Make it easy for visitors to join your email list. Do this by putting sign-up forms in prominent spots on your website, blog, and social media pages.
  2. Offer Incentives: Encourage sign-ups by offering rewards. For example, discounts, free trials, and free downloadable content (like eBooks and whitepapers). Also, offer exclusive access to events.
  3. Leverage Social Media: Promote your email list on social media. This will help you reach more people and get new subscribers.
  4. Run Contests and Giveaways: Organize contests or giveaways that require participants to subscribe to your email list.
  5. Create Valuable Content: Provide high-quality, valuable content that encourages visitors to subscribe to receive more from you.
  6. Use Exit-Intent Popups: Add exit-intent popups to your website. They capture the attention of visitors about to leave without subscribing.
  7. Collaborate with Partners: Partner with other businesses or influencers to co-promote each other’s email lists.

Email forwarding rate

The email forwarding rate, also called the “share rate,” measures the percentage of recipients who forward your email. They also share it on social media. This rate shows how engaging and shareable your email content is. It helps you understand how well your emails are getting recipients to spread your message.

How to Calculate Email Forwarding Rate

The email forwarding rate can be calculated by taking shares / recipients x 100.


If you sent an email campaign to 1,000 recipients and 20 of them forwarded the email or shared it on social media, your email forwarding rate would be 2%.

Importance of Email Forwarding Rate

  1. Content Virality: A high forwarding rate suggests your email has valuable, engaging content. It’s worthy of being shared and has potential for virality.
  2. Extended Reach: It helps you see how well your emails expand your reach. They go beyond your current subscribers and may attract new ones.
  3. Audience Engagement: Tracking the forwarding rate gives insights. It shows how engaged and motivated your audience is to share your content with others.
  4. Brand Awareness: Encouraging email sharing can boost brand awareness. It increases visibility because your content reaches more people.

Strategies to Improve Email Forwarding Rate

  1. Create Valuable Content: Make sure your emails contain high-quality content. It should be valuable and shareable. Recipients should find it useful and worth sharing.
  2. Include Social Sharing Buttons: Make it easy to share your email. Do this by adding social media buttons and forward-to-a-friend links.
  3. Encourage Sharing: Use clear calls-to-action (CTAs). They should encourage recipients to share the email with their friends, family, or colleagues.
  4. Offer Incentives: Give incentives for sharing. These could include entry into a contest, discounts, or access to exclusive content.
  5. Segment Your Audience: Tailor your email to specific audience segments. This will make it more relevant and engaging. It will increase the chance of sharing.
  6. Use Engaging Subject Lines: Write gripping subject lines. They grab attention. They make people more likely to open and share your email.
  7. Shareable Content Formats: Include easy-to-share content formats. These include infographics, videos, and interactive elements.

Overall ROI

Email marketing ROI measures the profit of your email campaigns. It evaluates the financial return you get from your email marketing. It’s relative to the amount you spent on it. Calculating email marketing ROI helps you understand how effective your campaigns are. They generate revenue and meet business goals.

How to Calculate Email Marketing ROI

Email marketing ROI can be calculated using the following formula:

(Revenue from Email Campaigns − Cost of Email Campaigns) / Cost of Email Campaigns x 100


Suppose you spent $1,000 on an email marketing campaign, and it generated $5,000 in revenue. Your email marketing ROI would be 400%.

This means that for every dollar spent on the email marketing campaign, you received $4 in return.

Importance of Email Marketing ROI

  1. Measure Campaign Effectiveness: ROI helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. It measures their impact on revenue and business objectives.
  2. Budget Allocation: Understanding ROI lets you make informed decisions. They are about budget for email marketing and other channels.
  3. Optimize Strategies: Analyzing ROI can help you find which strategies and tactics are most profitable. This allows you to improve future campaigns for better results.
  4. Performance Benchmarking: ROI provides a benchmark for comparing performance. It lets you compare email campaigns or channels over time.
  5. Justify Investments: A high ROI can justify more investment in email marketing. It shows this to stakeholders. So, they will keep or increase their investment.

Factors Influencing Email Marketing ROI

  1. Audience Segmentation: Targeting specific segments of your audience with relevant content can boost engagement. It can also increase conversion rates.
  2. Personalization: Personalized emails address the recipient’s needs and preferences. They can increase conversions.
  3. Content Quality: Good content resonates with your audience. It can drive higher engagement and revenue.
  4. Call-to-Action (CTA): Clear and compelling CTAs can encourage recipients to take desired actions, such as making a purchase or signing up for a webinar.
  5. Email Design: Well-designed emails are visually appealing and mobile-friendly. They can enhance user experience and engagement.
  6. Timing and Frequency: Sending emails at the right time and often can improve open and click rates. This leads to higher conversions.

Improving Email Marketing ROI

  1. Analyze Campaign Performance: Review your email campaigns often. Find their strengths and areas to improve.
  2. A/B Testing: Test different parts of your emails with A/B testing. Test things like subject lines, content, and CTAs. Use the tests to find what works best.
  3. Optimize Email List: Keep a clean email list. Do this by regularly removing inactive subscribers. Also, use double opt-in methods.
  4. Enhance Personalization: Use data and insights to personalize your emails. Do so based on recipient behavior, preferences, and purchase history.
  5. Refine Segmentation: Continuously refine your audience segmentation. Do this to ensure you are targeting the right people with the right message.
  6. Measure and Adjust: Continuously measure the ROI of your email campaigns. Use data to make adjustments that improve performance.

Calculate and analyze email marketing ROI. You can learn valuable insights into your campaigns’ financial impact. Then, you can make informed decisions to maximize their profitability.

Unsubscribe rate

The unsubscribe rate measures the percentage of recipients who choose to opt out or unsubscribe from your email list. They do this after receiving an email campaign. This metric helps you see how well your emails are resonating with your audience. It shows how your content and frequency are doing. It also gives insights into the health of your email list.

How to Calculate Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate can be calculated by taking (Number of Unsubscribes / Number of Emails Delivered) × 100.


If you sent an email campaign to 1,000 recipients and 10 of them unsubscribed, your unsubscribe rate would be 1%.

Importance of Unsubscribe Rate

  1. Audience Engagement: A high unsubscribe rate can indicate that your email content is not engaging or relevant to your audience, leading to disinterest or dissatisfaction.
  2. Content and Frequency: It helps you assess whether the frequency and content of your emails are aligned with your audience’s expectations and preferences.
  3. List Health: Monitoring the unsubscribe rate is essential for maintaining a healthy and engaged email list, which is crucial for the success of your email marketing efforts.
  4. Feedback for Improvement: Understanding why subscribers are opting out can provide valuable feedback to improve your email marketing strategies.

Factors Affecting Unsubscribe Rate

  1. Content Relevance: If the content of your emails is not relevant or valuable to your audience, they may choose to unsubscribe.
  2. Email Frequency: Sending emails too frequently or too infrequently can lead to higher unsubscribe rates. Finding the right balance is key.
  3. Expectations: If your email content or frequency does not match what subscribers expected when they signed up, they may unsubscribe.
  4. Email Design and Usability: Poorly designed emails that are difficult to read or navigate can frustrate recipients and lead to unsubscribes.
  5. Targeting and Segmentation: Sending emails to the wrong audience or failing to properly segment your list can result in higher unsubscribe rates.

Strategies to Reduce Unsubscribe Rate

  1. Deliver Valuable Content: Ensure your emails provide value to your subscribers, whether it’s through informative content, exclusive offers, or relevant updates.
  2. Personalize Emails: Use personalization to make your emails more relevant to individual recipients based on their preferences, behaviors, and past interactions.
  3. Optimize Frequency: Test and optimize the frequency of your emails to find a balance that keeps your audience engaged without overwhelming them.
  4. Set Clear Expectations: Clearly communicate what subscribers can expect from your emails in terms of content and frequency when they sign up.
  5. Improve Email Design: Create visually appealing, easy-to-read, and mobile-friendly emails to enhance the user experience.
  6. Segment Your Audience: Use segmentation to send targeted emails that are more likely to be relevant and interesting to specific groups within your audience.
  7. Monitor Feedback: Pay attention to feedback from subscribers, including reasons for unsubscribing, and use this information to make improvements.

So How Do I Actually Start and Email Marketing Campaign

In the next part of our The last Email Marketing and Copywriting Course You Will Need series we will discuss how to set up your campaign and what you overall marketing plan should be.

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