7 basic metrics of email analytics


It is generally accepted that the effectiveness of email distribution depends on such indicators as opening and percentage of unsubscribes. But this is only a small part of the reality that is hidden behind sales through mail clients. There are many metrics that allow you to evaluate the success of email distribution.

In this article, we’ll not only talk about opens and unsubscribes, but we’ll also touch on conversions, conversion rates, and more.

How analytics can help

Analysis is always an opportunity to become better and stand out from the competition. It’s the same with email.

You will be able to:

  • Understand how the mailing affects the audience. By studying subscribers, you can improve your approach and understand why they read your newsletter – based on this, the letters become the most interesting, and their openness increases.
  • Track delivery. It makes it clear that your method does not work, or, on the contrary, you have found your chip.
  • Determine the status of your subscribers. The analysis will help to find out the percentage of the real audience who have not used their mail for a long time.
  • Avoid getting spammed. Parameters such as domain and IP reputation, the presence of SPF and DKIM affect the degradation of mailings. If you take care of them in time, you can minimize getting into the spam folder.

In addition to this, you will be able to view the statistics of your site – you will find out which pages users read and how much time they spend on it.

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Key metrics of email marketing

We’ve figured out why we need email analysis, now let’s look at the metrics that will help with this. It will be about the following:

  1. conversion rate,
  2. open rate,
  3. clickability,
  4. conversion,
  5. return percentage,
  6. percentage of unsubscribes,
  7. level of complaints.

Please note that it is not necessary to use everything – it all depends on your goals. For example, if you want to increase engagement, you should pay attention to the percentage of conversions, and if the task is to inform customers, then the percentage of openings plays a special role.


Conversion percentage

The first metric we will talk about is the percentage of conversions or Click Rate. This is one of the most important indicators for any mailing. From it, you can understand that the mailing was successful – the audience is interested in it, and the title, text and buttons were processed correctly.

The percentage of transitions is calculated according to the following formula:

Click Rate = (Number of clicks / Number of delivered letters) * 100%

It takes into account the actions taken by those who opened the email, that is, it measures the performance of the content inside the email. A value of 4% is considered good, but it all depends on the target audience.

Percentage of discoveries

Another indicator is the percentage of openings or Open Rate. It shows that the letters reach the mailboxes of customers and their attention is attracted either by the brand or by the topic. Most companies only count unique views, as counting all views can skew the results.

The formula for calculation, like the previous one, is extremely simple:

Open Rate = (Number of openings / Number of letters delivered) * 100%

The indicator is considered good when it reaches the mark of 30-40%. At the same time, it should not go below 20% – in this case, the mailing can be considered ineffective.

One of the nuances of such a metric lies in the 1×1 image that hides at the top of the letter to track openness. If the mail client will block images, this metric cannot be tracked.

If you’re going to compare against the competition, you should keep in mind that Open Rate varies widely in different areas. Focus only on averages in your industry.


Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a metric that shows how many subscribers who received the email clicked on the target button. Basically, this is a report on two indicators at the same time – how many customers opened the email and how many of them clicked on the button. This is most often useful for evaluating the overall success of a campaign and comparing the performance of different campaigns.

It is calculated according to the following formula:

Click-Through Rate = (Number of clicks / Number of open letters) * 100%

If the value reaches 4% and from, then the calculation of the indicator will be considered successful. Low values ​​usually mean that you did not convince them to open the letter or that it turned out to be uninteresting for the subscriber.


Conversion – the number of subscribers who opened the letter and fulfilled the goal you set, for example, went to the product catalog with a button. This is one of the most important metrics that evaluates the effectiveness of the entire mailing.

It is calculated as follows:

Conversion rate = (Number of actions / Number of letters delivered) * 100%

For newsletters, the conversion value is 1%+, and for trigger emails – 3-5%+. At the same time, some target letters reach 15 percent or more. Whenever possible, try to provide monetary conversions. So it will immediately be clear whether one or another campaign should be launched, or whether a new one should be developed.

Percentage of returns

Return percentage or Bounce Rate is an indicator that reflects the percentage of letters rejected by mail clients. The reason for this may be the action of the recipient’s restrictive filter, an overflowing mailbox or an incorrect email address.

The formula for calculating the percentage of returns is as follows:

Bounce Rate = (Number of rejected letters / Number of sent letters) * 100%

There are two categories of delivery errors:

  • Hard bounce. Permanent delivery error – the presence of blocking of the delivery of letters, for example, when sending to non-existent or remote e-mail addresses, as a result, the recipient’s server accepts them.
  • Soft bounce. Temporary delivery error – the letter reaches the recipient, but is returned, for example, due to an overflowing mailbox. At the same time, there is a chance that this letter will be successfully delivered in the future.

Try not to exceed 2% bounce rate, and for regular mailings, it’s better if it’s no higher than 0.5%.

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Percentage of unsubscribes

The Unsubscribe Rate shows how many users clicked on the unsubscribe link in the footer and refused to receive any future mailings.

It is calculated according to the formula:

Unsubscribe Rate = (Number of unsubscribes / Number of delivered letters) * 100%

It should be said that not everyone is ready to spend time on unsubscribing. Most often, users simply stop opening emails.

There is also an opinion that the percentage of unsubscribes is a good thing. The audience becomes more qualitative, because those who are interested in reading your letters do not go anywhere. The main thing is to organize a simple unsubscribe process, otherwise you will only strengthen your reputation – users will start adding all your emails to spam.

The percentage of unsubscribes is considered normal when it varies between 1-2%. If your value is much higher, you should think about why this is happening. Maybe you’re talking about the same thing or doing the mailing too often.

Level of complaints

The last metric we’ll talk about is the complaint rate. Each sender has a rating created even before the start of active mailings. It is based on the number of links in the email and the spam triggers in it.

If the rating is low, it means that recipients often mark the email as spam. In such cases, the mail client may consider you a spammer and block you. This most often happens when the number of complaints exceeds 0.1% of the total number of letters sent in the last 30 days.

The level of complaints is calculated according to the formula:

Complaint rate = (Number of spam complaints / Number of sending attempts) * 100%

To minimize the damage to your ranking, do the following:

  1. Validate addresses from your database to avoid spam traps – addresses that mailers use to catch spammers.
  2. If you recently activated your domain, you need to “warm it up”. This is due to the fact that mail clients are wary of new domains that send mass mailings to a large audience. To do this, send the newsletter not in a package, but in batches. After 5,000 messages, you can already send larger mailings.

Try to exclude subscribers who have complained about spam from the database every day.

How to track statistics of views on the site

With the help of Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrik tools, you can track the actions performed by the user after switching from the newsletter to the site.

This will help you learn:

  • which pages were used after the mailing;
  • how much time the user spent on the page;
  • how many visitors came from the newsletter;
  • how many visitors left after viewing the main page.


Email analytics metrics are important parameters that should be considered in all mailings. The main thing is to define the goal and understand what needs to be done to achieve it, choose appropriate metrics and strive for high results.

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