Email Marketing Analytics: How Data Can Increase Your ROI

Are you interested in learning how email marketing analytics can be used to improve your bottom line?

Email marketing can be one of your best sources of revenue. And yet, many marketers leave tons of sales on the table by not optimizing their email marketing strategy.

And what’s the best way to improve your email campaigns? By using the data that you have to make a more profitable plan of action.

That’s why, today, we’re going to look at 7 KPIs you need to track with your email marketing analytics.

But before we teach you which KPIs to track in email marketing, we need to clarify the difference between KPIs and metrics.

KPIs vs. Metrics (& Why It Matters)

The terms “key performance indicators” (KPIs) and “metrics” are often used interchangeably, but they’re very different.

Metrics are neutral pieces of data that tell you how things are but don’t tell you if that’s “good” or “bad.”

KPIs are metrics put into the context of a concrete goal. And KPIs are either “good” or “bad,” depending on how well your metrics stack up to the goal you’ve set.

Sound confusing? Let’s break it down with an example.

Say that you jump into your email service provider (ESP), and you want to track your emails’ open rates. That’s the percentage of people on your list who actually opened your email.

For your last campaign, you see that the email had an open rate of 17%.

Right now, a 17% open rate is just a metric. It tells you how many people opened your emails, but that’s it.

If you have a predefined goal of a 21% open rate, however, then you now have something valuable: your open rates aren’t as high as you want them to be.

That means you need to make some improvements.

And this is really the key difference between KPIs and metrics. Metrics tell you how things are. KPIs help you figure out how things should be.

When it comes to email marketing, you NEED to measure and track KPIs, not metrics. The objective is to optimize your campaign’s performance, which you can’t do if your email marketing strategy doesn’t have clear goals.

Keep this in mind as we go through our 7 KPIs to track for email marketing.

Not only should you be looking at these KPIs each week, but you should also have a clear idea of what makes them a “success” or a “failure.”

That way, you can more efficiently create a smarter email marketing strategy.

In a moment, we’re going to dive into our list of the 7 KPIs to track from your email marketing analytics. But first, let’s briefly discuss how data can also help you drive more signups to your email list.

Using Analytics to Boost Email Signups

If you’re serious about growing your email list, then you’re probably considering a lead generation tool. And one of the features you should be looking for in any lead generation tool is powerful analytics to help you optimize your campaigns.

For that, there’s no better solution than OptinMonster:

optinmonster homepage

OptinMonster is hands down your best bet for using data to grow your email list. That’s because OptinMonster gives you detailed insights into your optin campaigns’ success.

An “optin campaign” is a notification that’s presented in the form of a popup, floating bar, fullscreen welcome mat, or other campaigns designed to get your audience to take action.

And with the right analytics at your fingertips, you can figure out what’s working with your optin campaigns and (more importantly) what’s not.

How do you get this data? Let’s say you used OptinMonster to create a popup campaign to capture more emails.

Directly from your OptinMonster dashboard, you’ll see 3 KPIs:

  • Visitors
  • Conversions
  • Click Rate Percentage

kpis from the optinmonster dashboard

With this information, you’ll get a quick glance at how well your campaigns are performing. Think there’s some room for improvements?

You can always split test any of your campaigns with the click of a button:

Create Split test from your optinmonster dashboard

This creates a duplicate version of your campaign, which allows you to change one element like the:

  • Header
  • Body text
  • CTA button color, text, style, and so on
  • Image
  • Video

And more. Editing your campaigns is also incredibly easy. That’s because OptinMonster has a drag and drop builder that lets you quickly add, remove, or modify every aspect of your campaign:

drag and drop a button into place shopping template

Once your split test is ready, OptinMonster will show both campaigns to your site’s traffic at random.

Then you can see which one has a higher conversion rate in your OptinMonster dashboard, and you can let the winning campaign stay live.

Over time, you can continuously optimize your campaigns to increase conversions.

Split testing is how the digital marketing agency Logic Inbound boosted conversions by 1500% on their site (and saw a 500% increase in attracting qualified leads).

The only reason split testing is so efficient, though, is because of the powerful analytics you have to make smarter marketing decisions.

And if you want an overview of how all of your campaigns are working, you’ll have a clear and easy-to-understand analytics dashboard to rely on:

analytics dashboard from optinmonster

At the end of the day, access to these KPIs in a simple report can make or break your lead generation success.

And OptinMonster gives your the most resources for optimizing your campaigns to grow your list FAST.

Want to see it in action for yourself? Click below to start your 100% risk-free OptinMonster account today:

Grow Your List Today!

BONUS: Done-For-You Campaign Setup ($297 value): Our conversion experts will design 1 free campaign for you to get maximum results – absolutely FREE! Click here to get started →

Now that we’ve seen some ways you can use data to grow your list, let’s look at the email marketing analytics to track once they’re added to your email service provider (ESP).

Email Marketing Analytics: 7 KPIs to Track

The KPIs listed below will be readily available for most email service providers (ESPs). Don’t have an ESP yet? We highly recommend one of the following:

  • Constant Contact: an excellent solution for small businesses who value phone/email support
  • Sendinblue: the perfect choice for businesses on a budget looking for a free option to get started
  • Drip: the most advanced option for eCommerce

These are some of the best ESPs for small businesses that plan to scale.

The images from this guide will come from Drip but, again, most modern ESPs offer the same data to their users.

Let’s dive in.

1. Open Rates

open rates-min

Open rates refer to how many people opened your email campaigns. So if you have a list of 100 people and 10 people opened your last email, you have a 10% open rate.

But what does this KPI actually tell? Two things, actually:

  • How strong your subject lines are
  • Whether or not you’re attracting the right audience to your list

First, open rates are usually correlated with subject lines. Boring and generic subject lines will always have lower open rates than punchy and enticing ones.

If your open rates are low, working on your subject lines is the best place to start.

Otherwise, this might be an indicator that you’re not attracting the right kind of audience to your list. Low open rates are a signal of low engagement, which means you need to target your ideal audience more closely as you capture new leads.

2. Click-Through Rates

ctr from drip campaigns

Click-through rates (CTR) are another important KPI to track from your email marketing analytics. This refers to the number of people who actually clicked through to the call to action (CTA) in your email campaign.

So, again, let’s say you had 100 people on your list. 10 people opened the email, but only 1 person clicked on the link inside.

That gives you a click-through rate of 1%.

This KPI can also be an indicator of 2 things:

  • The strength of your email copy
  • Again, whether or not you’re attracting the right audience to your list

If you’re getting high open rates but a low CTR, that most likely means you aren’t presenting your call to action in the most persuasive way.

The best thing to do would be to go back to your email “copy” (the persuasive language you use in your emails) and work on making it stronger.

For some help with that, check out this post: 17 Tips for Writing Email Copy That Converts.

Otherwise, you could still face the problem of having the wrong types of leads on your list.

3. Custom Conversions

custom conversions in drip

At the end of the day, the goal of email marketing is to get your customers to take a specific action. In many cases, this is to make a purchase. But that’s not always the case.

You might consider a “conversion” something else, like:

  • Joining a webinar
  • Filling out a feedback form
  • Leaving a positive review
  • Commenting on a blog post
  • Following you on social media

Or any other thing you want your audience to go do.

And while you’re tracking the success at each step (with open rates and CTR), you also need to track how many people are taking the actions you want them to.

How? You can do this by setting up custom conversion goals in Google Analytics.

Then you can create UTMs for all of your email campaigns to track which emails led to the most conversions.

Not sure what “UTMs” are or how they work? No worries. Just read this helpful resource: UTM Parameters: Why and How They REALLY Help You.

4. Unsubscribes

unsubscribe rates in drip

One KPI to keep your eye on are the number of people who unsubscribe from your list. A large number of unsubscribes can usually point to an email with either weak or offensive copy.

And low unsubscribe rates can let you know that your emails and audience are well-aligned.

But there’s another reason you’ll want to track unsubscribes: to clear those emails from your ESP.

Many popular email providers, like Mailchimp, still count your unsubscribed emails toward your monthly plan.

So if you’re paying an ESP to store 1,000 contacts, that number also includes unsubscribed email addresses.

You should track how many people unsubscribe each week to keep improving your email copy. But then you should clear those emails to cut costs with your ESP.

5. Bounce Rate

You’ve probably heard the term “bounce rate” before, but it was most likely for your website. When it comes to your email marketing analytics, your bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that couldn’t be delivered to your recipient’s inbox.

This usually breaks down into “soft” bounces and “hard” bounces.

A soft bounce is when emails can’t be delivered because of some temporary problem with either the recipient’s inbox or server.

On the other hand, a hard bounce is when you’re trying to send emails to email addresses that have been closed (or never existed at all).

You want your bounce rates to be as low as possible. That’s because this KPI will have a huge impact on the overall deliverability of your future emails.

6. Audience Growth Rate

audience growth rate

You’re probably tracking how many subscribers you have on your list. But a better KPI to track isn’t the actual number of subscribers. It’s your growth rate.

That’s because the number of subscribers you have each week isn’t a super valuable metric. You might have 10,000 emails on your contact list, which is great.

But if your goal was 20,000, then you’ll need to see why your list isn’t growing as fast as you’d like.

By tracking your audience’s growth rate, you can get a better idea of if you’re getting new leads consistently.

And when you see sharp spikes in the number of subscribers on your list, you can see which marketing campaigns had the most positive impact on this KPI.

This will help you strategize future lead generation campaigns to repeat your success.

7. Revenue Generated

Earlier, we talked about tracking custom conversion goals from your email campaigns. But we also mentioned how “conversions” can mean a lot of different things.

That said, you should track how much revenue is actually created from your email campaigns.

Email marketing is affordable, but it isn’t free. You usually need to invest in an ESP and a lead generation tool. In some cases, you may also hire copywriters to help craft your email series.

As a business, you shouldn’t be spending this money with no way of measuring how much is coming back.

You’ll need to create custom conversion goals in Google Analytics that are directly tied to sales. Then you can track which emails led to the most sales and learn how much revenue your email marketing campaigns are driving.

And that’s it! These have been the 7 top KPIs that you need to track from your email marketing analytics.

Grow Your List Today!

We hope you found this article helpful. If you did, you might also be interested in the following resources:

These posts will have everything you need to grow your list, drive more revenue, and conquer email marketing to scale your business.

Nathan Thompson
Nathan Thompson is a father, a writer, and a lover of travel (in that order). When he’s not wrestling with his kids, you’ll likely find Nathan giving his eyes a much-needed break from screens with a good book or planning a family trip with his awesome wife.

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