Email Marketing Tips: How to Measure Success

By Triggerfish MarTech on October 22, 2019

As a marketer, regularly reviewing your email success should be part of your routine. Taking the time to review the email marketing metrics chosen to measure the success of your campaigns before sending your next campaign will ensure that your message has the best chance at resonating with your audience.

It’s important to remember that success can be measured incrementally, so tracking your email marketing metrics on an ongoing basis is important. While there are many results metrics that you can use to define the success of your campaigns, if you’re not sure where to start, the below metrics are a good basis for kicking off your campaign reporting.

Bounce Rate

How to calculate: Returned emails ¸ Sent emails ´ 100

The bounce rate is the percentage of email addresses that returned an error after being sent. Errors can be either hard or soft bounces. Hard bounces include non-existent or invalid email addresses, so emails will never be delivered to that email address. Soft bounces may include a delivery address with a full inbox, or where there are server issues. If the issue is resolved, the email will be delivered.

Monitoring bounce rates is important for ensuring that your messages are reaching the people you want them to, as well as providing a good indicator of the cleanliness of your data. Where your hard bounce rate is high, you might want to look at those invalid emails and clean up your database.

Similarly, high bounce rates may be related to a specific email client. Hard bounce rates are also one of the key elements used by internet service providers (ISPs) to determine sender reputation: this is why you should always clean up your lists in a timely manner when such issues arise.

Open Rate

How to calculate: Emails opened ¸ Emails delivered ´ 100

Open rate is the number of emails opened compared to the total amount delivered. Open rates are affected most by the subject and preheader: carry out tests frequently and pay extreme attention when drafting interesting copy that arouses curiosity and urges recipients to open the message.

If you’re using Sitecore, you can see these metrics in Email Experience Manager.

Sitecore Email Dash

If you’re using HubSpot, you can see them by clicking into your sent email.

Hubspot Email Dash2


Click through rate

How to calculate: Emails clicked ¸ Emails delivered ´ 100

This is the number of clicks on the links contained in an email message, divided by the number of emails delivered. The click-through rate is determined by the email’s content – images, copy and especially calls-to-action.

Conversion Rate

How to calculate: Number of users who have completed your goal ¸ Emails delivered ´ 100

The conversion rate measures how your email has performed based on your objective, usually defined by your CTA. Conversions are intertwined with a call-to-action’s quality: this is why experimenting with and frequently testing CTAs is fundamental for guaranteeing their maximum effectiveness.

Device Type

Marketers should always be looking at the common devices or email clients used to open emails, in order to property optimise the email for those common platforms. This will also inform when the best time is to send your email, based on whether your audience is sitting at a desktop (usually during work hours), or on their mobile (typically used at home on the commute).

In HubSpot you can see this detail by clicking into your send campaign:

Hubspot email client

In Sitecore (versions 8.1 and later) you can see this information in the Email Experience Manager:

Sitecore email tenant


Unsubscribe rate

How to calculate: Unsubscribed users ¸ Emails sent) ´ 100

A healthy unsubscribe rate is less than 2%, and the number of unsubscribed users should always be lower than the number of new users. If you notice that the unsubscribe rate is on the rise, or rises and falls dramatically with every send, you need to re-evaluate your sending frequency or your messages’ content and run several tests to identify what the problem might be.

List growth rate

How to calculate it: (Number of new subscribers) - (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints) ÷ (Total number of email addresses on your list) ´ 100

This is the rate at which your email list is growing. Marketers should always be keeping tabs on your list growth and loss. You should be aiming to grow your list in order to extend your reach, expand your audience, and position the brand in the way you want across your different audiences.

Be aware that there is a natural decay of your email marketing list by about 22.5% every year on average. This means is important to pay attention to the ways in which you’re generating more subscribers and growing your list to ensure it stays at a healthy size.

Are you struggling with your email program? Don't worry, we can help - check out the Triggerfish Email Start Up offer if you need help reinvigorating your email campaigns.


Find out more