By Paul de Fombelle

Email marketing gives access to an abundance of data about prospects and how they interact with your marketing campaigns. However, which key performance indicators (KPIs) matter the most? To avoid getting overwhelmed by information, focus on these email marketing KPIs.

1. Open Rate

How many of your emails are opened and how many are deleted unread? Crafting intriguing subject lines is vital to success in email marketing. Over time, you can figure out what subject lines are most compelling to your audience. The best email subject lines tend to be short, timely and no nonsense. Try different approaches to see what resonates with your readers.

2. Click-Through Rate

Your click-through rate is affected by the size of your list, your industry, and how frequently you email prospects. According to HubSpot, email subject lines can hover between 2 and 6 percent, depending on the organization’s niche. Experiment with different frequencies and offers to see what generates the highest rates for your company. You can also try changing your call to action and its placement to see if that generates higher rates. With more people accessing email from mobile devices, CTAs that appear above the fold will be more effective than those buried at the bottom of your email message.

3. Bounce Rate

In email marketing, your bounce rate refers to the percentage of messages that are returned as undeliverable. This rate is further broken down into soft bounces, which can occur if there’s a temporary problem with an address and hard bounces, where it is returned because the email address is incorrect or no longer functional. Remove hard-bounce email addresses frequently to get the most accurate percentages for all other metrics.

4. Unsubscribe Rate

An unsubscribe rate is the percentage of recipients in any given period who have decided they no longer want to receive your messages. Pay special attention to this rate whenever you change anything — such as switching to more frequent messages or when you launch a new list. Be sure to always make it easy for people to unsubscribe in one click; also, make a button that is clearly positioned. This can help protect you from a high-spam complaint rate, which can negatively affect your ability to communicate with others on your list.

5. List Growth

It’s natural for prospects to decrease over time. To keep a business vital, you need to continuously grow your database to include new potential customers. Grow your list using a combination of special offers, incentives, a useful newsletter and other promotions. Just keeping a highly visible email newsletter sign-up on your site can help expand this list regularly. Each time you launch a new promotion, see how effective it is at growing your database. Options that generate the most prospects should be utilized more often.

6. Conversion Rate

This is possibly the most important metric on this list: are the people completing the actions that you want them to complete? While conversions usually refer to sales, this can also refer to newsletter sign-ups, downloads and other actions. When it comes to sales, don’t just count sales of the items that were featured in your email campaign. Any sales that come as a result of a click inside your email should be counted in your numbers.

By watching these numbers carefully, you can get a better idea of what your prospects want and how to give it to them. Over time, you can create strong relationships that generate higher sales and a stronger, more viable business.