Do you know if people are actually reading your emails? While it might seem like a silly question, successful email marketing can’t run on hopes and dreams alone. It’s important that you know how to measure the performance of your email efforts, and that you’re regularly tracking the right email metrics so that if they’re not hitting the right marks, you can make the necessary adjustments.

Gathering key email metrics tells you a few different things. First, it says whether your emails are driving engagement with subscribers, and if so, what kind of engagement they’re driving. And second, they tell you how you compare to others, both in your industry and beyond it. All of this is crucial to know if you want to maximize the impact of your email marketing campaigns.

What metrics should you be paying attention to then? Here are four of the big ones. 

The Email Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Make a point of tracking each of these metrics regularly. Then, compare them among your own metrics over time, as well as the average metrics for your industry. Doing this will let you know if you’re falling short in any areas, and will also illuminate the areas where you’re doing great.

1. Click-Through-Rates

What it is: Click-through-rates tell you how often your recipients are clicking the links within your emails, including your CTAs and links to key areas of your website. 

Why it matters: The higher your click-through-rates, the more interest and engagement your emails are driving. Your click-through-rate provides you with insight into everything from how interesting the content is that you include in your emails to how persuasive and enticing your call to action is. When your email content is compelling, you’ll make your marketing emails more clickable.

2. Conversion Rates

What it is: Conversion rates vary depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your messages. Ultimately, they’re what tell you whether or not people are following through with their clicks. For example, you can include a link to your Instagram page, hoping to get new followers, a link to a downloadable asset, or to sign up for a demo on your site. Your conversion metric doesn’t just focus on how many people clicked on these links. It also tracks how many actually gave you a follow, filled out the form for the asset, or signed up for the demo.

Why it matters: Email marketing is driven toward conversions, and in many ways, has everything you need to improve your conversions. Sometimes these conversions revolve around having people complete certain actions, like the ones mentioned above. Other times, they’re more sales-driven, such as getting someone to become a paying customer. An email conversion can even include when someone subscribed to your messages converts someone else into a lead. This happens when your emails are forwarded to people who aren’t prospects, and they sign up to receive more information.

Again, the higher, the better. Conversion rates tell you how engaged and qualified your contact list is, as well as whether you’re successfully guiding them where you want them to go.

3. Open Rates

What it is: Open rates track how many people actually opened your email, as opposed to ignoring it, deleting it, or sending it to their spam folder. 

Why it matters: This is a crucial metric to track, and you should regularly be striving to improve your open rate. Even though plenty of people might be opening your email without any further action, you still should always know how often your messages are getting opened in the first place. Put it into context by comparing it to other email metrics like conversion rates and click-through-rates. You can further distill your insights and see how your other metrics compare based on your contact list, as well as how they compare based on how many people opened the message.

4. Spam Scores

What it is: Spam scores tell you how likely it is your emails will end up in the spam folder instead of your prospects’ inbox. It’s based on 17 common features of spam emails, with higher scores indicating a stronger correlation with what email providers denote as spam (and therefore a higher likelihood of being flagged as such).

Why it matters: Forget high rates on opens, click-throughs, and conversions — if you can’t make it out of the spam folder, you’re not going to succeed in those areas either. You can download specific software to help you determine what your spam score is, or you can research the features of spam that are considered in the score and take steps to avoid them. If you’re using email marketing or general marketing automation software, set it up to help you avoid engaging in any spam-like actions, like using certain email spam trigger words, for example.  

Metrics matter. When you track the information above, you give yourself a clear barometer for determining whether your emails are successful — or not. From there, you can extrapolate whether you should keep doing what you’re doing, or if you need to make some much-needed changes.