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Email Marketing KPIs To Track in SFMC

5 Crucial Email Marketing KPIs You Should Track in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

If you are an SFMC user, here are five crucial KPIs that you should track as an email marketer ...

Fact: Key Performance Indicators or KPIs determine the success of your email marketing campaigns.

A KPI is a numerical value that shows whether you are achieving a specific objective with your email campaigns. For example, “open rate” will show how many subscribers opened your emails while “click-throughs” will reveal whether your audience is engaged with your campaign and willing to act on your CTAs (e.g., Click here to buy, Subscribe Now, etc.)

You can easily measure and track these crucial KPIs with an Email Service Provider (ESP) like Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC). More importantly, you can leverage the actionable insights generated by these KPIs to improve your campaigns and successfully meet your goals. This article explores five crucial KPIs that you should definitely measure for your email marketing program. Thanks for reading!

5 Email Marketing KPIs You Should Track in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

1. Opens (or Open Rate)

What it means: The number of subscribers who opened your emails as a percentage of the total number of emails sent.

How to measure it:

Number of unique email opens

Number of emails delivered

x 100

Remember: An email open is only detected if a recipient also downloads its images. Many users enable image blocking in their inboxes so even if they open the email, the open will not get recorded. Further, some device manufacturers like Apple have introduced privacy features such as Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) which prevents senders from seeing if a recipient has opened the email. For these reasons, open rate is not the only KPI you should measure. Nonetheless, it can be a useful KPI. Here’s why.

Why you should measure it: Email open rate is a great way to monitor campaign performance. It is also a useful metric to compare campaign performance over multiple weeks.

How to improve opens: To improve open rate, follow these time-tested tactics:

  • Craft attractive subject lines to grab a reader’s attention
  • Personalize the subject lines with the reader’s name
  • Include preheaders to give readers a preview of what value they can expect to get from the email
  • Use a recognizable sender name like instead of
  • Research the best time when your emails are most likely to be opened

2. Click-through Rate (CTR)

What it means: CTR measures the number of recipients who clicked on links in your email after opening it.

How to measure it:

Number of emails clicked

Number of emails delivered

x 100

Why you should measure it: CTR is a very useful metric to see how many subscribers are clicking on your CTAs. This KPI is also a good way to assess the strength of your CTAs, content, messaging, visuals, and offers. All these elements can play an important role in getting people to engage with your brand and buy from you.

Remember: Combine CTR with other KPIs like web traffic and conversions to understand whether your email messaging is aligned with your web messaging (e.g., on the online store). Alignment will help you create consistent content that contributes to enhanced customer experiences and more purchases.

How to improve CTR: There are many ways to improve your email CTR. Here are the most effective:

  • Make emails mobile-friendly
  • Don’t hide key information in images. If images are blocked, the recipient will miss important info that could help them decide to click on a link
  • Choose a responsive email design
  • Make emails scannable with headings, images, text blocks, etc.
  • Create interesting content that encourages engagement
  • Segment the audience to ensure that you send relevant information to each subscriber
  • Implement clear, easily visible CTAs that give readers only one thing to do

3. Conversion Rate

What it means: The percentage of recipients who clicked on a link and completed some action: purchase a product, complete a survey, download a free eBook, fill out a lead gen form, etc.

How to measure it:

Number of people who completed the desired action

Number of emails delivered

x 100

Why you should measure it: When you send an email campaign, you want them to take some action. The KPI will measure how many of them completed that action. This action is tied to your email marketing goal so measuring conversion will show whether you are achieving the goal.

Remember: To measure conversion rate, integrate SFMC with web analytics by creating unique tracking URLs for each link in your email. These URLs will help you identify which specific campaign the click is coming from.

How to improve conversions: All the best practices we have highlighted to improve email opens and CTR apply to conversions as well. In addition, you can boost conversions by:

  • Optimizing your email frequency and send times
  • Aligning CTA, preview text, subject line, and content so they all tell a consistent story that leads the reader towards an action
  • Running A/B tests to determine which elements are most likely to get the audience to convert
  • Choosing your template carefully and populating it with compelling content and an attractive design

4. Bounces, Unsubscribes, Spam complaints

What they mean: Bounced emails are the emails that were not delivered to the intended address or to recipients’ inboxes. The unsubscribe rate is the number of users who clicked on the unsubscribe link and complaints refers to the number of spam complaints identified by an ISP.

How to measure these KPIs

Bounce rate:

Number of undelivered emails

Number of emails sent

x 100

Unsubscribe rate:

Number of unsubscribed users

Number of emails sent

x 100

Complaints rate:

Number of spam complaints

Number of emails sent

x 100

Remember: All these KPIs indicate that people are unhappy with your emails. On the plus side, tracking them can help you figure out where you are falling short and what you must do to retain subscribers and their attention.

Why you should measure these KPIs: Measuring the bounce rate will show you if there are deeper issues with your campaigns. Specifically, too many “hard” bounces, which result from invalid, closed, or non-existent email addresses, can make you look like a spammer to an ISP. This will affect your reputation with both the ISP and with your subscribers. That’s why you must measure bounces.

Measuring unsubscribes and complaints will reveal your overall list growth rate. They will also show if there are weaknesses in your targeting strategy or email frequency, messaging, offers, etc. Drill down into these aspects to understand what makes people leave and then fix the problems to arrest the drain.

How to reduce bounces, unsubscribes, complaints: Bounces, unsubscribes, and complaints can be demoralizing to any email marketing team. However, you can arrest these problems by following these best practices:

  • Scrub your subscriber list to remove bad or non-existent email addresses
  • Evaluate your sending frequency and message content
  • Check if you are informing users about what they are signing up for (email type, frequency, etc.)
  • Stick to the sending schedule and frequency you promised your subscribers

5. Campaign ROI

What it means: The overall return on investment on your email campaigns, i.e. the amount you earned from the campaign versus the amount you spent

How to measure it:

Additional sales – Amount invested

Amount invested

x 100

Why you should measure it: By measuring the ROI of your campaigns, you can determine if your efforts are paying off or if you are spending more money than you are earning. You can also assess how many leads you generated and how these leads translated to real, tangible results like actual revenues.

Remember: Your ROI will vary depending on your marketing goal. Identify this goal and consistently measure ROI. If the ROI falls below your target range, act quickly to identify and quickly address any shortcomings in your campaigns.

How you can improve ROI: Here are some strategies that have proven effective at improving email marketing ROI:

  • Send targeted emails to a segmented subscriber list
  • Personalize emails to appeal to individual subscribers
  • Create quality content and avoid using known “spammy” words
  • Create engaging subject lines and a clear and compelling CTA
  • Optimize for mobile

Other KPIs you Can Track

Apart from these five KPIs, here are some other KPIs you can track for your email campaigns:

  • List growth rate: The rate at which your email list is growing; it shows how your campaigns are performing over time
  • Email sharing/forwarding rate: The percentage of recipients who shared or forwarded your emails; it will help you attract new leads
  • Most and least engaged subscribers: It measures subscriber loyalty so you can target the right people with new offers and decide who to remove from your list entirely


These KPIs will help you measure your email marketing performance and identify gaps between “what is” and “what you want to be”. However, if you’re not sure where to get started, contact Email Uplers. We will help you identify which metrics to track based on your goals and also help you achieve them.

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Chintan Doshi

Chintan is the Sr. Manager Email Marketing & CRM at Email Uplers. He loves email marketing and has been in the industry from last seven years. His track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.



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