Observe and Leverage the Four Metrics That Matter

[UPDATED] 101 Best Email Subject Lines

If I gave you $ 1 for your business, where would it go?

Your first instinct could be to invest in Facebook ads or to bag them and save them for the latest marketing software.

But you are missing a crucial opportunity.

While social media got hot and captivated advertisers, its existence has not yet made email marketing irrelevant.

Marketing software is definitely making great strides in our industry, but cannot be successful unless it is integrated into your email marketing platform.

Ninety-nine percent of consumers Check their emails every day. What's better than that?

Unlike social media platforms, email is a much quieter place to grab and keep a reader's attention.

There are 4 email marketing metrics to look out for, only 4 🙂.

These email marketing metrics are UNIVERSAL and will help you measure the success of your emails You can create effective email marketing campaigns no matter,

  • How big is your list (young bird vs. adult eagle)
  • What kind of business do you have (e-commerce vs stationary)
  • The email platform you use (Mailchimp vs. Maropost)

Let's get started right away!

The 4 metrics that need to be tracked in every email

So why only 4 metrics?

Each of these metrics corresponds to a specific part of your high leverage email.

If performance deteriorates, checking which of these numbers have changed will help you understand exactly what happened and how to fix the problem.

The 4 metrics are …

  1. Deliverability
  2. Opening rate
  3. Clickthrough rate
  4. Disengagement rate

Let's look at them and let's look at what they are and how to use them in your own email marketing. If you want to learn more about email marketing terms so you know your way around, you can read our article on Email marketing terms that marketers need to know.

Email Marketing Metric You Must Track # 1: Deliverability

Deliverability, also known as the delivery rate, is calculated by dividing delivered emails by sent emails.

The deliverability specifies what percentage of the sent emails actually reach the inbox. In other words, it gives you an indication of how likely people are to receive your email.

In general, deliverability gives you an idea of ​​how well your email passes the “spam test” for email service providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Yahoo.

If your emails don't use tagged words and are well received by your audience, your deliverability should be quite high. A percentage for healthy deliverability should be in the upper 90th percentile.

Pay attention to emails with low deliverability. This is a great way to identify copies that ESPs don't like, such as:

  • "No investment required"
  • "Zero risk"
  • "No money down"

The next metric is one that most people are familiar with …

Email Marketing Metrics You Must Track # 2: Open Rate

The opening rate of your email indicates how likely people are to read your email and is determined by dividing the unique openings by emails received.

This measures the frequency with which your emails are opened and thus read.

The open rate is one of the easiest to influence metrics. It is therefore a well-known metric and a common blog topic. for us too.

Opening rate describes how well Your subject line encourages your email list to actually take the time to read your email.

Since you have approximately 30 characters to catch someone's eye, a powerful copy can make the difference between 700 and 7,000 people reading your email.

You should use the opening rate as a barometer of how well your messages are received by your target group.

The third metric is arguably the most important, as it correlates most closely with sales.

Email Marketing Metrics You Must Track # 3: CTR

The clickthrough rate indicates how likely it is that your target group will contact your email. This means it indicates the likelihood that someone will click a link in your email.

The formula for calculating the click rate is the number of unique clicks divided by the number of unique openings.

The clickthrough rate is important because it measures whether people are actually performing the desired actions with their emails.

Clicks in an email are the drive:

A low click-through rate usually indicates that your email copy is falling flat and is a sign of a weak or unclear call-to-action (CTA).

An easy way to improve the clickthrough rate is to avoid overselling your products or services by email, and instead focus on getting users to click your link.

The text of the email has only one job – sell the click.

The last metric is one that almost nobody thinks about, but it may give you the best insight into how your email list is set up about you and your email strategy.

Email Marketing Metrics You Must Track # 4: Disengagement Rate

Disengagement rate tells you how likely people are to hate your email.

You can determine the deactivation rate by adding unsubscribes to spam complaints and dividing the total by clear openings.

Your emails will always drive some people away, either towards you or away from you. While you may not like (and shouldn't strive to) everyone, you need to make sure that the vast majority of readers on your list like what you have to say.

So you want to make sure you keep an eye on your retreat.

With the deactivation rate, you can identify messages that are not working and cut them out of your copy toolbox.

It is imperative that you keep your average email disengagement rate below 0.15%, otherwise deliverability will decrease.

You have your 4 metrics and the basic uses for each of these metrics. Now let's talk about how to get the best possible metrics for your email campaigns.

(NOTE: Are you looking for subject lines from previous years? We have all collected More than 600 powerful email subject lines since 2013– and all the amazing analyzes that go with them – in The ultimate swipe file for email subject lines! Create yours FREE DM Insider Account here to get instant access!)

How to track email performance (and the two categories of email)

Not all emails you send are the same and the distinction is critical to measuring our 4 metrics.

There are two different categories of email, but this distinction has nothing to do with the content of the email. Instead, these categories describe how emails are delivered to customers.

The 2 categories are:

  1. Broadcast emails
  2. Automated emails

Email Category 1: broadcast emails

Broadcast emails are manually set up, scheduled, and sent to many people at once through your email marketing software.

These are mass communication emails. Here is an example from Postmates sending a broadcast email for a $ 3 discount off a $ 15 purchase discount:

Postmates promotional email

From a metric perspective, broadcast emails are easy to evaluate. Since all emails are sent at the same time, data on these emails as a whole is reported.

Here is an example of a broadcast email report we would receive from our Maropost email platform.

DigitalMarketer email metrics

You can see that 3 of our four metrics are generated automatically …

  1. Deliverability
  2. Opening rate
  3. Clickthrough rate

Although the platform is not actively providing our disengagement rate, it can easily be calculated using the formula given above.

Email category 2: Automated emails

Automated emails, on the other hand, look more like a personal letter.

They are tailored to the individual recipient and usually contain further details about a customer and his interests.

These emails are sent based on the actions taken by customers. They can be triggered to send when customers do things like:

  • Fill out a form
  • Buy a product
  • Visit a specific website

Here is an example of an automated email from Nectar with the order number and tracking number for a recently ordered product (in this case, a mattress).

Transaction email from Nectar

Due to the higher level of personalization, these emails are generally more powerful than mail. However, they are also more difficult to track and evaluate because the data for these emails is not always automatically aggregated and reporting is done at the contact level.

Here is an example of what I mean:

Metrics for a transactional email

This detailed reporting makes it difficult to see the big picture and evaluate performance because you have to compare hundreds or thousands of individual reports.

However, you need to track both broadcast and automated emails if you want to improve your email marketing.

To improve your email marketing, you need to track it.

Why you absolutely MUST have your own email marketing metrics

If your email platform provides all the metrics for analysis in a clear package, you can easily conclude that all of your work is done. Just check the individual email marketing metrics and go to the next step.

This is a HUGE trap when it comes to email marketing as it feels efficient at this point.

In order to develop a sustainable, long-term email strategy, you have to save all the data you receive in your company yourself.

There are two main reasons why this is critical.

1. Turn your email marketing metrics into decision aids

If you keep all of your information in one place that is ideal for data modeling, you can turn your email marketing metrics into a decision-making tool.

A simple chart with dates and deliverability lets you track how well you are maintaining compliance over time and whether you need to adjust your messages or not.

A uniform location for all your email marketing measurement data also makes it easier to analyze and evaluate large amounts of data. You can track trends over time based on the category or content of the email.

2. Be prepared for migrations

When a company grows, your platforms come and go.

Your company will grow and its requirements will change over time, which means that migration is almost certainly in your future. Saving email marketing metrics externally makes it easier to prepare when the time is right.

For example, DigitalMarketer has used 4 different email platforms since 2011.

If I wanted to compare a campaign that we ran in 2011 or 2012 with a campaign that we ran today, or just want to see how the opening rate evolved year-over-year, I would be out of luck without our cross-platform historical data.

What does success look like? How to measure your performance

It can be very difficult to figure out how your emails are stacking up.

One of the biggest questions I get from people about their email marketing metrics is, "What do you see at DigitalMarketer?" Unfortunately, the answer to this is not useful for most.

When you look at different markets, products, and email lists, you can't decide how you're doing. You need to take a closer look at your own industry.

There are two great resources to help you define what success looks like.

# 1: Benchmark your performance by keeping an eye on your peers

The first resource is other people in your industry.

If you're a law firm and you know how email marketing behaves for other companies that provide legal services, you get an excellent measure of what success should be like.

How do you find these answers?

Fortunately, Mailchimp created the best resource ever to take a look at your colleagues' email marketing metrics.

This resource provides averaged email performance data for 46 different industriesfrom art and artists to vitamin supplements.

And since Mailchimp sends over 10 billion emails a month, the information is extremely representative of behavior patterns.

Here is some of this email marketing data:

Mailchimp email marketing data

The other resource that you should use to assess your performance is your own data.

Benchmark your performance by looking into the past

A look at past performance is one of the best ways to get an idea of ​​where your email marketing program is currently.

To turn your historical data into something usable, you need to compile it.

This can be accomplished fairly easily by generating averages for your 4 metrics based on the past:

  • Six months
  • year
  • 3 years

See where performance is going and create benchmarks to compare your current performance.

Regardless of whether your email marketing is where you want it today, the only way to improve it is to understand where you are.

By using these two different sets of data, you get reasonable expectations and can better understand how your email marketing is developing.

In addition to the details on how to improve individual metrics, the more or less specific audience is the next best way to improve performance. Try experimenting with a smaller list that targets topics that you know interest them.

Then experiment with the subject line and the text copy of the email to improve performance.

Remember, always focus on improving one email marketing metric at a time so you can figure out what is causing the lift.

Now you can do what all marketers dream of.


Richard Lindner, co-founder of DigitalMarketer, says: "Prove, then automate."

Once you understand the basics of tracking and using your email marketing metrics, you can go one step further by using your broadcast emails to improve your automated emails.

Get an idea of ​​what exceptional performance looks like and choose your best broadcast emails and turn them into automated emails.

Every time you send a show, you work in your email marketing lab and test and improve your campaigns!

If you closely monitor these three metrics, you can find out how to create and manage effective email marketing campaigns.

(NOTE: Are you looking for subject lines from previous years? We have all collected More than 600 powerful email subject lines since 2013– and all the amazing analyzes that go with them – in The ultimate swipe file for email subject lines! Create yours FREE DM Insider Account here to get instant access!)