Email Engagement Metrics, Formula & Best Practices

Email Engagement Metrics, Calculation & Best Practices

Email Engagement Metrics, Calculation & Strategies for Increase - Blog image

Email engagement tells us how interested recipients are in the content of emails they receive. It provides insights into what types of emails and content resonate most with audiences, indicating the success of email marketing strategy and guiding future improvements.

For example, if you receive a newsletter and click on a link to read more, that’s counted as engagement. This helps senders understand what interests you.

What Is Email Engagement? The Definition

Email engagement is a metric used to measure how recipients interact with emails. It looks at actions like opening an email, clicking links inside it, and conversions to understand the effectiveness of email campaigns.

High engagement rates suggest content is relevant and appealing, while low engagement rates may indicate the need for adjustments in content, timing, or audience targeting.

Factors such as the customer’s stage in the journey, the size of the business, industry, and type of campaign being sent significantly influence email engagement. For example, new subscribers may require more nurturing, while transactional emails typically yield high engagement rates due to their relevance.

Levels of Engagement in Email Marketing

In email marketing, understanding the different levels of engagement helps you tailor your email strategy to meet the needs of your audience. These levels range from new subscribers to those who engage often. Each level, whether it’s new, rarely, sometimes, or often, demands a unique approach and a tailored engagement strategy.

Engagement LevelDescriptionEngagement BehaviorEngagement Strategies
NewRecent subscribers who just started receiving emails. They may have signed up through the website or during a purchase. Initial engagement efforts focus on welcoming them and providing value to encourage further interaction.Just started receiving emailsWelcome emails, valuable content
RarelySubscribers who open or click emails infrequently. They show sporadic interest and may need re-engagement campaigns to reignite their interest.Open or click infrequentlyRe-engagement campaigns, compelling content or offers
SometimesRecipients who occasionally interact with emails by opening or clicking links. They show intermittent interest, indicating some content is relevant to them.Occasionally open or clickTailored messages, relevant content
OftenSubscribers who regularly open, click, and possibly convert from emails. They are highly interested in content or offers.Regularly open, click, and possibly convertConsistent value, feedback opportunities, loyalty programs

How Do You Measure Email Engagement?

When it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of your email campaigns, understanding email engagement rates is essential. Email engagement rate is a crucial metric that measures how actively recipients interact with your emails. It indicates the effectiveness of your campaigns and helps you understand if your audience finds your content relevant and engaging.

What is an Email Engagement Rate Formula?

The email engagement rate formula consists of several components:

  1. Total Opens: The total number of times your emails are opened by recipients.
  2. Total Clicks: The total number of clicks on links within your emails.
  3. Total Deliveries: The total number of emails successfully delivered to recipients’ inboxes.

The formula to calculate the email engagement rate is:

Email engagement rate formula

This formula gives you a percentage value representing the proportion of recipients who engaged with your email content out of the total emails delivered.

Email Engagement Rate Calculation Example

Let’s say you’re running a fictional online bookstore. In one of your recent email campaigns, you sent out 1,000 emails promoting a special discount on best-selling books. Here’s how you would calculate the email engagement rate:

  • Total Opens: 300 recipients opened the email.
  • Total Clicks: 100 recipients clicked on the links within the email.
  • Total Deliveries: All 1,000 emails were successfully delivered.

Using the formula:

Engagement Rate = Total Opens + Total Clicks / Total Deliveries

Engagement Rate = 300+100/1,000 = 400/1,000=0.4

Multiply by 100 to convert to a percentage:

Engagement Rate = 0.4×100 = 40%

So, the email engagement rate for this campaign is 40%. This means that 40% of recipients engaged with the email content by either opening the email or clicking on the links.

What Are Other Important Email Engagement Metrics?

In addition to the email engagement rate, there are several other key metrics that provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Here’s how to calculate each of them:

  • Open rates, unique open rates and repeat open rates  Open rates measure the percentage of recipients who open an email out of the total number of emails delivered. To calculate, divide the number of emails opened by the total number of emails delivered. Unique open rates track the number of individual recipients who opened the email, while repeat open rates indicate how many times an email is opened by the same recipient.
  • Click-through rate (CTR)  Click-through rates measure the percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one link within an email out of the total number of emails opened. To calculate, divide the number of clicks on links by the total number of emails.
  • Click-to-open rate (CTOR) – CTOR represents the percentage of unique email opens that result in clicks on links within the email. To calculate, divide the number of clicks on links by the number of emails opened.
  • Conversion rate - Represents the percentage of recipients who performed a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up, after clicking on a link within an email. To calculate, divide the number of conversions by the total number of emails delivered.
  • Bounce rate – used to measure the proportion of emails that failed to reach to recipients’ inboxes successfully. To calculate, divide the number of bounced emails by the total number of emails sent.
  • Unsubscribe rate – The unsubscribe rate indicates the percentage of subscribers who opted out of receiving emails after receiving a campaign. To calculate, divide the number of subscribers who unsubscribed by the total number of emails delivered.
  • Spam rate Known also as a complaint rate, spam rate measures the percentage of recipients who marked an email as spam or complained about it. To calculate, divide the number of spam complaints received by the total number of emails delivered.
  • Email traffic to the website  Email traffic to website represents the number of website visits generated by clicks on links within an email.
  • Revenue per email – Revenue per email indicates the average amount of revenue generated by each email sent in a campaign. To calculate, divide the total revenue generated by the email campaign by the total number of emails delivered.
  • Email sharing rate – Email sharing rate measures the percentage of recipients who shared an email with others. To calculate, divide the number of times an email is shared by recipients by the total number of emails delivered.
  • List growth rate  The list growth rate represents the percentage increase in the email subscriber list over a specific period. To calculate, measure the difference between the current number of subscribers and the previous number, divide by the previous number, and multiply by 100.
  • Relapse rate – Relapse rate indicates the percentage of subscribers who re-engage with your emails after a period of inactivity. To calculate, divide the number of re-engaged subscribers by the total number of inactive subscribers.

What is The Average Email Engagement Rate?

The average email engagement rate refers to the typical level of interaction recipients have with emails, usually measured by metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.


According to recent statistical data published by MailerLite (follow link) at the end of 2023, average email engagement metrics of all industries are following:

  • Average email open rate: 41.31%
  • Average click rate: 3.01%
  • Average CTR: 7.38%
  • Average unsubscribe rate: 0.24%
  • Average bounce rate: 0.41%

It’s important to note that the average engagement rate can vary significantly across different industries and types of email campaigns.

What Is a Good Email Engagement?

A good email engagement rate varies by industry and the type of email sent, making benchmarks essential for evaluating campaign performance. For instance, transactional emails, like order confirmations, typically have higher engagement rates than promotional newsletters due to their immediate relevance to the recipient.

Industry averages also differ; retail might see higher open rates compared to B2B sectors due to the nature of their content and audience expectations. Benchmarking against these standards allows marketers to set realistic goals and assess their campaigns’ effectiveness.


You can stay updated on average email engagement rates by your industry by referring to the MailerLite data, which provides comprehensive insights and benchmarks.

How to Improve Email Engagement for Your Campaigns?

Tracking email engagement is crucial for understanding how recipients interact with your emails. Improved email engagement can significantly benefit a business by increasing open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, ultimately contributing to higher revenue and customer retention.

To help boost engagement in your email marketing campaigns, we suggest implementing engagement tactics such as personalized content, segmentation, paying attention to your subject lines, and optimizing call-to-action buttons. These strategies can enhance the way subscribers interact with your email campaigns, increase engagement and lead to better results.

15 Strategies to Increase Email Engagement

We’ll explain each of them separately to assist you:

  1. Write catchy subject lines
  2. Ensure mobile optimization and cross-device compatibility
  3. Use Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)
  4. Segment your email list
  5. Embrace personalization
  6. Use professional email design
  7. Implement graphics and interactive elements
  8. Ensure your welcome email captivates from the start
  9. Encourage first-time conversions
  10. Optimize primary and secondary CTAs
  11. Follow up
  12. Start a loyalty program
  13. Re-engage with exclusive offers
  14. Send milestone emails
  15. Don’t neglect A/B testing

1. Write Catchy Subject Lines

Create subject lines that grab attention and spark curiosity. A good email subject line should use actionable language and clearly convey the email’s value, compelling recipients to open it. Ensure they stand out without triggering spam filters, considering your industry and the character of the message. Utilizing numbers and emojis can be effective, but use them judiciously.

For additional insights, learn how to write a marketing email that drives action.


Did you know?

Creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity in subject lines can give a 22% higher open rate.


Source: Invesp

2. Ensure Mobile Optimization and Cross-Device Compatibility

Design emails to look great and function well on all devices. Most people check their email on mobile, so responsive design is essential.


About 60% of all email campaign reads occur on mobile devices.


Source: TechReport

3. Use Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

BIMI is a standard that allows brands to display their logos next to authenticated emails in recipients’ inboxes. Implementing BIMI can positively impact email engagement by increasing brand recognition and trust.

To utilize BIMI effectively, you should ensure your emails are properly authenticated with DMARC, adhere to BIMI’s technical requirements, and register their brand logos with a BIMI-compliant certification authority.

BIMI example

Source: Foundations of Email Privacy,

4. Segment Your Email List

Group your email list based on demographics, purchase history, or engagement level. This allows for more targeted and relevant email campaigns. The easiest way to segment your email list (follow link) is with the help of email marketing automation software, which simplifies the process and enhances campaign efficiency.

5. Embrace Personalization

Use the recipient’s name and other personal data to tailor the email content. Acknowledge personal events like birthdays and offer anniversary discounts. Add to your email marketing messages a personal touch that nurtures long-lasting relationships with customers. Personalized emails often see higher engagement rates.

Statistical graph on personalization shopping experiences

Source: The State of Personalization Report 2023, Twilio Segment

6. Use Professional Email Design

A clean, attractive email design enhances readability and user experience. Use a consistent layout and branding across all emails. Using pre-designed email templates can make this process easier, helping to keep your emails consistent and professional.

Email marketing template designs available at Campaign Monitor

Email Marketing Templates by Campaign Monitor

7. Implement Graphics and Interactive Elements

Incorporate images, videos, and interactive elements to make emails more engaging and informative. Examples include embedded videos showcasing products, image carousels of recent items, and interactive features like polls, quizzes, or the ability to rate products directly within the email. These elements can significantly enhance the user experience and engagement with your content.

Feedback form inside of a marketing email

Feedback request example in a follow-up from Mailmodo

8. Ensure Your Welcome Email Captivates From the Start

Make a strong first impression with a compelling welcome email. This sets the tone for future communications and encourages engagement. A good welcome email can highlight the benefits of the subscription, feature products, or include personalized offers, giving new subscribers immediate value.

Captivating welcome email example from Vichy


9. Encourage First-time Conversions

Include a special offer or discount in the welcome email to motivate new subscribers to make their first purchase. This approach motivates new subscribers to make their first purchase by showing them they can save money or get extra value right away. For example, a coupon for 10% off their first order can turn a hesitant browser into a happy customer.

Welcome Email example from Vichy, including exclusive offer

Example of a welcome email from Vichy with a personalized discount coupon

10. Optimize Primary and Secondary CTAs

Use clear, action-oriented call-to-action (CTA) buttons. Place them prominently to guide users towards the desired action. Besides the primary CTA, smart use of a secondary CTA can significantly enhance campaign effectiveness. Marketers should also consider color psychology insights when designing CTAs to increase their impact.

For more tips and examples on how to effectively use secondary CTAs, visiting this article by Hubspot could provide valuable insights and practical advice.

Primary and secondary CTA examples

Source: Mailmodo

11. Follow Up

Send follow-up emails based on customer interactions. This can include thank-you messages, feedback requests, or product recommendations. Following up keeps the conversation going and makes customers feel valued, encouraging them to continue doing business with you. This ongoing engagement can lead to repeat purchases and loyalty, increasing the lifetime value of your customers.

Follow up from Runkeeper app

Source: Runkeeper

12. Start a Loyalty Program

Introduce a loyalty program to reward frequent customers. This encourages repeat purchases and enhances customer loyalty. Sending periodic emails to remind subscribers of their loyalty points balance, VIP offers, or early access to promotions can be an effective strategy to keep them engaged.

Loyalty program example by Yves Rocher

Source: Yves Rocher

13. Re-engage with Exclusive Offers

Inactive subscribers are those who were previously engaged with your brand but have not interacted with your emails or other communications recently. Send targeted offers to these subscribers to rekindle their interest. Exclusive deals can prompt them to re-engage with your brand.

Re-engagement email example with an exclusive offer from British Corner Shop

Re-engagement Email Example from the British Corner Shop

14. Send Milestone Emails

Acknowledge and celebrate customer milestones, such as the number of purchases made or membership anniversaries, to create a personal connection.

Businesses offering services and tools can also showcase statistics on their use, highlighting how the service or tool has become indispensable in the daily life or work activity of the subscriber.

For businesses related to wellbeing, sport, and nutrition, presenting milestones in achieving health, sport, and lifestyle goals can add a deeply personal touch. This not only reinforces the value of the service but also aligns with the subscriber’s personal achievements.

Milestone email example from Grammarly

Milestone email example from Grammarly

15. Don’t Neglect A/B Testing

Regularly test different elements of your emails, such as subject lines, designs, sending times and CTAs. Use the insights gained to optimize future campaigns. By implementing insights and suggestions based on your tests, your business can foster better relationships with customers, and achieve greater success.

Final Word: More Data Means Higher Engagement Rates

The key to enhancing email engagement lies in understanding your customer. The more first-hand data you gather about their behavior, the better you can tailor your campaigns to meet their needs. By focusing on relevant, data-driven insights, you can create email campaigns that resonate with your audience, fostering improved engagement and stronger relationships.

Integrating with a proficient email hosting provider enables this personalized approach, offering the tools to analyze and act on customer data for more impactful, engaging email campaigns.

Top Providers Offering Email Hosting

ProviderRatingBest forExpert & User Reviews 
5.0PerformanceHostArmada ReviewVisit HostArmada
4.8AffordabilityFastComet ReviewVisit FastComet
4.6Ease of UseHostinger ReviewVisit Hostinger

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About Email Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the tiers of email engagement?

Email engagement can be categorized into several tiers based on user interactions:


  1. Highly Engaged: Users who frequently open, read, and click links within emails. They may also reply or forward emails, indicating strong interest and interaction.
  2. Moderately Engaged: Users who open emails and occasionally click on links. Their interaction is less frequent but still significant.
  3. Minimally Engaged: Users who rarely open emails and seldom click on links. Their interaction is minimal, showing low interest or engagement.
  4. Disengaged: Users who do not open emails at all over a prolonged period. This indicates a lack of interest or relevance, and they are at risk of unsubscribing or marking emails as spam.
What is the best day for email engagement?

The best day for email engagement varies by audience and industry, but generally, mid-week days like Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday see higher engagement rates. Tuesdays are often cited as the top day for open rates and click-throughs. However, testing with your specific audience is crucial to determine the most effective day for your email campaigns.

What is a bad email engagement?

Bad email engagement is characterized by low open rates, poor click-through rates, and high unsubscribe or spam complaint rates. It reflects a lack of interest or relevance from the recipients’ perspective. This can be due to irrelevant content, poor email design, excessive frequency, or failure to segment and personalize emails according to the recipients’ preferences and behaviors.

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