Top 10 Email Marketing KPIs and How To Improve Them

By Seki Hudson

May 21, 2023

I am a believer that you can not control what you can not measure, If you want to know where you can improve your email marketing strategies you need to know exactly what to measure, here are the top 10 email marketing KPIs and how to improve them.

What are KPIs?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are types of performance indicators that are used to measure progress or success and to set goals.

Why are KPIs important?

There are a number of reasons why KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are important.

They provide a way to measure progress toward objectives

You can not know how well are you progressing if there is nothing to indicate how well/badly you’re progressing.

They can help identify areas where improvements are needed

KPIs can help you to identify in which area you are coming short so that you can take action and improve that particular area.

KPIs can serve as a motivation for employees to improve their performance

I used to work in a big corporate, and they used to have a big dashboard showing KPIs for each employee there, you have no idea how people worked hard just for their name to be up in the dashboard, if you have a team, create a dashboard with metrics and you will see how they get motivated ( especially if you provide some kind of reward to high performers.

They can help assess the effectiveness of different business strategies

Knowing your email marketing KPIs will help you to assess what is working and not is not working, which traffic is bringing the most income, and which one is a waste of time.

How do you choose Email marketing KPIs?

The main factor to consider when choosing your Email Marketing KPIs is to consider what your goals are.

Once you know your goals, you can choose KPIs that will help you measure progress toward those goals.

Top 10 email marketing KPIs and How To Improve Them

Here are the top 10 email marketing KPIs and for each KPI I am going to provide tips on how you can improve them.

1. Email open rate

This is the measure of how many people open your emails, you need to know exactly how many people on average open your emails so that if you see a significant drop off you can make a change.

Your open rate can vary depending on many factors such as your reputation, the subject, and the time and the day you send the email.

In most industries, the open rate of between 20 to 30 percent is considered good.

How to improve email open rates

Here are some things you can do to improve your open rate.

Use attention-grabbing subject lines

Most people on average get more than 120 emails per day, if you want them to open your emails you need to catch their attention.

Some of the subject lines I use with a lot of success are.

hidden secrets to achieve (desire)

Curiosity emails like Don’t Open This Email*

You can check the best subject lines here 

Keep your sender name consistent

I recommend using the same send name, this is because people tend to take a quick look and if they know/like the sender then they will open emails.

Send your emails at the best time

Most people open the email before they start their normal day job ( i wonder why) so my recommendation is to send your email between 8 to 9 am) local time, if your autoresponder does not let you do this, just figure out where most of your subscribers are located and send the emails at that time.

Also, I figured out that sending emails on Sundays increases open rates, especially if you are in make money/affiliate marketing niche.

Optimize your email for mobile

Most people use mobile devices, so you need to optimize your emails for mobile, to be honest, all autoresponders do this.

Personalize your emails

When people see their name popping up in the email they will be more eager to open it.

Segment your list

If you are targeting a wide variety of prospects you need to divide them into segments, depending on the links they click, this can help you to write the emails they love to open and read.

Test, test, test!

You need to test different subset lines, and the writing style and figure out what works best for you.

2. Email click-through rate

Email click-through rate (CTR) is one of the most important email marketing KPIs. It measures how often people who receive your email click on a link or button.

How to improve your email click-through rate

In order to improve your CTR please consider the following.

Make sure your email subject line is clear and concise

People are more likely to open an email if they know what it’s about.

keep your email content relevant to the subject line

 People are less likely to click through if your marketing email doesn’t match the subject line.

Use images 

Use images and other visuals to break up your text and make your email message more visually appealing.

3. Email unsubscribe rate

Email unsubscribers are people who for some reason decided that they no longer want to receive emails from you or your company. 

It does not matter how great emails you can write, people will unsubscribe, people change, people get annoyed with anything, and people have problems so do not worry if they unsubscribe.

Email unsubscribe rates can be affected by a number of factors, including the quality of the emails, the frequency of the emails, and the relevance of the emails.

How to reduce the unsubscribe rate?

As I said people unsubscribe for any reason, on your side all you can do is to find out when people unsubscribed the most, and which email caused people to unsubscribe.

People are not stupid, if you send them junk products for the sake of just making money they will unsubscribe, you write with many grammar mistakes they will unsubscribe, the idea here is for you to keep learning, analyzing, and improving and the right prospects will stay in your list.

5. Email deliverability rate

This is the number of emails that actually hits your prospect’s inboxes, A high email deliverability rate is essential for any email marketing campaign, as it ensures that your messages are reaching their intended recipients.

A high email deliverability rate is generally considered to be around 95%.

How to improve Email deliverability rate

Here are some tips on how to improve your email deliverability rate:

  • Use reliable email service providers.
  • Keep your email list clean and up-to-date.
  • Use a double opt-in process for new subscribers.
  • Monitor your email-sending reputation.
  • Avoid spam triggers in your email content.

6 Bounce rate 

 A bounce is when an email is sent to an invalid email address or a soft bounce is when an email is sent to a valid email address but is returned by the server.

How to prevent high email bounce rates

There are a few things you can do to avoid high email bounce rates:

  • Make sure your email list is up to date. Remove any inactive or invalid email addresses.
  • Use a double opt-in process to confirm each email address on your list.
  • Test your email content before sending it out to your entire list. Send a test email to a small group of people to see if they engage with your message.

7. Spam Complaints

Aside from tracking your unsubscribe rates, you should also keep an eye on spam complaints because people often report spam instead of unsubscribing.

Watch the number of spam complaints, especially if you have made a change.

If both unsubscribe rates and spam complaints are high, then this must tell you something.

How to reduce spam complaints 

Sometimes people will mark your email as spam, and there is nothing you can do about that, but there are a few things that you can do to reduce it.

  • Make sure that every person on your list has opted in voluntarily, do not add subscribers without their consent.
  • Always use have unsubscribe option below each email.
  • In each email include a disclaimer that they opted into your list and they can unsubscribe at any moment.


8. Email list growth rate

The email list growth rate is the rate at which your email list expands. This is the difference between the number of new subscribers minus the number of unsubscribers, if the net subscribers count is increasing each month you are doing something great.

A high email list growth rate is generally seen as a positive sign, as it indicates that a company is reaching a larger audience.


How to increase your email list growth rate

Here are some tips you can use to increase your email list growth rate.

Increase the number of people who sees your squeeze pages

This is a numbers game, if your squeeze page converts at 10%, if you have 1000 visitors per month, you will have 100 subscribers, if you have 2000 visitors you will have 200 subscribers.

Improve your squeeze page conversion rate

If you send 1000 people to a squeeze page that converts at 10% you will get 1000 subscribers, if by changing some things and designing a better squeeze page that now it converts at 20%, sending the same 1000 people to your squeeze page will bring you 200 subscribers.

Create a great lead magnet

If you want many people to join your email list you need to give them a reason to do so, you can do this by creating a great lead magnet and giving it for free in exchange for their email address. 

9. Earning per subscriber

Revenue per subscriber reveals how much you earn for every email address on your list.

You need to know how much money you make per subscriber, on average in affiliate marketing/make money online niche you can make between $0.5 to $5 per subscriber per month.

If you are new at email marketing you will be at the lower end and with experience, your income per subscriber will increase.

This will help you to figure out how many subscribers you need in order to make the income you wish, let’s say that you want to make $10,000 per month, and you know that on average you make $1 per month per subscriber, your goal will be to reach 10000 subscribers to make that amount of money.

This is not an exact science the number will value depending on different issues like the frequency of emailing, the offers you are promoting, etc.

How to improve your earning per subscriber

Here are some tips to increase your earning per subscriber.

Email your list

This is the problem with most people, they build their email list and never email it, you will not make money if you are not sending those emails and not promoting affiliates/your own products.

Offer value to your subscribers

People buy from people they like, if you want people in your list to like you and buy products using your affiliate link, you need to really help them, and in return, they will follow your suggestions.

Promote high ticket offers

If you promote a product that gives you $10 per sale you will need 1000 sales to make $10k, if you sell a product that pays you $500 per sale you just need 20 sales, trust me it is easier to make 20 sales even though the second product costs more.

Email very often

When I reached my first 300 subscribers, I started to make at least $50 each time I sent an email to my list, I used to send an email just on Sundays.

I started emailing 4 times a week and guess what my income did not drop, and my income increased 4X.

As long as you are sending good information, you can email more frequently, I know email marketers who send emails every single day and they make a lot of money doing so.

10. Your ROI

Another important email marketing KPI is your return on investment (ROI). This is the bottom line of any business.

This is the total amount of your income due to email marketing minus all the costs associated with running email marketing campaigns, this includes the cost of paying autoresponders, paying employees and freelancers if you have them, the cost of your landing page builder, and cost of bringing people to your landing pages.

It is estimated you should be making about $44 for each $1 you spend on email marketing, find your number, how much you make, and if you are making a profit or losing money.

In the beginning, probably you will lose some cash but with time you will be able to make money to cover all the expenses and some profit.

How to improve email marketing R.O.I?

This is easy, just increase the earning per subscriber and you should be able to improve your ROI, for tips on how to increase your earning per subscriber please read point 9 above.

Final words

That is it, those are the top 10 email marketing KPIs, we went through each KPI and how to improve them.

Remember KPIs above are the essential ones every marketer should track. How to know which email marketing metrics to track based on your goal? Determine what you want to achieve through sending emails.

Seki Hudson

About the author

this is me

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