There’s an abundance of data, trends, and analytics that email marketers can track when evaluating their programs. As someone who prefers words over numbers, this often feels a bit overwhelming. I want data to guide my content and overall strategy, but how do I know if I’m focusing on the right metrics when evaluating content and email performance?

No perfect formula for monitoring exists because it varies depending on your industry, product, and program goals. While metrics such as delivery and open rates are a good starting point, these only represent one portion of the health of your email program.

But no matter what industry your work in, pay close attention and track the following email marketing metrics.

1. It’s all about those clicks

Well not completely, but it’s super important! The click-through rate represents the number of recipients who clicked on a link or a call to action within an email. This metric is a good indicator of content quality and overall strategy.

If your click-through rates are lower than you’d like, consider the content within your email and other variables such as your call to action (CTA). Some of my favorite emails come from the designer and collaboration tool InVision purely because of their creative, quirky, and enticing CTAs. Check out one of my favorite’s below. Loved it. Clicked it!

For more on crafting CTAs that will get more clicks, check out our Build A Strong Call To Action best practice guide.

2. Conversion rates

A conversion expands on the click. During a conversion, not only did a recipient click on one of your links, they took a step further down the marketing funnel by handing over some sort of information. Conversions will vary depending on what you are offering in your email but some examples include:

  • Filling out a form
  • Downloading a whitepaper or eBook
  • Downloading a promotional code or coupon

You should certainly be measuring conversions after each campaign to see what is working and what could be improved. Although your email service provider (ESP) probably won’t have this available to you out of the box, you can track this metric with a CRM. Or if you don’t use a CRM tool and if you are sending recipients to a landing page, you could measure this metric with a free tool such as Google Analytics.

3. Leads generated who turned into customers

You’ve done all this work to create targeted email campaigns with quality and engaging content. Don’t forget to take the next step and monitor who of those have done the deed and made a purchase. If you have freemium versions of your product or service, this would also count as a customer.

You don’t need a fancy CRM to track the leads to customer ratio either (although many automated versions exist for companies of all sizes these days).

Consider the email touch points that your email subscribers need to take to become a customer. If you keep providing additional value at each stop on the way, you will be more likely to persuade them to become a customer.

4. Email List Growth

Finally, I want to call out your email list as a significant email metric. Without a growing and healthy list full of engaged users, the above metrics won’t matter or even exist. Closely monitor how much your email list grows over time.

Also keep track of those who unsubscribe from your emails. Was there a spike in unsubscribes after a certain campaign? That may signal email fatigue.

Your email list really brings your program full circle and illuminates the importance of the open rate as well. Make sure you are removing those from your list who haven’t opened an email in a few months. This is an inevitable part of any email program and happens to the most seasoned email marketers. Learn about more strategies for building your list by reading our How to Grow Your Email List guide.

All email metrics are helpful for your program so don’t discount the ones you may be currently monitoring that aren’t on this post. But try to keep a consistent measurement system and add additional metrics as you can to really see how your email program is performing.


As a senior content marketing manager at SendGrid, Kelsey oversees the SendGrid Delivery blog. Her downtime is dominated by either her mountain bike or skis (depending on current weather forecast)–and mixing up a salty marg afterward.