A Line from Greenline

Email Marketing Series - #6: Email Marketing Reporting + Analysis

We’ve gone over the basics of how to create a marketing strategy, email subject lines, email list creation, email marketing call-to-actions, and images and video in emails. Now it’s time to address how to assess the success of an email marketing strategy.

With most marketing tactics, it’s nearly impossible to know the successes or downfalls if you’re not actively using email reporting tools to collect data for analysis to help understand what is and what isn’t working. Take advantage of the fact that we live in a world with excellent digital marketing and have the option to collect data on just about anything.


what email marketing metrics should i use?

The right metrics will help you analyze and improve email marketing efforts. Keep in mind, the when and how of measuring email marketing data depends on each metric.

1. Open Rate: The open rate is the percentage of all email recipients who simply opened an email. It’s useful to know how many people are opening your email, but at the end of the day, click-through rate is an even more informational stat. You should note, open rate can often be inaccurate due to factors such as image blocking, which can skew the data. 

How to Calculate: Total Emails Opened / Total Emails Delivered

Standard / Goal Open Rate: Average open rate should be between 15%-25%.

2. Click-Through Rate: The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of email recipients who clicked on a link inside an email. CTR is considered most important to marketers on a daily basis. It’s a useful metric because it allows for calculation for every individual email you send and gives direct insight into how many readers are engaging with your content.

How to Calculate: # of Click-Throughs / # of Click-Throughs Delivered

Standard / Goal CT Rate: Average click-through rate should be about 2.5%.

3. Conversion Rate: The conversion rate is the percentage of email recipients who completed a desired action. This metric is also important because if a reader opens your email, the next goal is to get them to take action with the email content. The conversion rate metric is directly tied to a call-to-action(s) that you have in your email. This metric shows how successful the email has been at actually generating prospects and leads.

How to Calculate: Total Conversions / Total Emails Delivered 

Standard / Goal conversion Rate: Average conversion rate should be 7.13%, but can vary greatly by industry.

4. Unsubscribe Rate: The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of email recipients who clicked an “unsubscribe” link in the email. Unsubscribe rate is a good benchmark, but don’t dwell on the numbers. It isn’t always the best indication of what is actually going on with your email list. It’s likely more effective to measure subscriber engagement levels by looking at metrics such as click-through and conversion. 

How to Calculate: # of Unsubscribers / # of recipients

Standard / Goal Unsubscribe Rate: Average unsubscribe rate should be about 0.17%.

5. List Growth Rate: The list growth rate is the rate at which an email list has grown over a certain period of time. Naturally, there will be a decay of your list growth rate each year. Checking your monthly unsubscribe rate is a great way to see your growth rate.

How to Calculate: New Subscribers - Unsubscribers / Total Subscribers (over a certain time period)

Standard / Goal Growth Rate: Average growth rate should be 

Knowing how to calculate the above metrics is a great way to assess where you already stand and decide what needs to be done to improve your efforts.


what does reporting and analyzing look like?

Although it can be hard to see the value in any marketing campaign, if data measurement is not being used, it’s nearly impossible to see what’s going on. Focus on the need of your business and each specific campaign. Ask yourself what question you’re trying to answer with each metric you measure. The questions should address knowledge gaps you have about your audience, how they take in information about your products and services, and how that information relates to sales and marketing campaigns.


Here are some of the most common ways marketers analyze their data:

  1. Take all data for the metrics that were focused on
  2. Look at how those metrics measure against the benchmark and the desired goal
  3. Think of ways to improve each metric to drive results

This is a great three-step process to start with if you’re unsure what to do with the data. It can be time-consuming, but if you don’t take the time to look into how improvement can happen, change won’t happen. 99% of consumers check their email every day. Email is still a great way to reach your audience …it’s also a great way to collect data about consumer habits.


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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing