The 10 most important email marketing metrics every Shopify merchant should track
You’ve done it! Your Shopify store started an email marketing program and has stuck with it.
You’re sending email newsletters at a regular cadence. Maybe you activated a few email automations to respond to a subscriber’s activity, like sending a welcome message when they sign up, or an email when they add things to the shopping cart and then abandon checkout.
The question, of course, is how do you know if your program is successful?
The answer: by evaluating it with the most important metrics in email marketing.
The 10 top email marketing metrics to keep an eye on
When we talk email marketing metrics, there are two perspectives from which to examine your program:
- A granular view of individual email newsletters and automations
- An overall view of email newsletter and automation performance
I’m breaking down which email marketing metrics you should be examining for both, and what to do with the knowledge you gain.
Email marketing metrics for individual newsletters and automations
Upon clicking into any message from Seguno that has been delivered — currently running automations included — you’ll find a couple of email marketing metrics right at the top of the details page.
The open rate is the number of subscribers who open the email, divided by number of subscribers who were delivered the email.
This number isn’t as accurate as it once was. Apple introduced the Mail Privacy Protection Policy with its iOS 15 update in fall 2021, allowing Apple Mail users to block tracking of their email opens. Essentially, anyone who enables the privacy feature is marked as opening all emails, regardless if they did or not.
Despite these inflated numbers, I’d still pay attention to open rates. Any sustained large drop could be a cause for concern and indication that your emails aren’t making it to all of your subscribers.
The click rate is the number of subscribers who click on the email, divided by the number of subscribers who were delivered the email. In other words, this bit of data provides insights into whether your email content is intriguing enough to motivate the subscriber to the next step of visiting your website.
Though not scientifically backed, our team’s combined experience of working with ecommerce brands is that a rate of 3% to 4% is typical.
Select the hyperlink for the total click number, and you’ll be transported to a breakdown showing the links that people visited. Take a look at these, as they provide a glimpse at the things that interest your subscribers.
This data point is relatively straightforward — the total amount of sales generated from the email, and the correlating number of orders. Seguno records a sale when an order is placed within fives days of clicking through an email to your site.
We’ll get more into this data point and its importance when talking later about a comprehensive look at your program.
Check out our do’s and dont’s of email sending to keep your metrics heading in the right direction.
The next set of data to review is located on the right side, as shown in the screenshot below.
- Average order value (AOV): average dollar amount spent. Knowing the AOV and conversion rate helps you determine how many people you need to be reaching in order to meet your sales goals. Plus, if you’re discontent with what you see, you can look at strategies for increasing your AOV.
- Delivery rate: number of emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent. This should be high. Anything lower than 95%, and it’s time to take a look at your list to determine if there are stale or outright invalid addresses.
- Unsubscribe rate: the number of people who unsubscribed from your newsletters divided by the number of subscribers sent the email. Unsubscribes are a regular part of email marketing. People are going to opt out from time to time. It’s OK to see the less-engaged folks — those with no interest in your brand — drop out. Anything less than 0.5%, on average, is acceptable.
- Complaint rate: The number of subscribers who hit the “spam” button divided by the number of subscribers sent the email. This is something we care a lot about, so you should regularly monitor it. Google, Outlook, Yahoo and all other providers take this very seriously and we do NOT want people to hit the spam button. You want to see this at 0%; you don’t want anyone flagging you as spam.
- Bounce rate: This is the number of subscribers who have an invalid email or full inbox, divided by the number of subscribers sent the email. Like unsubscribes, seeing a small bounce rate is expected. We just don’t want to see a lot because, again, service providers may think you’re spamming people.
Open a support case if your metrics exceed these thresholds for more than 3 consecutive sends:
Delivery Rate: <95%
Unsubscribe rate: >0.5%
Complaint rate: >0.5%
Open rate: <15%
Email marketing metrics for a comprehensive program view
The primary data to examine includes:
- List growth
- Lifetime sales attributed to emails
- Newsletter performance comparison per revenue, sessions, opens and clicks
If your email list isn’t expanding, then neither is your email marketing program. So you certainly don’t want your list growth number to be going down.
We mentioned that unsubscribes are a natural part of email marketing. But when the number outweighs the total of new subscribers, that’s an indication that your content isn’t resonating for some reason. Maybe you’re sending too frequently and there’s not enough variety with what you’re featuring. You’ll only start to understand once you begin poking into other metrics.
Here’s the formula for calculating list growth:
List growth = ((monthly new subscribers - monthly unsubscribes) / total subscribers) x 100
And here’s how to get those numbers:
Step 1: On the Seguno Dashboard you will see the number of total subscribers you have, as shown below.
Step 2: Click on Subscribers and you’ll be taken to the Customers tab within Shopify. Run filters for subscribed contacts, then narrow into the month for “Customer added date” to find the monthly new subscribes.
Step 3: To calculate the monthly unsubscribes, you’ll have to go back into each newsletter sent during the month and tally up all the unsubscribes.
Interested in growing your list? Enjoy this free course: How to Grow Your Email Marketing List
Lifetime sales attributed to emails
We've made it easy to see exactly what your email marketing is pulling in when it comes to number of sales, plus their total dollar value. This is known as tracking your conversions.
Seeing the monetary impact of your emails is huge. You ultimately want to get the most bang for your buck with any marketing endeavor, meaning you want to see that emails are indeed generating sales. Email marketing is, after all, one of the most direct marketing channels available.
Find this data near the top of the Seguno app dashboard. The numbers reflect total sales attributed to the Seguno email marketing platform for all time. It's separated into sales that stem from newsletters and sales generated by automations.
You can use these numbers to determine your return on investment (ROI) with Seguno. Mind you, this doesn’t take into account the time and effort you put into email marketing, so is therefore not all-encompassing. But it gives a general ROI sense.
Calculate ROI by taking the revenue number (for newsletters plus automations) and divide it by the Seguno lifetime cost.
So in the example screenshot above, the total conversions revenue for all email activity is $1,320 over two months. We’ll say the merchant spent $60 on Seguno. Take 1,320, divide by 60, and you get 22. Thus, the ROI would be 22x. In other words, for every dollar this account spends on Seguno, they get $22 in return.
Typically for email marketing, a 20x ROI is considered great. However, we’ve seen ROIs in the 30x to 50x range.
Newsletter performance comparison per revenue, sessions, opens and clicks
If you want to determine which of your email newsletters performed the best over a certain period of time, we suggest you piece together information from Seguno’s reporting combined with Shopify’s data.
Step 1: Click on the Newsletters dashboard in Seguno and filter by Sent. Here you’ll be able to compare open and click rates.
Step 2: Navigate to the Marketing tab within Shopify and scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll see “Activities created outside of Shopify Marketing.” Click “view all” to review the sales generated by your Seguno newsletters. You’ll also see the number of unique visitors who visited the website as a result.
Note that the data displayed is only from the past 30 days. You’ll want to set the time range for the period you are looking for (ex: last month).
Examining these pieces will help uncover keys for improvement. Glance through both the higher-performing and low-performing emails for clues as to what worked well and what fell flat.
Did dynamic imagery, like using the flipbook function, encourage higher click-through rates? Do you notice less website activity with denser text? An unclear call to action?
How frequently should you look at your email marketing metrics?
It can be tempting to watch your email marketing metrics like a hawk, looking for any sign that your message is hitting the mark.
You’d be wise to refrain from such practices.
Keep your sanity in check and let email newsletters simmer a bit. Check back 24 hours later after hitting send, but don’t get too hung up on analyzing the performance unless there’s a deliverability issue or red flag that needs immediate attention.
We recommend taking time at the beginning of each month to look back at your email newsletter promotions, and take stock of monthly metrics like list growth and top links, along with top performers and takeaways.
Find a monthly review worksheet in our Email Marketing Planning Guide.
Can’t carve out time once a month? Then make it quarterly. And don’t forget about examining your email automations.
With a stash of data, the bigger picture comes into focus. You’ll notice trends and the strategies that work. Areas for improvement will become evident, and you’ll be on your way to developing a more successful email marketing program.
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