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    Important email marketing metrics (and why you should be tracking them)

    by Iain Thomson Head of Projects

    Advertisers have historically been able to infer the success of their campaigns from upturns in sales and footfall, but it was always a blunt instrument, with time delays and no real proof of outside effects feeding into patterns.

    In the digital age, we can see how our online campaigns are performing in real time and with surgical precision – but only if we measure everything and know what to look for from the results.

    At Gooey we’re true believers in email marketing, because we’ve seen first-hand how it has affected campaigns for the better. But a single email isn’t just a direct sales tool – it’s an information gathering device, too. By measuring customer behaviour you can fine-tune your next mailshots until you reach optimum performance in your marketplace.

    We thought it would be useful to point out the most important things to measure, so read on to find out what metrics you should be monitoring.

    Open rate

    Open rate is simply what proportion of your emails made it past the inbox without being deleted or ignored – they are actually read. Open rate can stem from your past performance and trust, but also from the quality of your subject line and the details of the offer inside. 

    Link follow rate

    Once the email has been opened, your next metric to watch is how it was interacted with. After reading the email (you can measure time spent reading too), did recipients follow the links to your site? This metric is largely determined by the quality of your message and the nature of the offering.


    Your ultimate goal with email marketing is conversions, and you can track a single customer from the checkout back to the email that sent them there.

    Conversion rates are better when the offering on the site matches the one in the email. Don’t send people down blind alleys – specific landing pages with great UX are your friend.

    Unsubscribe rate

    What proportion of your emails trigger unsubscribes? There will always be some, but if it’s high, it could be down to uninteresting offers, poor presentation or overly frequent send-outs.

    Spam complaints

    If you’re getting a lot of spam complaints you’re doing something seriously wrong, and once Ofcom gets involved you could be in trouble. Regulate your sending and don’t even think about sending mass email to non-subscribed recipients.

    Bounce rate

    The polar opposite of a conversion is a bounce – someone visiting your landing page and not going any further. Measuring bounce rate will tell you a lot about the quality of your website and how your landing page’s content meets expectations raised by the email.

    Return on spend

    Email marketing is cheap but it isn’t free – there’s research, design, copywriting and sending to pay for. You can measure the average profit coming from emails and compare it with costs to ensure it’s worth your while.

    What time emails are opened

    You can learn a lot about what time it’s best to schedule your email send from seeing when they are opened. Some markets favour morning commuters; others are more likely to be read by parents who’ve got their kids to bed. Time of send can greatly influence open rate.

    Subscriber value

    How much money does a single subscriber bring into your operation? Knowing this can influence how aggressively you chase new ones.

    Email client usage

    Knowing which email clients the majority of your customers use can help you when you’re designing the subject and body of your emails to run optimally. B2C businesses might see more Gmail, for example, whereas B2B companies are usually better focusing on Outlook. But you won’t know for sure until you start measuring it.

    Experts in email

    At Gooey we’re all set up to help you with your email marketing – and that includes putting the tools in place in your emails and on your website to monitor your campaigns’ performance.

    You’ll be glad you worked with professionals when you have full visibility of your email marketing effectiveness, so do drop us a line so we can get the wheels in motion.