Email Marketing Metrics

How to Interpret Key Email Marketing Statistics

The best email software will provide reams of email marketing metrics, some very useful indeed. Here are the key email marketing statistics for any campaign.

Number delivered and bounced emails

Number delivered is self-explanatory. Some emails will not reach their destination, but will bounce back undelivered. You'll usually have two such metrics - hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard bounces are addresses that are permanently unavailable, usually because the address doesn't exist. Soft bounces means the address is temporarily unavailable, usually because the in-box is full.
Email marketing metrics

Open Rate

Obviously this metric's the number of times your campaign has been opened by recipients.

As a general rule of thumb, you can consider 20% as the standard open rate for an opted-in list, and MUCH less for a marketing list you've bought. Anything above that is a bonus.

One point to note - email marketing metrics systems use two methods to register an email as being opened:

  • if a link is clicked, or
  • if an image is downloaded (ie viewed)
So, even if it’s been opened in a preview pane, an email won’t register as being opened if the recipient doesn’t click a link or download the images.

Click-through Rate

This email marketing metric records the number of times individual weblinks within your email are clicked. You'll know which links were most popular, and identify the individuals who clicked them. This metric's very useful for indicating how much general interest and activity your campaign generated, and which articles or items were of most interest.

You could then create an address book sub-group of recipients with clearly identified interests, and use this for future highly-targeted campaigns.

We used this feature in this targeted opt in email marketing campaign to identify customers who entered into one of the three prize draws.


You’re legally required to provide an easy way for people to unsubscribe from your database. A commercial system will automatically record and block any voluntary unsubscribers from receiving further emails from you.

If you find this metric's increasing over successive campaigns, then it's time to review factors such as content and frequency.
email marketing metrics

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The 20% average open rate often comes as a shock and disappointment to businesses. Although we have some clients who regularly score 50%, this is unusual. Remember, email marketing is still a mass marketing tool, so keep expectations realistic! Take a look at our suggestions for ways to influence these metrics and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Want to know which delivery method blows email out the water when it comes to open rate? Check out the link below...

If you’d like to explore further, take a look at these pages…

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