Top 5 Metrics All Email Marketers Should Be Tracking

There are numerous ways that email marketers can try to determine just how well they are doing from a performance standpoint.

While the overall list of potential metrics can be exhaustive and goals for an email campaign vary from person to person, there are several metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that EVERY email marketer should be looking at, and optimizing their campaigns based on.

These basic stats are the foundation of building and understanding your subscriber lists.

So keep a close eye on these while continuously trying to improve them and you will go far in the email marketing world!

Opt-In Rate

The percentage of site visitors who subscribe to your email list

How to Calculate It: (Total Number of Subscribers / Total Number of Site Visitors)

Example: 20 subscribers / 100 site visitors = 20% opt-in rate

What is a “Good” Opt-In Rate? The best landing pages average 20 – 25% opt in rate. 25% and higher? You’re in awesome shape!

This metric is a reflection of the total amount of visitors that both arrived to your landing page and found it so compelling that they decided to opt-in to your list. Your opt-in rate will tell you all about the quality of your offering and the visitors you are funneling to your landing page.

Want to Increase Your Opt-In Rate? Ask Yourself These Three Questions…

  • Where is your traffic coming from and how much time are they spending on your page?
  • What’s your offer? Does it appeal to the wants and needs of your visitors?
  • Do you have strong copy and a well designed landing page?

Open Rate:

The percentage of recipients to whom you sent an email that actually opened it

How to Calculate It: ( Total Opens / Number of Delivered Emails )

Example: 100 opens / 400 delivered emails = 25% open rate

What is a “Good” Open Rate? The average open rate across all industries is 24.79%. We recommend always shooting for a 10% open rate at the very least.

Arguably, your open rate is  the most important metric for your email marketing campaigns. If your subscribers aren’t opening your emails then they aren’t clicking on the links or buying the products that you promote. It all starts with the open.

In sales, it’s all about the close but in email marketing… it’s all about the open.

Of course, your open rates will vary depending on the relationship you have with your list.

A trusted relationship with your list = higher open rates.

Quick Tips to Improve Your Open Rate:

  • The Subject Line: Long and unappealing subject lines will cause a massive drop in your open rates. Subject lines that are spammy will cause a double whammy by not getting an open, AND getting a spam complaint. It’s always best to stick to a subject line that is clear, concise and gives a little hint as to what’s inside.
  • Timing: The right time and day to send will depend on your list. That’s why it’s important to monitor your stats and see what days and times seem to accumulate the most opens. To save time, you can just use Sendlane’s Optimized Timing feature! This will track each of your subscribers open patterns and send your emails at the most optimal times. This takes all the headache out of making sure that you are sending to your subscribers at the right days, times, and timezones.


The percentage of people who opened the email and clicked at least one link, button, or clickable image link in the email

How to Calculate It: ( Total Clicks / Number of Delivered Emails )

Example: 250 clicks / 5,000 delivered emails = 5% click through rate

What is a “Good” Click Through Rate? The average click through rate across all industries is 4.19%

CTR gives an email marketer a very quick and easy look at initial performance in their campaign without having to dive in too deep. It allows a glance at how current efforts are performing, and also gives a good look at performance over time. Additionally, looking at CTR can be a great way to run various tests with your email marketing, whether it’s copy, creative, headline, etc.

Selling The Click

Getting clicks isn’t about selling the product, it’s about selling the click.

Many email marketers make the mistake of trying to sell the product instead of the click. Some email marketers will provide all the necessary information about the product for the subscriber to make a buying decision without ever needing to click on the link to get more information from the sales page.

So if you sell the product in the email why would someone click on the link to get more information? Your email should be more about the benefits of clicking on the link rather than the benefits of the product.

Remember, “Sell the sizzle and not the steak“.

Making The Most of Your Clicks:

  • Keep in mind, most people make buying decision based on emotions. If you can tap into an emotion of the subscriber and translate that into a benefit by clicking you’ll see a rise in your click rates. Let the sales page sell the product and you sell the click.


The percentage of email addresses in your subscriber list that did not receive your message

How to Calculate It: ( Total Number of Bounced Emails / Number of Emails Sent )

Example: 25 bounced emails / 5,000 sent emails = .005% bounce rate

There are two different kinds of bounces, soft bounces and hard bounces.

A soft bounce could be due to a temporary server issue or something else that prevents the email from being delivered, but once the problem is resolved the email will be sent through or you can try re-sending.

A hard bounce will result from an email address that is no longer valid, meaning that you should immediately remove any hard bounce email addresses from your list. Too many hard bounces can hurt an email sender’s reputation.

Sendlane helps you keep a clean list by automatically removing hard bounce email addresses from your list so they cannot be emailed in the future.


Percentage of recipients who choose to opt-out of your mailing list.

How to Calculate It: ( Total Number of Unsubscribed Emails / Number of Delivered Emails )

Example: 10 unsubscribes / 500 delivered emails = .02% unsubscribe rate

Where Your Unsubscribe Rate Should Be: The average unsubscribe rate across all industries is .49%.     If you are utilizing a well-maintained and properly used email list, unsubscribe rates should be no more than one percent at the absolute most. 

Unsubscribe Rate Too High? It’s time to ask yourself the following:

  • Are you offering valuable content to your subscribers?
  • Have you taken the time to segment your list?
  • Are you sticking to a regular sending schedule?
  • Do your emails display well on mobile?

The Bottom Line

Pay attention to your metrics.

Sendlane’s analytics and reporting features helps you actively monitor the performance of your email campaigns and the health of your email list to give you a clear insight on how to improve upon your overall email marketing strategy.


[the_ad_group id=”220″]

Caitlin Hutchinson

Caitlin Hutchinson

Brand Marketing ManagerSendlane
A native of San Diego, California, Caitlin has a passion for developing creative and engaging marketing content. Primarily responsible for overseeing the development, execution and delivery of digital content across all of Sendlane’s channels while maintaining an online presence of Sendlane's team culture. Host of The Marketing Automation Hustle Podcast and Sendlane Youtube Training Channel. Works closely with the marketing team to manage creative projects and develop creative assets/solutions to enhance the brand. Collaborates at the intersection of marketing, product, content, and sales to develop powerful and memorable stories and interactive experiences that bring the Sendlane vision to life.
Caitlin Hutchinson