4 Advanced Email Metrics You Can’t Afford to Ignore

September 3, 2020 Heather Cherry

Email marketing is about the long haul. It’s about building loyalty and improving conversion by cultivating a relationship.

Therefore, you should be looking at the effectiveness of your emails. How do you know if your email marketing is effective? The metrics.

Many email service providers offer fundamental metrics like…

  • Total Opens
  • Unique Opens
  • Open Rates
  • Click-Through Rates
  • Bounce Rate
  • Click-to-Open Rate
  • Unsubscribe Rate

However, these are not the only email metrics you should be looking at. Here are some advanced email metrics that you can calculate on your own and use to optimize your agency’s email marketing efforts.


1: Repeat Opens

It’s one thing for a subscriber to open your email once out of curiosity or by accident. However, it’s an entirely different engagement level if they come back and open the email again.

A repeat open indicates a strong level of interest. As you review your open rates, take a moment to calculate your open-per-opener metrics. You might uncover valuable insights about what content resonates with your subscribers.



(# Total Opens)

x 100

(# Unique Opens)

Insurance Industry Average: 2.3%


2: Multiple Link Clicks

Go beyond click-through and click-to-open rates to learn more about what content motivates your audience to take action. Use the clicks-per-clicker metric to monitor the relevancy and value of the links within your emails. This is especially helpful if you send newsletters or other messages linking out to several external sources.



(# Total Opens)

x 100

(# Unique Opens)

Insurance Industry Average: 2%


3: Hard Bounce Rate

A hard bounce rate is often confused with a soft bounce rate. Unlike soft bounces, a hard bounce is likely a result of a non-existent domain name, or the email address fails to be recognized. Although hard bounces are not common, they can be discouraging. But, it’s important to continually monitor your hard bounce rate to address any existing issues.


Hard Bounce Rate:

(# Hard Bounce)

x 100

(# Sent)

Insurance Industry Average: 0.81%

To adequately address hard bounces, you’ll need to be familiar with hard bounce codes.

Hard Bounce Codes

When an inbox service provider rejects your email, a bounce message is generally sent back to your email marketing system. This message will contain information to help you understand why your email bounced.

These bounce responses will include necessary information like:

  • Time and date
  • Attempted email address
  • Inbox service provider

They may also include a reason for the bounce code (RFC) to give you more details.

Common RFC Codes

Soft Bounce 4XX

  • 421 Service not available, closing transmission channel.
  • 450 Requested mail action not taken: Mailbox unavailable.

Hard Bounce 5XX

  • 5.0.0 Email address does not exist.
  • 5.2.1 Mailbox disabled, not accepting messages.
  • 5.2.2. Mailbox full.

A quick copy and paste into a search engine can help you find out more about RFC codes should you run into them.


4: List Growth

Don’t give yourself a false sense of security because you don’t see sharp spikes in unsubscribe and bounce rates. Every subscriber list is susceptible to a natural list decay. The average list decay is 22.5% each year (Marketing Sherpa). This metric is called the churn rate.

In other words, your email list will naturally get smaller each year as people change email addresses or unsubscribe from your emails. It’s essential for you to continue to grow your list organically. You’ll need to generate enough new leads to make up the losses. Regularly check into your ratio to make sure you’re on track.


Churn Rate:

(# New Subscribers –

# Unsubscribes)

x 100

(# Total Email Addresses)

Overall Average: 7.55%

B2B Average: 5%

B2C Average: 7.05%

Most email service providers should provide the basic email metrics you need to calculate the advanced email metrics listed above. If you are an AgencyBuzz client, you can find these email metrics within the platform using these instructions. Take a look at these email metrics next time you analyze your email marketing benchmarks and see how they can help you get more out of your campaigns.

Have any other advanced email metrics you use to measure your email campaign effectiveness? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

Heather Cherry

Heather Cherry is and email marketing professional and the product manager for AgencyBuzz - ITC's automated marketing system. She is responsible for leading the AgencyBuzz team, presenting email marketing best practices for Operation Agency Success & Masters of Marketing, and prides herself in cultivating customer-driven product excellence. She has a bachelor's degree in rhetoric and writing from The University of Texas at Austin (Hook 'Em \m/). Her email marketing specialties include targeted marketing, database segmentation, customer journey through automation, integrated lead client nurturing through all ITC products, and highly-visual email marketing campaigns. Heather currently resides in Frisco, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), and is a self-proclaimed mother-of-the-year and world's okayest wife. She likes dad jokes, Tyler Perry movies, and Oxford commas.

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