Four KPIs Every Email Marketer Should Use


How do you define the success of an email marketing campaign? It all goes back to your campaign goals.

If you don’t know what your goals are, how will you know if your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be useful? You don’t – because without goals, you don’t have much to measure against.

So to start, ask yourself and your team a few questions:

  1. What’s the goal of this email marketing campaign?
  2. Do we want to grow our subscriber list?
  3. Do we want to generate more leads?
  4. Do we want our list to engage and interact with a call-to-action?

Once you’ve solidified the goal(s) of your campaign, it’s time to nail down the KPIs you’ll want to measure.


Open rate

You won’t reach your goals if no one opens your email. It’s harsh, but it’s true. One way to increase open rates is to have a strong subject line that resonates with your audience. You can hazard a guess at what will work, but measurement will help you know for sure. Create a couple of contenders, and run an A/B test, sending one of two subject lines to a segment of your audience. Whichever one performs the best is the one you send to the bulk of your subscribers. Then apply your findings to future mailings. What key phrases motivate users to open your message?

Clickthrough rate

Now it’s on to the email content itself. The clickthrough rate, or CTR, essentially tells you the percentage of subscribers who find your email content to be useful.

People are inundated with messages. If it doesn’t interest them, they move on (or unsubscribe, which is even worse). To improve your CTR, relevancy is key. Provide them with content that interests them, and you’re more likely to increase your CTR. If you have the data on your subscribers, consider targeting a smaller, more specific list with more granular content that will speak more directly to their interests.

Conversion rate

Conversions are really the heart of most marketing efforts. Converting leads is the first step to creating a base of loyal customers, and therefore one of the most critical KPIs you can measure.

When it comes to emails, a conversion is counted when an email recipient clicks on a link within the email, then completes a call to action (CTA)—like filling out a lead form or purchasing a product. In short, they do what you asked them to do.

In order to effectively track your success, don’t forget to add tracking parameters to your email links. This will help you use your analytics platform to identify any conversions that happen as a result of a link from email campaigns.


You want your email to reach your subscribers’ eyes. But the people that initially received your email are already in your database. So, when a user forwards your email along to a friend or family member, the hope is that they also find your content useful and become subscribers as well.

To track shares, you’ll need to make sure that your message includes a “share this” button for users to post the email content on their social media networks or a “forward to a friend” button.

Pay careful attention to the types of articles and emails that are being shared by your subscribers. This will give you insight into what content your audience finds valuable, and you can plan your future email marketing campaigns accordingly.

This was just the tip of the iceberg of the importance of KPIs and measuring your email marketing success. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more!