There are a number of metrics you can use to successfully track the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Used in conjunction with each other they can provide a solid read on which campaigns are working and why, as well as provide an idea of any that aren’t working, allowing you to improve your campaigns. Some metrics work better than others, so here’s our top tips on which are the best to use.

Delivery Rate: For your campaign to have any kind of success it must first be delivered to your customer’s inbox. The percentage of emails successfully delivered can be found by subtracting the number of soft and hard bounces from the gross number of emails you sent, then dividing that number by the gross number of emails sent. Soft bounces are non-delivered emails due to a full inbox or a server issue, all fixable, short-term issues that don’t permanently stop your email from being delivered. Hard bounces, on the other hand, are undeliverable addresses that will never be resolved, and any address that results in a hard bounce should be immediately removed from your database as spam filters use the number of hard bounces to determine your company’s reputation as a legitimate sender. If your email campaign is getting low delivery rates consistently, or for only one campaign, check your emails for potential spam filter triggers, your emails may be getting caught in firewalls.

Click Through Rate (CTR): Measuring the number of people who click a link contained in one of your email messages is one of the best ways to determine the success of your campaign. To find your CTR either divide the number of unique clicks by the total number of emails delivered, or divide total clicks by the number of emails delivered; both work, just ensure you consistently use the same formula each time.

Conversion Rate: The whole point of an email campaign is to prompt your readers to perform a specific action, either buy something or sign up for something. Your conversion rate will tell you exactly how many people are doing as you hope, but requires that you tie in your email platform to your web analytics in order to be able to track it. Creating unique tracking URL’s for your email links can help you identify which clicks, and so conversions, can be traced back to your email campaign.

Email Sharing/ Forwarding Rate: The number of people who forward or share your email campaigns with friends can help you enormously, it not only widens the reach of your campaign, but it also allows you to understand what campaigns are targeting customer needs and grow on them.

Many sources will tell you the open rate is something you should also review, but it is a deceptive metric to use and isn’t necessarily one that can provide you with accurate data. An email is considered open only when images embedded in the email are also received; many people have image-blocking enabled on their email client which will skew the numbers to a lower number than you’re actually receiving and therefore shouldn’t be completely trusted.