3 min read

Email Marketing Campaign Metrics

Email marketing metrics are used to analyze efficiency of the marketing campaign.There can be different tasks and goals for an email marketing campaign launched by a small business - the number of registrations, purchases, opening rate etc. For each of the task and goal we make a separate metric. Email marketer has to consider these metrics and monitor them for decision-making purposes.

Metrics in Plain Words

In this article we are going to disclose internal metrics - these metrics show what happens with our letters from the moment of sending and to the moment of getting on site or app - usually it is about users engagement and quality of newsletter. There are also external metrics that show what happens before and after the newsletter was sent - the number of new users attracted, the income of the company from one letter, etc.

Metrics can be represented in absolute and relative indicators. Absolute indicators are written in figures, for example, the number of people that have opened the letter, the number of clicks due to CTA etc. Relative indicators are showing the coefficient that is derived from the absolute figures. For example, if there are 10 clicks from 100 letters it is an absolute figure, however, if you write 0.1 click rate it is a relative figure.

You both need to consider absolute and relative figures as both kinds of figures are meaningful and can be used for analysis.

Open Rate

Open rate is a relative figure showing the coefficient of the opened/sent letters. In this metrics there only counts the quantity of HTML-letter openings with the loaded images. In case your subscriber opens the letter in the plain text format, the opening won’t be counted. ESP doesn’t transit information about the opening rate, it is done by a pixel - an invisible image loaded with all other visible images in the letter.

In case the HTML-letter is opened by the subscriber more than one time there will be counted each opening.

Normal opening rate can vary depending on the type of business and letters. However, opening rate is not the most accurate metrics as you do not know how many users watched your letter in the plain text mode.


This metrics shows the share of subscribers that have clicked one of the links in your letter - it also could be a button or image. When the click rate is counted all clicks are considered.

When click rate is calculated you can define the number of clicks for the specified link or for the all links. In order to count click rate the links in ESP are replaced by redirect links. ESP is fixing the transition and takes user to the original address. Despite from the open rate click rate can be calculated accurately.

Unsubscribe Rate

The maximum unsubscribe rate shouldn’t excess 0,5-2%. However, it all depends on the industry. According to the research the optimal average unsubscribe rate for consumer goods industry makes 0,208%, while for the non-commerce organizations it is 0,058%.

Unsubscribe rate is calculated based on the delivered letters figures as some of the ESPs allows users to unsubscribe without opening the letter (like Gmail).

Main Reasons for The High Unsubscribe Rate:

  • Poorly collected, purchased or exchanged mailing list that contains of users that did not make a clear choice of being subscribed to your newsletter.
  • Newsletters are similar for all of the users, there was no segmentation done.
  • Many old subscribers that do not really interested in getting newsletter anymore. Read about the consequences of having such addresses in your mailing list in our article.
  • Irrelevant content - company doesn’t know what do its client want to get in newsletter

How to Decrease Unsubscribe Rate:

  • Make sure you clean the mailing list from the inactive users. Email verification services can help with this task.
  • Do not use purchased or rented mailing lists and parsed lists.
  • Enforce double opt-in subscription.
  • Create interesting content for all subscriber groups.
  • Study up the clients’ preferences using the content map. Read about this in our article about the valuable tip for small business email marketing.
  • Test headings, content, design of your letters on small groups of clients before you send the newsletter to all users.
  • Define the best time for newsletter; make tests to find out how often can you make the newsletter, which time is it better to open the letters.

Complaint Rate

When subscriber marks the letter as a spam an ESP and provider consider that when defining sender’s reputation. Often that doesn’t mean you are a spammer, it is just about the subscribers do not want to get your letters anymore so they have marked you as a spammer. In order to avoid that make unsubscription as easy as possible.

Marketing Campaign Metrics for Small Business

Churn rate

Business must widen its contact base on the permanent basis. You will reach this goal if you constantly improve your email marketing campaign for business and ensure that there are more users subscribed than unsubscribed.

Churn rate shows the share of users that have unsubscribed for a given period. For example, if among the 1000 subscribers 150 have unsubscribed during the year the churn rate makes 15%.

Depending on the business industry you can either make calculations on the annual or monthly basis. It is okay for most of the companies to have 5% churn rate annually, while 5% monthly something is going wrong.


If you think there are too much efforts you need to bring to calculate the metrics, note that email marketing is one of the most efficient ways to promote your product or company which is grounded in our article.

Read more in other useful articles on our blog.

contact us