eCommerce Email Marketing: How Do You Know They're Working?

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It’s hard to know if your eCommerce emails are effective. You might be sending a lot of them, but how do you know if they’re actually making a difference? 

It can be hard to tell whether your eCommerce emails have the desired effect.

You might not be sure if people are opening them, clicking through, or making purchases as a result. This means that you’re effectively flying blind and can’t tell which emails are working and which ones aren’t.

To ensure your email marketing campaigns are successful, it’s important to track your metrics. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of those key metrics and how you can use them to improve your email marketing efforts.

Email Marketing Metrics

Your email list is a goldmine of information! It’s a valuable source of feedback on what your prospects want to see more of or less of in their inboxes. All you have to do is look at the analytics.

Deliverability Rate

The percentage of emails that get delivered to a person’s inbox.

The task of running an email campaign is not easy, but it becomes more complicated if your messages never reach their destination. 

This is why it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure that emails are delivered to your subscriber’s inboxes.

To calculate this: No. of emails sent ÷ No. of emails delivered.

For example, 55/55 emails were delivered. This means that there was a 100% delivery rate.

How Do You Know That Your Ecommerce Emails Are Working

Source: Flodesk

Open Rate

The percentage of emails that have been opened by the subscribers/recipients.

Open rates are among the best metrics because they tell you if subscribers are actually opening your emails. Here you can ascertain whether your subject lines are compelling enough to get subscribers to open your emails. 

According to Mailchimp “The average email open rate for all industries we analyzed is 21.33%.”

To calculate this: (Unique opens ÷ No. of emails delivered) x 100

For example, there were 26 unique opens and 55 emails were delivered. (26 ÷ 55) x 100 = 47.3%

How Do You Know That Your Ecommerce Emails Are Working

Click-Through Rate (CTR) 

The percentage of subscribers who click on a link in your email. 

Your click-through rate can help you determine how effective your copywriting is at getting your subscribers to respond to your call to action. 

The more effective you are at getting prospects to take action, the easier it will be to get them to follow the links that you provide and land them on your sales page and complete a purchase.

According to Mailchimp, “The average click rate for all industries we analyzed is 2.62%.” 

To calculate this: (clicks ÷ No. of emails delivered) x 100

For example, there was 1 link clicked and 55 emails delivered.

(1÷55) x 100 = 1.8%

How Do You Know That Your Ecommerce Emails Are Working

Click-to-Open Rate 

This metric compares the unique clicks to unique opens. 

This metric tells you how interested the recipient was in the contents of your email. You can see how much your messaging resonated with them and whether they responded to your call to action. 

You can see how well your subject line and email copy are working in tandem. If let‘s say you are getting a lot of opens but few clicks, this might mean that your calls to action and copywriting are not compelling enough. 

To calculate this: (Unique clicks ÷ unique opens) x 100

For example, there is 1 unique click and 26 unique opens.

(1 ÷ 26) x 100 = 3.8%

Conversion Rate

The percentage of subscribers who completed your call to action.

The conversion rate isn’t necessarily monetary, it can be any action you desire your subscriber to take. 

Knowing how many people actually read your email, signed up for your webinar, or purchased your product gives a greater insight into the effectiveness of your email marketing.

Knowing the conversion rate of a successful email campaign can give you a greater understanding of which emails led them to the path of purchase and which didn’t. 

This allows you to either replicate it for the future or make the necessary adjustments. 

To calculate this: (No. of conversions ÷ No. of emails delivered) x 100

For example, let’s say there were 5 conversions and 55 emails delivered.

(5 ÷ 55) x 100 = 9.1% 

Bounce Rate

The percentage of emails not delivered to recipients. 

There are many reasons why your email could bounce: 

  • Non-verified domains: The process of getting your domain authenticated helps the email server verify that it is, in fact, you sending the emails and thus improving email deliverability.
  • Bad email Deliverability: New email addresses need to prove themselves as trustworthy and reliable accounts. 
  • Spam complaints: Subscribers who mark your emails as spam will notify Google’s algorithm that there is something wrong here. 
  • Sender reputation: An  Internet Service Providers (ISP) like Gmail uses an email sender reputation to score you on a set of standards and based on how you meet those standards or not will determine where your emails are sent (or blocked) for example spam or promotions folder.
  • Email list has not been warmed up: You need to prove yourself at first by sending out emails to your list. Over time this will verify your reputation and move your emails out of spam.
  • Flagged by ESP: This can be when the algorithm detects unusual activity. The best thing to do is follow email deliverability basics and best practices.

There are 2 types of bounces:

  • Soft bounces: These are emails that weren’t delivered because the servers are down, the inbox is full, or the email is too large. Soft bounces are only temporary, so the emails will automatically be sent again when the server is back up, or the inbox isn’t full. 
  • Hard bounces: These are emails that weren’t sent because the email address has been blocked, has a typo or is deleted. Hard bounces are permanent since an email cannot be sent to an email address that doesn’t exist or has been deleted. 

To calculate this:  (No. of bounces ÷ No. of emails delivered) x 100

For example, there were 0 bounces and all emails were delivered.

How Do You Know That Your Ecommerce Emails Are Working


The percentage of subscribers who opt-out of your email list. 

The unsubscribe rate can give you insights into what is working and what isn’t. 

Let’s say you haven’t emailed your list in 6 months (been there), and when you send out your latest email, you get a few unsubscribes. 

This is likely because some recipients might not even remember that they signed up for your list or are no longer interested in your content (at least they didn’t mark you as spam, right?)

On the other hand, you have been consistent and implemented a new email marketing strategy, sending 2 emails a week and have also gotten unsubscribes. This can be because your subscribers got overwhelmed by the number of emails sent.

As time goes by, subscribers who opted in may no longer be interested in your content or services. 

Large lists are expensive to maintain, and you ultimately want an email list that is eager and ready to convert. This also takes out the hassle of cleaning your list as they do it for you.

To calculate this:  (No. of unsubscribers ÷ No. of emails delivered) x 100

For example, If you have 2 unsubscribers and 55 emails delivered. 

(2 ÷ 55) x 100 = 3.6%


The percentage of subscribers who mark your email as spam. 

Although Internet Service Providers (ISP) like Gmail and Yahoo have created algorithms and protocols to help reduce spam, it still exists.

It’s important to warm up your list, avoid words marked as spam and segment your list to avoid being marked as spam. 

If you notice a trend with spam complaints and unsubscribes, this may have something to do with your content and targeting. 

To calculate this: (No. of spam complaints ÷ No. of emails delivered) x 100

For example, there were no spam complaints, and 55 emails were delivered.

(0 ÷ 55) x 100 = 0%

Share/Forward Rate

The percentage of subscribers sharing or forwarding your emails.

Another great KPI is determining how much of your content is being shared and forwarded. You can do this by getting your subscribers to help you share your message through word of mouth (WOM). 

Adding a call to action throughout your email can help increase your forward rate and boost your engagement. 

Ask your subscribers to send you a DM on Instagram, share what they learned on their stories, or forward to a friend they think needs to hear this.

Adding responsive design can improve engagement too. You can add social buttons at the bottom of your emails. 

To calculate this:  (No. of shares/forwards ÷ No. of subscribers) x 100

For example, let’s say that out of 55 subscribers, 4 forwarded your email. 

(4 ÷ 55) x 100 = 7.3%

All of these KPI’s can be monitored together as they all can have an effect on the other and provide key insights to your strategy. 

To figure out whether your eCommerce emails are effective, you need to track how many people open them, click through, and make a purchase. 

You can use this data to determine which types of emails are most successful and continue sending those. 

If you’re not sure where to start, consider using an email marketing service that will help you track these metrics. Are you ready to start tracking the success of your eCommerce emails?


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