What does effective email marketing look like? And how do you know if you’re having success?

You need data to find out.

But data is really only valuable when you analyze it and translate it into actionable insights, in order to better serve your email list and infuse your email campaigns with more relevant and timely content.

Benchmarking Your Email Marketing Performance with Data

A helpful tip we’ve learned from Digital Marketer is to build a data warehouse for all your broadcast and automated email campaigns.

Within this warehouse you can analyze your data to help drive improvements to your email marketing over time.

There are a couple of data building blocks you’ll need to track. The email marketing platform you’re using likely provides them.

The data building blocks include the number of:

  • Emails sent
  • Emails delivered
  • Unique opens
  • Unique clicks
  • Email complaints
  • Email unsubscribes

Alone, these data instances do not mean much. But by using some simple math, you can discover new insights about your emails’ performance.

4 Email Marketing Metrics You Need to Track

1. Deliverability – How likely are people to GET your email?

Deliverability measures the health of your email marketing. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are trying to prevent SPAM, and are sifting through enormous amount of emails on a daily basis.

If you’re experiencing high email delivery failures, something is wrong and your emails might be getting blocked by ISPs.

The Equation for Deliverability:

Delivered Emails / Sent Emails

2. Open Rate – How likely are people to READ your email?

Open rates measure how engaged your list is overall. Some people may open an email several times, but by measuring unique opens, it tells you how many people opened the email once.

The open rate can say a lot about whether your subject line was effective or not.

The Equation for Open Rate:

Unique Opens / Delivered Emails

3. Click-through Rate (CTR) – How likely are people to ENGAGE with your email?

CTR measures how many people are engaged with your content and interested in what you have to offer through visits to your website, blogs or other destinations your email links were designed to send them to.

Monitoring your CTR is helpful in understanding what content is resonating with your list, as well as how an individual email performs and the changes over time.

The Equation for CTR:

Unique Clicks / Unique Opens

4. Disengagement Rate – How likely are people to HATE your email?

Disengagement measures both complaints and unsubscribes against unique opens. A high disengagement rate is never a good thing, as it means your email is unwanted in a person’s Inbox. This could be because content is not relevant (so they unsubscribe) or your emails are directly being marked as SPAM (they complain).

If you have a high disengagement rate, you need to re-evaluate your entire email campaign immediately. Being repeatedly reported as SPAM will affect your delivery rates and you can end up on a blacklist, creating long-term problems.

The Equation for Disengagement Rate:

Complaints + Unsubscribe / Unique Opens

Track these four metrics in your email data warehouse to begin analyzing your data. This will illustrate trends and drive new insights.

Effective email marketing looks different for all types of companies. So start by building your data warehouse to identify your own performance benchmarks and compare them against your industry.

A helpful resource for evaluating industry performance is MailChimp’s Email Marketing Benchmarks.

Write Your First Automated Email Campaign

Now that you know the metrics you’ll need to track, learn how to write your first automated email campaign and the types of emails to include.

Read our blog, Lead Nurturing: How to Write Your First Automated Email Campaign.