5 Email Metrics You Might Not Be Tracking but Should 

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May 31, 2023

Email is a powerful marketing tool with a proven track record of success, but is your business tracking the right metrics to capitalize on opportunities? While open and click rates are commonly monitored, there are other valuable insights that can shed additional light on your subscribers' engagement, conversion rates, and overall campaign performance. Using the recent study conducted by Litmus’s State of Email Analytics, we'll highlight five email metrics that you may want to start tracking.  

1. Inbox Placement Rate

The inbox placement rate is a critical email metric that gauges the success of an email campaign's deliverability. It measures the percentage of emails that reach the intended recipients' inboxes rather than getting blocked or classified as spam. A high inbox placement rate helps maintain a positive sender reputation, improves email engagement, and increases the chances of conversions. Ultimately, this could lead to a higher ROI and a stronger subscriber relationship. Businesses should track this metric by monitoring a sample set of emails and analyzing the number of messages that land in the inbox versus those that are blocked. By optimizing inbox placement rates, businesses can enhance their email deliverability and maximize the impact of their campaigns.   

2. Email List Growth 

Email list growth rate measures the rate at which an email list expands over a given period. It reflects the increase in the number of subscribers or contacts joining an email list, either through organic means or through targeted acquisition strategies. Tracking the email list growth rate is crucial for businesses as it indicates the health and effectiveness of their email marketing efforts. A growing email list signifies a larger audience that can be reached with promotional messages, newsletters, or other email campaigns. It enables businesses to broaden their reach, increase brand visibility, and potentially generate more leads and sales. By monitoring the email list growth rate, businesses can identify the success of their list-building strategies, refine their acquisition tactics, and ensure a steady influx of new subscribers to nurture and engage with over time. However, it’s not all about quantity. It’s important to monitor this subscriber list and consistently scan for out-of-date addresses to prevent a large, but ineffective subscriber list.  

3. Spam Complaint Rate

The spam complaint rate measures the percentage of recipients who mark an email as spam or report it as unsolicited. It’s important to note that this is not the same as the unsubscribe rate. It indicates the level of dissatisfaction among email recipients and reflects the quality and relevance of the content being delivered. If a user has flagged your emails as spam, either they couldn’t easily access the unsubscribe option, or were frustrated and went right to a spam complaint. Tracking this metric is vital for businesses as it helps them monitor the reputation and deliverability of their email campaigns. High spam complaint rates can have severe consequences, including damage to sender reputation, potential email blacklisting, and reduced inbox placement rates. By closely monitoring the spam complaint rate, businesses can identify any issues with their email content, targeting, or frequency. They can take corrective actions, such as improving email personalization, segmenting their audience, or implementing more robust permission-based practices.  

4. Device Usage 

Device usage rate tracks where recipients open and engage with emails on different types of devices, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, or tablets. It provides insights into the preferred device choices of the target audience and helps businesses optimize their email designs and layouts accordingly. Measuring the device usage rate involves tracking the open and click rates of emails on various devices and calculating the percentage distribution across different device categories. By tracking this metric, businesses gain valuable insights into the behavior and preferences of their audience. With the increasing use of mobile devices for opening emails, businesses need to ensure that their email campaigns are mobile-friendly and responsive. Tracking the device usage rate allows businesses to identify trends, optimize their email designs for different devices, and deliver a seamless and engaging user experience. 

5. Email Read Time 

With the many changes to spam filters affecting open rates, read time has become extremely valuable in gauging subscriber interest and email effectiveness. Email read time refers to the duration for which recipients engage with an email after opening it. It measures the average time spent reading or interacting with the content of an email. Not all email software comes with the option to see this metric, but it’s worth adding on tools or looking for a program that includes it. Tracking email read time helps identify which emails capture and hold recipients' attention, allowing businesses to optimize their email strategies and create more engaging and compelling content. This is especially crucial for informational emails without CTAs, such as newsletters. Moreover, email read time also provides insights into user behavior patterns, like which types of emails are more likely to be read quickly or require more time for thorough consumption.  



Sometimes staying ahead of the curve requires stepping outside of the box. If you’ve been looking for ways to enhance the effectiveness of your company’s email marketing campaigns, it’s time to look beyond open and click-through rates. Utilize these lesser-known email metrics to discover the untapped potential they hold for optimizing your email marketing strategy.   



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