email marketing kpis

5 Must-Track Email Marketing KPIs for Small Business Owners

Before you launch your first email campaign, you should set clear goals for your overall strategy.

Your specific goal(s) will help determine several factors for upcoming marketing campaigns, including how often you publish, which call to action (CTA) you use, and what you write about. However, if this is your first time taking on email marketing as a small business owner, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t even know what a reasonable goal would be!”

This is where key performance indicators (KPIs) can help you. Below, we dive into a number of email marketing KPIs you can use to frame your strategy. We include which metrics to track and explain how industry-standard thresholds influence your marketing efforts.

5 Email Marketing KPIs for Small Business Owners

Email marketing KPIs: Gumbamail Campaign summary

Do you want to grow your list? Attract a larger pool of potential customers? Increase online e-commerce conversions? Whatever your goals, you need certain benchmarks to track your progress toward those goals. Below, we dive into several email marketing KPIs to help guide your marketing strategy:

1. List Growth Rate

Your growth rate measures the rate at which your list has grown over time. If you’re just launching your email strategy, you might consider tracking your growth rate to ensure you reach more subscribers over time.

Email list growth rate = (Number of new subscribers ÷ Previous subscriber list size) x 100

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Industry standard: There truly is no industry standard for growth rate. A large company with a large marketing budget may be able to grow their list by 5-10% month over month. If you’re a small business owner, you might be satisfied with a 2% growth rate.
  • Most influenced by: Your list growth rate is most influenced by your email opt-ins. If your list is stagnant, consider creating a new, enticing freebie to offer new subscribers.
  • Other items: It’s not uncommon for your list growth rate to decrease over time. When you follow a regular publishing schedule, disengaged readers will naturally unsubscribe (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing!).

2. Open Rate

Your open rate measures the number of people who open your email. If you notice your open rate plummet, it could be a sign that subscribers are losing interest in your content, that you’re emailing your list too frequently, or that you need to start A/B testing subject lines.

Email open rate = (Number of opens ÷ Total number of emails sent) x 100

When tracking your open rate, consider the following:

  • Industry standard: A good open rate falls between 15-25%.
  • Most influenced by: Your open rate is heavily influenced by your email subject line, so you should continuously tweak your subject lines and preview text.
  • Other items: It’s not uncommon for your open rate to decrease over time. If someone hasn’t opened an email in six months or more, consider removing them from your list.

3. Forwarding Rate

While open rates are one of the most commonly tracked email marketing KPIs, it doesn’t tell you whether or not a reader is engaged with your content. To determine whether a subscriber reads the body text, marketers track click-through rates (CTRs). They may also track your forwarding rate (sometimes called your email sharing rate), which represents how many emails get forwarded to additional recipients — people who aren’t on your list.

Email forwarding rate = (Number of forwarded emails ÷ Number of emails sent) x 100

When gauging your forwarding rate, be sure to note:

  • Industry standard: There is no industry standard, as this figure is incredibly low (less than 0.5%). Think about it — how many times do you forward a mass email? Chances are, not often.
  • Most influenced by: Increasing your email sharing rate depends on writing high-quality, useful content. Sometimes, you can increase email shares by offering a special friends-and-family discount code to share with your audience’s network.
  • Other items: Take it as a compliment every time a subscriber forwards your email to a friend. To encourage sharing, you can add a CTA that reads, “Love this email? Consider forwarding to a friend!”

4. Deliverability Rates

You can’t expect to launch an effective digital marketing strategy if no one receives your emails. Therefore, you need to track your email deliverability rate (or delivery rate) — an important metric that measures how often your content lands in a recipient’s inbox.

Deliverability rate = (Total emails received ÷ Total emails sent) x 100

When tracking your deliverability rate, be aware of the following:

  • Industry standard: Industry experts state a good deliverability rate falls between 88-99%.
  • Most influenced by: Your deliverability rate is determined by two factors — your sender reputation and your email service provider (ESP). Your email deliverability will suffer if your emails prompt spam complaints or your ESP’s automation system fails to send out your content. Sometimes, an email won’t be delivered due to a soft bounce, which usually signals a downed server or full inbox.
  • Other items: A high deliverability rate depends, in part, on keeping your content out of spam folders. Consider implementing a double opt-in where subscribers confirm their subscription twice, making it clear to their email providers that you’re a trusted sender.

5. Revenue Per Subscriber

Email marketing is a lead generation tool, creating a pool of potential customers. To ensure your email marketing efforts are transforming readers into first-time buyers, you’ll want to track the amount of revenue per subscriber.

Revenue per subscriber = Total revenue ÷ Total number of recipients

Your revenue per subscriber is just one way to track the return on investment (ROI) of various email marketing campaigns. Keep in mind:

  • Industry standard: There’s no industry standard, as the revenue per subscriber varies widely based on the number of email recipients and the price of your product line. However, email marketing, as a whole, is known to have a ROI of 4,200%.
  • Most influenced by: Your revenue will vary widely depending upon where readers are within the sales funnel. For example, if you’re simply building brand awareness through a welcome series, your revenue will be quite low (if not $0). However, as readers move further along the buyer’s journey, you might send them a type of email that invites them to make a purchase with a hard-hitting CTA.
  • Other items: Remember that selling takes time. Therefore, you shouldn’t track the revenue per subscriber based on an individual email. Instead, track it across an entire campaign (e.g., 5-6 emails).

Track Email Marketing Metrics With Gumbamail

Gumbamail mail merge

When you launch your email marketing strategy, you should be tracking various KPIs to gauge campaign performance. Tracking these email KPIs ensures you’re always publishing high-quality content aimed at your target audience.

To help track your various KPIs, you need the right email marketing tools. Gumbamail is an easy-to-use email marketing plugin that works with your existing Gmail account. With Gumbamail, you get a built-in advanced reporting dashboard to track deliverability, unique clicks, opens, number of bounced emails, and other metrics. Plus, you gain access to 800+ email templates, a drag-and-drop email builder, and merge tags to personalize your emails.

Ready to see how Gumbamail’s affordable, easy-to-use tools can help launch your email marketing strategy? Download the plugin to get started.