If you track noth­ing else, be sure to track these num­bers to find out how effec­tive your email cam­paigns are.

There are half a dozen key met­rics that you should keep track of to deter­mine how well your email mar­ket­ing mes­sages are work­ing and how much mon­ey you’re mak­ing from them.

Bounce rate

A bounce is an email that does­n’t get deliv­ered to the recip­i­ent be­cause the email address you sent it to isn’t valid or active. The cause can be a typo in the email address, a change in the recip­i­en­t’s choice of inter­net ser­vice provider (ISP), or clos­ing down a domain, serv­er or email account.

On a well-main­tained email list, the bounce rate should be small — ide­al­ly, about one per­cent or less. MailChimp, a large email ser­vices provider, tracked mil­lions of emails and found the typ­i­cal bounce rate was around a lit­tle under one per­cent. A bounce rate of eight per­cent or above means either the list is old and out­dat­ed, or you have a qual­i­ty prob­lem with the list or pos­si­bly your method of email dis­tri­b­u­tion.

Opt-out rate

Every time you send an email to your opt-in list, some of the peo­ple on the list will decide they no longer want to get email from you and will opt out or unsub­scribe, which sim­ply means they’ll ask you to remove their name and email address from your list and send no more emails to them. For this rea­son, unless you’re con­stant­ly and proac­tive­ly build­ing your elist, these opt-outs can cause the size of your elist to shrink by as much as 25 to 30 per­cent a year.

So, in addi­tion to con­tin­u­al­ly build­ing your opt-in elist, you must work to reduce your opt-out or unsub­scribe rate, defined as the per­cent­age of your sub­scribers who opt out of the list each time you send an email to it. Ide­al­ly, your opt-out rate should be 0.1 per­cent or below. That means if you send an email blast to your list of 5,000 sub­scribers, a max­i­mum of five and prefer­ably few­er will opt out from that sin­gle email.

Open rate

The open rate is the per­cent­age of peo­ple receiv­ing your email that click on and open it. Accord­ing to Con­stant Con­tact, open rates can range from five per­cent to 20 per­cent, with the aver­age being around 10 per­cent to 15 per­cent. Mine varies from eight per­cent to 25 per­cent depend­ing on which of my lists I’m send­ing to.

Some mar­keters feel the open rate is very impor­tant. For each email I send out, I’m much more con­cerned about the next three met­rics: click­through rate, con­ver­sion rate and gross rev­enues.

Clickthrough rate

The click­through rate (CTR) is the per­cent­age of peo­ple receiv­ing your email mar­ket­ing mes­sage who respond to your offer by click­ing the hyper­link to reach your sales page for more details and pos­si­bly to order. Typ­i­cal CTRs range from one per­cent to five per­cent and some­times more for each email blast. And a study from Mar­ke­to found that text emails on aver­age pro­duce 17 per­cent high­er click­through rates than HTML emails.

Conversion rate

The con­ver­sion rate is the num­ber of prospects who reach or land on your sales page and accept the offer, whether it’s to down­load a free spe­cial report, reg­is­ter for a webi­nar or buy a prod­uct.

Depend­ing on whether you’re try­ing to gen­er­ate a lead with a free offer or sell a prod­uct, the con­ver­sion rate on a land­ing page can be any­where from one per­cent to as high as 80 per­cent or more. If you’re sell­ing a $29 ebook and get a five per­cent con­ver­sion rate, then for every 100 peo­ple who clicked on your email hyper­link and went to the land­ing page, five bought the prod­uct and 95 did not.

Gross revenues

The gross rev­enues are deter­mined by four fac­tors: the size of your elist, the price of your prod­uct, the click­through rate, and the conver­sion rate. Let’s say your elist cur­rent­ly has 10,000 names on it and you’re sell­ing them a $39 prod­uct; for today, the list size and prod­uct price are both fixed.

You could increase your gross sales by improv­ing either the CTR or the con­ver­sion rate, but if you boost both, it has a mul­ti­ply­ing effect that can take your rev­enues from mod­est to spec­tac­u­lar. For instance, if you send an email to a list of 10,000 sub­scribers with an offer of a $39 prod­uct, when the CTR and con­ver­sion rate are each one per­cent, we get only 10 orders for $390 rev­enues on the email.

If we can boost either CTR or con­ver­sion ten­fold from one per­cent to 10 per­cent, our sales from the email go from $390 to a respectable $3,900. But, if we boost both click­through and con­ver­sion from one per­cent to 10 per­cent each, we mul­ti­ply our results a hun­dred­fold and make a whop­ping $39,000 in sales from a sin­gle email.