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Understanding email marketing metrics and how to improve them
Email Marketing

Understanding email marketing metrics and how to improve them

Marketing without data is like fishing in the dark. You might catch something, but you won’t know what or why. Rather than sending out emails blindly, check out which key metrics you should track and how to improve them.

Kait Huziak
May 17, 2024

Just like a well-planned event, successful email marketing leaves fans eagerly anticipating what’s next. However, your marketing is only as good as your data. Without it, it’s like fishing in the dark. You might catch something, but you won’t know what or why.

That’s where email marketing metrics come in. They give you important information about your subscribers, their behavior, and your campaign performance. With this information, you can send out emails that really hit the mark with your subscribers, get them more engaged, and, in the end, sell more tickets.

But first, you’ve got to know which email metrics to pay attention to and how you can improve them. From conversion rates to revenue attribution and more, let’s dive into the metrics that will help you measure your email marketing success.

Key email metrics

Open rate

Open rates show you how many people open your emails. This is an important metric because it tells you if your subject lines, sender names, and email delivery are performing well.

Up until a few years ago, hitting a 15% to 20% open rate or higher was seen as good. But things changed with an Apple iOs update, and now you can’t track this on any Apple device. 

Despite this, it’s still important to keep an eye on your open rates to track how they’re doing. However, tracking this data varies depending on your email service provider (ESP). Some ESPs might not show this data at all, while others may create a separate category for it. You might need to do some searching to find this information, but it's still valuable to know.

To help improve your open rates, you should focus on:

Subject lines

  • Make them attention-grabbing
  • A/B test to see what works best

Sender name

  • Choose one that fits your message, like ‘Hive Team’ for mail@hive.co

Data and segmentation

  • Split your subscribers into different groups
  • Keep your email list clean and up-to-date

Send time

  • Test out different times for sending your emails to see what resonates

Click-through rate

To gauge how often people are clicking on links in your emails, check out the click-through rate (CTR). CTR is important because it shows how well your email content is getting your subscribers to do what you want them to do.

A high CTR means your email content and call-to-actions (CTAs) are hitting the mark with subscribers. If your emails are getting a 2% to 5% CTR or higher, that's pretty good.

Here are some tricks to help improve your CTR:


  • Create click-worthy subject lines – they need to open your email to click inside!
  • Give people content they care about


  • Use buttons that clearly tell people what to do
  • Put them where they’re easy to see
  • A/B test designs, words, colors, and placement


  • Make sure your emails and CTAs work well on phones

Conversion rate

When your subscribers complete a desired action, such as buying tickets or signing up for presale access, the conversion rate is what keeps track of those actions. A high conversion rate means your email content, CTAs, and landing pages are convincing enough to make people do what you want. So, it's good to aim for emails with a 1% to 5% conversion rate or higher.

To improve your conversion rates, you can:

  • Use clear and compelling CTAs
  • Personalize content to make it more relevant
  • Split your email list into different groups and send them stuff they care about
  • A/B test different CTA designs, words, colors, and placement
  • Send follow-up emails or retargeting campaigns to get people interested again

Email list health metrics

Bounce rate

If your emails aren't making it to your subscribers, it could be because of things like invalid email addresses, full inboxes, or technical problems, and these issues bump up your bounce rate. Ideally, you want to keep this rate at 2% or lower because high bounce rates might get your emails marked as spam. That means fewer people will see them and you’ll see decreased engagement with future emails.

A high bounce rate might mean your email list needs a clean-up. Here's what you can do to keep it in shape:

  • Regularly remove subscribers who aren't engaging, have invalid emails, or bounced emails
  • Use a double opt-in process for new subscribers
  • Segment your email list into different groups
  • Try out email verification tools
  • Keep an eye on deliverability metrics
  • Give subscribers ways to manage their email preferences
  • Make sure you're following email regulations

List growth rate

Your list growth rate shows how fast your subscriber list is growing over a certain time. Getting more people on your email list is important because it means you can reach more fans, get your brand out there, and build relationships with potential ticket buyers. A 1% to 5% growth rate is considered healthy.

Here are some ways to get more subscribers:

  • Run contests or giveaways where people can sign up for your email list to enter
  • Give people access to presales or exclusive content as a perk for joining your email list
  • Start a VIP or loyalty program that offers special perks, discounts, or early ticket access to subscribers
  • Team up with other event organizers, artists, or brands to promote each other's email lists

Unsubscribe rate

Opposite to your list growth rate is the unsubscribe rate. This metric shows how many people don't want to receive emails from you anymore, so it's best to keep it below 0.5%.

High unsubscribe rates might mean your emails aren't hitting the mark. Maybe they're not relevant, you're sending too many, or people just aren't feeling it. Plus, if fans keep unsubscribing, it could mean your emails look spammy. That could lead to more of your emails ending up in spam folders or getting blocked altogether which will reduce your engagement for future campaigns. 

To keep unsubscribes down, try the following:

  • Send out content people care about and find useful
  • Split your email list into different groups and send each group stuff they'll like
  • Find the right balance between sending enough emails to stay on people's minds and not flooding their inbox
  • Test out different email styles, messages, and looks to see what works best with your fans

Connecting metrics to revenue

Revenue attribution

Revenue attribution helps you grasp how your email campaigns directly influence ticket sales. By accurately linking revenue to specific email campaigns or segments, you can pinpoint the most successful email strategies for driving ticket purchases and adjust your resources accordingly. This insight enables you to refine your email content, timing, and targeting to maximize revenue, resulting in better ROI and event outcomes.

Thankfully, some ESPs can do this tracking for you to help simplify the process of monitoring campaign performance. However, if you need to connect metrics to revenue for ticket purchases manually, you can begin by:

  • Tracking metrics like conversion rate, click-through rate, and open rate
  • Using tracking links or UTM parameters in your campaigns to follow clicks and conversions to specific channels or campaigns
  • Setting up conversion tracking on your ticketing platform or website to attribute ticket purchases to specific marketing efforts
  • Analyzing the customer journey from awareness to purchase
  • Considering multi-touch attribution models to assign revenue to various marketing touchpoints throughout the customer journey
  • Calculating ROI for each marketing channel by comparing revenue from ticket sales to campaign costs

Wrap up

There's no magic trick to make your fans take action. If your messaging isn’t compelling or your content isn’t relevant, all the numbers in the world won't fix it. But when you measure what you're doing, you can see where you’re successful, what you can do better, and how much of an impact you're making. Then, you can figure out what works best to reach your goals. It's only when you put all the pieces together that you can really see how your email marketing is making a difference.