Top Ecommerce Email Marketing KPIs and How To Optimize Them

Guest post 9.8.2022. Reading Time: 5 minutes

Without a doubt, email marketing is one of the foundational pillars of effective digital marketing for eCommerce businesses. Email is a marketing, sales, and support tool that can open numerous lead generation lanes, and allow you to convert faster and capitalize on upselling and cross-sell opportunities. 

That said, simply sending out emails to your customers and subscribers is not enough to generate engagement or achieve any notable results. What you need is to take a calculated approach and optimize your email campaigns based on tangible data. You need to monitor and optimize the right KPIs. 

Much like you would set, monitor, and optimize various KPIs for your eCommerce business, you need to have a separate set of KPIs related to your email marketing efforts. This will help you minimize financial waste, optimize your campaigns, and achieve your sales, marketing, and support goals.

Here are the KPIs you need.

Open rate and click-to-open rate

There’s a lot you can achieve with strategic email campaigns, and it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t have a single goal. Instead, there are many email marketing goals you can set for your marketing, sales, and support departments, including:

  • Upsell and cross-sell
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Boost conversions
  • Gather reviews and feedback
  • Inform and educate your customers
  • Share important information
  • Minimize cart abandonment
  • Long-term customer care

There are many other goals you can assign to different email campaigns, and the current email marketing trends for 2022 show that various content can help you achieve various objectives. In other words, it’s important to have everything from newsletters to user-generated content, sales emails, and beyond.

This brings us to our first two KPIs: open rate and click-to-open rate. Open rate is the rate at which your emails are being opened, and it’s a primary metric that can be a bit misleading. After all, not all recipients will open your email, and if they do, they may just opt out and delete it.

A more important KPI you should pay attention to is your click-to-open ratio, which is a better way to measure CTR. Simply divide the number of people who are clicking to the number of emails opened to get this value.

This will give you some insight into how engaging your content and CTAs are and if your emails are easy to understand and impactful.

Mobile open and click rates

Mobile marketing is one of the most important marketing methods nowadays that can influence buying behavior, and that extends to email as well. People are using email on their smartphones more and more every day, and eCommerce businesses have an opportunity to not only reach out with product offerings but to cultivate meaningful relationships with their customers.

That’s why mobile optimization is a must, as you want to create a seamless experience. Your mobile open and click rates will tell you if your product photography is scaling and loading properly in your emails, how your copy is loading and if your CTAs and icons are displaying as intended.

When monitoring your open and click rates on mobile, make sure to have benchmarks and analytics for each device in order to identify the times when people open emails on their smartphones. When it comes to your mobile click rates, focus on optimizing your visuals and CTAs to make it easy for your recipients to follow through on what they’ve read. By optimizing different elements of your transactional emails, you can increase engagement.

Hard and soft bounce rate

Your email bounce rate is another important KPI that you can use to determine what is driving people away and how you can fix your emails. The two types of email bounce are hard and soft bounce.

Minimizing both is one of those email marketing tactics that can improve lead gen and sales opportunities. A hard bounce is when an email gets returned to you from a non-existent address. A soft bounce, on the other hand, is often a temporary issue on the recipient’s side.

Monitor both to improve your domain authority over time and create a brand value through your email efforts. You will also improve your deliverability, and of course, maximize your ROI by sending emails to verified recipients. Keep in mind that when you’re sending to a new email list or if you’re sending from a new domain, the bounce rates will typically be higher.

Email deliverability is something that you will stabilize over time, but it’s important to monitor your progress and make the necessary adjustments along the way.

Conversion rate

Email conversion rate is one of the most basic, and most important, email marketing KPIs for eCommerce businesses. One of your top goals for all email marketing campaigns should be to guide people to your website, whether they are new customers or long-term brand followers.

Ultimately, however, your goal is for people to not only go to your site but to buy something. You can also have numerous micro-goals along the way, such as incentivizing purchases through word-of-mouth or brand advocacy within their social circles. 

You can calculate your basic conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions by the number of emails people have opened in their CTR. Keep in mind that you need to monitor other channels as well, such as social media, and search to get a clearer picture of where the sale came from. 

In an omnichannel world, it can be difficult to identify the primary reason for a sale, which is why it’s important to monitor the aforementioned email CTR. 

Revenue per subscriber

If you want to monitor and understand the profitability of your email marketing efforts, then you need to know what kind of revenue is generated per email subscriber. This one should be up there with other important eCommerce metrics if your marketing and sales focus is on email effectiveness. 

You can calculate it by dividing the revenue in a specific timeframe by the number of subscribers and regular recipients.

This will tell you, roughly, how much revenue individual subscribers are generating, and how much it costs to acquire new email subscribers. As we all know, acquisition can be expensive, whether you’re acquiring customers or subscribers, which is why it’s important to use this KPI to optimize your email campaigns for minimal financial waste and maximum revenue per subscriber. 

Subscribe vs unsubscribe rate

It’s important to know what makes people sign up for your email list or leave their information on your site in the first place. But it’s equally important to know why, when, and under what circumstances are people deciding to stop receiving your emails.

To gather these insights, you need to monitor your new subscriptions as well as the rate at which people are unsubscribing. You can gain meaningful insights about your unsubscribers and why they are opting out by comparing your past email campaigns with the rate of churn.

You can also ask people to leave a little bit of feedback so that you can better understand why they opted out and what you can do to fix your email messaging, visuals, and delivery in the future. 

When it comes to monitoring the rate of new email subscriptions, make sure to monitor what kind of messaging and CTA implementation generates the most engagement and opt-ins. Send follow-up emails after a month and ask your recipients how they are enjoying your emails and what you can improve.

This will also help prevent them from unsubscribing.

Over to you

Email marketing is one of your most powerful tools if you are a business owner in the eCommerce sector. That said, you need to monitor the right KPIs and gather valuable insights to optimize your campaigns and achieve better results over time.

Make sure to integrate these KPIs into your email marketing strategy in 2022, and you should have no problem generating qualified leads, improving conversions, and taking your business forward as a whole. 

Top Ecommerce Email Marketing KPIs and How To Optimize Them


Nikola Sekulic
Hi there, I'm a seasoned brand developer, a writer, and a storyteller. Over the last decade, I've worked on various marketing, branding and copywriting projects - crafting plans and strategies, writing creative online and offline content, and making ideas happen. When I'm not working for clients around the world, I'm exploring new topics and developing fresh ideas to turn into engaging stories for the online community.