Key performance indicators for e-mail marketing beyond the click


The basic metrics to measure the performance of e-mail marketing campaigns are well known. Still, many of these metrics need some clarification and, most of all some classification and tips to improve them. Let's start wit looking at the metrics every e-mail marketing program needs. A foundation on not only the basics of what's being measured, but also how to correctly measure them and see what's working and what's failing.

Some definitions which we work with in email marketing programs from the non-technical perspective:

Delivery rate.

List strength and effectiveness of your opt-in process: delivery percentage.

Spam complaint rate.

Kind of speaks for itself, but it must be measured since spam complaints lead to a bad sender reputation.

Unsubscribe rate.

Delivering on expectations, maintaining an opt-in list size, and creating relevant emails.

Open rate.

This works via your subject line interest, trust, brand strength but most of all relevance.

Click through rate.

How relevant your message is can be measured clearly by lead response and clicks.

Conversion Rate.

If a customer acts on your call to action


A more social way for you to market, having leads and buyers share your content with others.

List Churn.

Effectiveness at managing bounces, spam complaints, and unsubscribes together.
Of course, there are other metrics to be studied. These include revenue created, cost savings, leads generated, site traffic, ROI, average response value, customer retention, and channel value.

Some ways to improve your entire business and gain brand loyalty.

1. Message diagnostics
This is the most basic of the approaches: you take one email and measure it. This rate usually relies on process metrics, delivery rate, time on your landing  page, and unsubscribe rate.
You might ask, "Was this one message delivered correctly to all subscribers?" and work from there.
2. Post email program analysis
With this, you can gain a better understanding of how demographics or geographic differences effect response, improve targeting for future programs, test offers, and develop or test frequency strategies.
You are focusing on the individual buyer response instead of one email.
3. Audience engagement
This analysis focus on lead engagement with your offer. It might measure opens, clicks, conversions and other (social) interactions, and do so during a defined period of time like in one month, quarter, or year. It's important for deliverability and list fatigue.
4. Contribution analysis
This has some action steps to go with it, where you can see the bottom line of each email message or campaign. Is the ROI enough on your entire program to continue? Did your initial email prove the value expected, or was it less? It also measures ways to improve your landing pages by noting abandonment rates, and also does the same for response processes in emails.
5. Final business objective
Last, you have how well this email program is fitting in with your business, both socially and business-wise. Of course dollar or euro signs are here, but we're talking more about if the email program is 1) helping your business and offering value to your recipients or 2) hindering other projects.
And, in the end, offering value is the same as helping your business.


Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue? Optimizing communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.White paper Marketing Pressure & Fatigue

Download our white paper "Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue?" and learn how to optimize communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.

Download the paper, including essential tips, here.