What Email Marketing KPIs to Consider


There's no question that email marketing is an incredibly valuable tool. Along with allowing you to communicate directly with current and potential customers, it gives you the flexibility to tailor your messages to each unique segment. That said, this tactic is most effective when you use data to guide your efforts. And that requires the use of email marketing KPIs.

With any marketing effort, you need to evaluate the following: 

Then, you need to optimize accordingly for greater performance. 

Email is no different. An effective email marketing plan and campaign should include personal communications based on known criteria and data points, which you can get by referencing the appropriate email marketing KPIs.

What Are Email Marketing KPIs?

Email marketing KPIs are key performance indicators in your email marketing efforts. Essentially, they measure the efficacy of different parts of an email campaign. These indicators help you track how well your email campaign is performing to give you an insight into what you can change to optimize your campaigns.

Why Are These KPIs Important?

These KPIs are important because they allow you to make improvements to your efforts based on data—not guesswork. 

As you pull KPIs of your segmented lists, your data will tell you much more than just what subject line or link is being clicked the most. It will reveal the ROI of your specific lists, their engagement level, and the messaging and offers that appeal to a certain type of person on your list. 

Further, you can use email marketing KPIs to improve other areas of your marketing as well. As such, you should share these metrics with other teams.

This can be beneficial information to direct… 

…to run in other channels such as paid ads that are pushing similar offers or driving traffic to grow your email list even further. 

What Metrics You Should Measure

Business owner working on a laptop as he sends emails to his customers.

There are many email marketing KPIs from which you can gain valuable insight. The specific ones you can use to gauge how well a campaign is performing will depend on the goals you've set. However, the following metrics—separated by category—are ones you should be tracking regularly.

Total Database Size

For starters, you should analyze your total email database/list size about once a month. Is it growing, shrinking, or remaining stagnant? This basic piece of information can tell you whether your efforts to bring people in and keep them engaged are working. 

Segmented List Size

Be watching that you are effectively moving contacts through your sales funnel. Do the contacts you've captured continue to share more information about themselves, such as demographics, pain points, and interests? Or are they only willing to give an email address—nothing more—and never take action beyond signing up for your newsletter? 

Don't forget to look at your customers. Is your conversion rate from prospect to customer healthy? Do they return and make repeat purchases when you email them about your offers?

Demographic Segments

Something else to consider is the demographics of your segments. For instance…

Use the data available to you to determine if there's a pattern or a key demographic that's converting the best. 

Deliverability Rate

When you send email communications, do they land in recipients' inboxes or get blocked? An email is no good if there's no chance of it being seen. Watching your deliverability rate and knowing how to avoid being blocked is critical in managing and measuring your email marketing efforts. 

The email marketing KPIs below should also be watched and actions taken accordingly to optimize as a way to help improve your deliverability rate and maintain a healthy email list.

Opt-Out Rate

An opt-out rate refers to the number of users unsubscribing from your email list. According to research from Campaign Monitor, the average opt-out rate is 0.1%. When this metric is high, it shows there's a problem with your approach. And if you don't find a way to resolve it, your sender reputation could be affected. 

So, review your data to see if people are unsubscribing. And if so, which emails they're unsubscribing from. 

Constantly monitor this metric and adjust for an improved opt-out rate and stop emailing those who unsubscribe.

Bounce Rate

Your bounce rate shows the number of emails undelivered to your subscribers' inboxes. There are two types of bounces:

  1. Soft Bounces: These can happen when a subscriber's inbox is full. They can also occur if their server has an issue.
  2. Hard Bounces: These occur when you attempt to send an email to an address that's invalid or no longer in use.

Ensure the emails you're capturing are valid and active. Watch this data point and stop emailing those whose email address is deactivated or continues to bounce. A high bounce rate can negatively affect your email deliverability. 


Do those who opt out of emails go on to file a complaint about you? It's critical to watch this number and keep it even lower than your opt-out and bounce rates to avoid being blocked and labeled as a spammer.

Unengaged 6+ Months

Review who hasn't been engaging with your emails in 6 or more months. If they've remained unengaged even after running a reengagement campaign, stop emailing these people and administratively opt them out.


Because otherwise, there's a chance that your emails may eventually end up being filed as spam. 

Engagement & Conversions

If you have properly segmented your email list and sent subscribers personalized communications, the email marketing KPIs below will reveal how each of them engages and converts based on the messaging, visuals, and offers you present to them.

Open Rate

What percentage of those you send communications to actually open the email? This metric will give you insights into how people respond based on the following:

According to recent research, the average email open rate across industries is 30.35%. So, if your own is far below that number, consult the data to determine what changes you could make. 

Click-Through Rate

What percentage of those who open your email click on your links? This metric will give you insights into which email communications do the best at driving traffic. It can help you determine what body copy, pain points, visuals, offers, and emails they respond to best.

Conversion Rate

If your contacts are opening and clicking your emails, that's great! However, there is one more metric to look at here—your conversion rate. This refers to the number of people taking you up on and completing the offer you presented in the email. 

There are ways to increase conversions from your emails, such as designing an effective CTA and A/B testing your emails. 

Forwarding Rate

Also known as the email sharing rate, the forwarding rate shows how many of your subscribers forward your emails to their contacts. 

Why is this important?

It indicates that your subscribers find your emails engaging enough to pass them along to others. Further, it means you're reaching an entirely new audience. 

So, review the data to see which emails have been shared most often to get a sense of what content to provide more of. And if you aren't already, make your emails easy to share with social icons.

Overall ROI

Tracking your overall return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important email marketing KPIs to track. As mentioned earlier, you should always evaluate whether your efforts are producing an ROI—and email marketing is no exception. It still requires time and resources, and you want that investment to count.  

Calculate the overall ROI of your campaigns to make sure you're getting a healthy return. 


Marketing is much more than just execution. It's also a lot of evaluation. You have to figure out if what you are doing is making money and growing your audience. With email marketing KPIs, you can get data on every detail of your email performance, leading to more strategized marketing efforts. 

If you need help figuring out what's working and what's not in terms of marketing, request a free audit today


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Filed Under: Analytics, Business Tips, Content Creation

About Lindsey Perron

As Thomas’ daughter, Lindsey was introduced to the world of sales and marketing at an early age. Curious about what her dad did, Lindsey would jump at every opportunity to help and ride along on sales calls. Always quick to take charge and lead the group—a trait that has only grown with time—Lindsey was frequently told by her parents that she was destined to be a manager or CEO of some sort. While working toward earning her bachelor’s degree in human services from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Lindsey interned with the UW Office of Equality and Affirmative Action and served on several councils, which gave her the opportunity to develop her persuasive writing skills, researching skills, problem-solving skills, project management skills, and more. After working as the lead teacher of the 4-year-old room at the local daycare center, Lindsey decided to switch gears and join the Viral Solutions team. In her position, Lindsey is able to help clients think through an end goal and reverse engineer it into the steps needed to achieve it.

When she’s not working, Lindsey loves spending time with family, be it traveling somewhere together or just hanging out at home.