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email marketing metrics

Did that free trial conversion email flop because the copy fell flat? Or did it bypass inboxes and go right to spam?

For most SaaS companies, email marketing is crucial for lead nurturing, customer acquisition, and user retention.

But if you aren’t measuring the right email marketing metrics, it’s tough to tell how well your strategy is working.

In this guide, we’ll cover the most valuable email marketing metrics for SaaS, including tips to track and attribute outcomes—so you can optimize your efforts and reach your KPIs.

9 Essential Email Marketing Metrics for SaaS

Which email metrics really matter for SaaS? Here are nine that are worth measuring, benchmarking, and improving.

1. Deliverability

Are your emails even making it to the inbox? Deliverability is a metric that’s easy to overlook. Yet it’s an important starting point for tracking email marketing metrics.

Hannah Recker, Growth Marketing Lead at Coefficient, explains: “Deliverability should be a foundational priority as you start sending out emails. Too many organizations miss this piece since it’s a bit boring, but deliverability can quickly affect your one-off email sends from sales reps and support members and can become a silent revenue killer.”

Deliverability refers to the likelihood that marketing emails will successfully arrive in subscribers’ inboxes. Ideally, yours is as close as possible to 100%.

Since email marketing platforms themselves can affect deliverability rates, check the average rate for any tool before committing to it. But keep in mind that your team’s actions can also affect this metric.

For example, low email engagement (see below) and high bounce rates can negatively impact deliverability. Cleaning email lists regularly is a good way to remove invalid addresses and keep bounce rates low.

2. Open rate

Years ago, email open rates were a critical marketing metric for SaaS. But in 2023, this metric isn’t as straightforward.

The original logic still stands. If open rates are low, you might never reach KPIs that are more closely tied to revenue.

But open rates are no longer as reliable as they once were. If a lot of subscribers open your emails on iOS devices, your open rates will be skewed. Apple has blocked email open tracking since the rollout of iOS 15 in September 2021.

For some SaaS marketers, tracking open rates no longer makes sense. Kevin Lord Barry, Co-Founder at Right Percent, explains that the “big mistake people make is tracking open rates still. Since iOS changes a year+ ago, open rates are meaningless.”

Yet just as many marketers still find value in monitoring open rates. The key is finding a way to account for iOS users.

Hannah explains that “open rates still remain a metric to stay on top of. Some marketers are splitting sends to Apple users. But even without a split, you can find your own new benchmarks for open rates at this point.”

Setting benchmarks from your own email marketing data is key for measuring performance and spotting trends. But if you aren’t sure whether your open rate is any good, industry benchmarks can offer a point of reference. For example, the GetResponse Email Marketing Benchmarks report shows that the average email open rate for tech is about 34%. How does yours measure up?

Email Open Rate Statistics

Open rate formula: open rate = (unique opens / emails delivered) x 100

3. Click-through rate

For any SaaS marketer, email opens are just the beginning. The next step is tracking engagement, starting with click-through rate (CTR). This metric can tell you if the email spoke to the target audience and how compelling the offer or resource was.

Abhi Bavishi, Growth Marketer and Automation Expert, explains that his team focuses on CTR because it “helps us understand how engaging and enticing our email content is, and whether it stimulates users to take the next step.”

Most email marketing platforms automatically count clicks and report on CTRs. But these reports are becoming less reliable.

So how can you get reliable data? Because “more email clients are implementing privacy systems,” Massimo Chieruzzi recommends “tagging all links in emails with UTM codes and not relying only on email marketing platform tracking.”

Some email platforms have built-in UTM settings. But you can also use tools like Google Analytics to build UTMs manually. If you find that your CTRs are lower than expected or decline over time, review which touchpoints are performing better.

For example, Abhi’s team typically uses an omni-channel strategy for product updates. He explains that email subscribers “get the condensed version of the same information on the app as well (as a chat pop-up using Intercom).”

He elaborates: “In our experience, we see much better engagement with in-app pop-ups than emails. But we send both anyway because in-app pop-ups only show when the user is logged in. Sometimes, they might not log in for a long time, and our intent is to educate them with new features so that they log in and come back to the platform.”

CTR formula: click-through rate = (unique clicks / emails delivered) x 100

4. Click-to-open rate

While CTR compares clicks to total emails delivered, click-to-open rate (CTOR) compares unique clicks to unique opens. So when should you focus on CTOR?

This metric essentially filters out all the subscribers who never opened the email in the first place. It’s useful for measuring who took action after reading the email.

Although CTR is arguably a more common metric to measure, CTOR is more helpful for seeing how well the email really resonated. Again, you’ll want to set your own benchmarks so you know what’s good for your list.

For example, if the CTOR for your latest email is much lower than average, it may be a sign that the copy, creative, or offer was a bad fit for the list. To get more nuanced data, consider benchmarking CTOR (and other metrics) for each segment.

CTOR formula: click-to-open rate = (unique clicks / unique opens) x 100

5. Session duration

What happens after users click through to your site? For many SaaS marketers, that’s where email metrics get interesting.

Dean Shapero, CEO at, explains that his ABM agency finds email marketing platform CTR metrics to be generally unreliable. As a result, he says: “We use Google Analytics and look at session sources to quantify email CTR. Session duration on the landing destination then becomes our secondary KPI.”With Google Analytics, you can compare the average session duration for email to other sources. Using that data, you can justify spending on an email marketing strategy. You can also compare session duration between email marketing campaigns.

Session Duration of users gained using email marketing

Is this metric unusually low for a certain campaign? It’s worth making sure the landing page and the email copy align.

Is the session duration unusually high for another campaign? Take a closer look at user activity beyond the landing page. What happened next? Did they click through to visit other pages or complete a conversion?

6. Conversion rate

Opens, clicks, and site visits indicate interest. In some cases, they show intent. Yet for some SaaS marketers, they’re vanity metrics.

In other words, they might make your campaign dashboards look good. But they don’t directly link to revenue goals.

Kyle Kuczynski, CMO and Co-Founder at MessageDesk, explains that he uses open rates to assess engagement. Yet “what ultimately matters is our sales. So conversion rates are the #1 metric we rely on to tell if an email campaign was successful.”

One of the biggest perks of conversion rate metrics is that they’re completely customizable. In other words, you can use this metric to track what really matters for each campaign.

Kyle elaborates: “Conversions for us include new sign-ups as well as any upgrades to higher-tier plans. This is valid for product-related emails where the goal is to showcase the product and its use cases to generate more sign-ups.”

For educational email campaigns like newsletters and event announcements, Kyle explains, “I keep a close eye on how many people forward the email, what conversions for these specific emails are, and how people react to them.”

Segmenting your audience can be great for sending more relevant emails and increasing conversion rates.

Kyle shares: “The highest conversion rates always happen with emails we’re sending to highly engaged users. So for instance, the upgrade emails we’re sending to get people to switch to a plan that better suits their needs naturally have a higher conversion rate.”

Kyle advises SaaS marketers to “always use a good incentive. We sell a text messaging platform. So while the new plan will cost them a bit more, they’ll save a lot of money on the individual messages they send.”

The best tool to measure conversion rate depends on how you’ve defined this metric. For example, forwards are often easiest to measure in the email marketing platform. Signups and upgrades on your website will typically be GA4 events.

Conversion rate formula: conversion rate = (total conversions / total clicks) x 100

7. Revenue per email

If your email campaigns lead to sales, you’ll also want to track revenue per email. As you gather revenue data, set benchmarks for different types of emails.

When you know which email types tend to generate the most revenue, you’ll have a better idea of where to focus your efforts. You’ll also know which kinds of emails could benefit from the most improvement.

Hannah explains that the best-performing campaigns for her team at Coefficient are “timely emails based upon product activity. This includes trial expiration emails, proactive support emails for people running into hiccups or getting stuck in the product, and segmented product update emails.”

How many times does your average customer complete a conversion that generates revenue? If it’s more than once, you’ll also want to monitor subscriber lifetime value (LTV) to get a big-picture view of the value of your email list.

8. Return on investment (ROI)

A high conversion rate doesn’t always correlate with higher revenue. After all, not every conversion is equal.

That’s why measuring ROI is also crucial for email marketers. This metric helps you put a value on your email marketing efforts so you can identify which campaigns are most successful.

GA4 and your email marketing platform of choice can track ROI to some extent. But if sales take some time or multiple clicks, you may need a more powerful solution. Take a look at the attribution tools below.

Then once you’ve identified the audience segments, email types, and offers that generate the highest ROI, you can use these components to build more successful SaaS email marketing campaigns.

ROI formula: ROI = (total email marketing revenue / total email marketing costs) x 100

9. List churn

Is your email content failing to resonate with subscribers? By tracking unsubscribers, you can easily monitor the churn rate.

Some churn is inevitable. Customers might go with a competitor instead or decide to deprioritize the problem.

But ideally, your churn rate remains relatively steady over time. What’s most important is spotting churn-related trends.

Email Deliverability

Sometimes it might be a campaign problem. Did your unsubscribe rate go through the roof after a recent lead nurturing email? It’s worth reviewing your cadence, copy, and segmentation so you can improve your email.

Other times, it might be an audience problem. Do subscribers from a recent pay-per-click campaign tend to unsubscribe right away? It’s worth reviewing your targeting and funnel to improve results and reduce churn.

Tools for Email Marketing Attribution and Reporting

GA4 and native email automation platforms can only tell you so much about campaign outcomes. For more in-depth reporting and more accurate attribution, try these tools instead.



An analytics tool that imports data into Google Sheets, Coefficient can connect to virtually any platform. It automatically aligns data from multiple sources, generates live reports and dashboards, and notifies your team about key updates.

Hannah uses Coefficient to align data across marketing channels. She explains: “For CRM and email, we use HubSpot and have a custom data pipeline sending key product activity field values and events to HubSpot. When I need to dig into the data and HubSpot doesn’t offer the flexibility to do so or I don’t have the data points I need inside of HubSpot, I pull my data and blend it in spreadsheets.”

She elaborates: “For example, for Google Ads search campaign attribution, I pull in my live Google Ads and HubSpot CRM data with Coefficient’s Google Sheets extension so I can easily blend it and see fully through the funnel all the way to key product activation points with our search campaigns.”

Hannah shares that this tech stack “gives us a deeper view of what our conversion funnel looks like than what out-of-the-box HubSpot or Google Ads reports there are, allowing me to make faster, more educated decisions since most of our users don’t pay for our product until months after getting started.” is an analytics and attribution platform that integrates with marketing tools, tracks engagement across accounts, and offers visibility into customer journeys. It’s engineered to improve marketing attribution and quantify the impact on the pipeline.


HockeyStack attributes marketing data for more efficient customer journey

Hockeystack is an attribution tool that connects all your marketing data so you can build more efficient customer journeys. Designed for B2B SaaS companies, Hockeystack is ideal for optimizing efforts around revenue.


HubSpot, a single tool to manage customer list, send emails, and attribute traffic

When you need a single platform to manage your customer list, send email marketing campaigns, and attribute traffic and conversions, HubSpot is a solid choice for SaaS businesses.

Abhi’s team relies on HubSpot for email marketing analytics and attribution, as it “provides comprehensive data and offers deep insights into performance metrics, user behavior, and campaign effectiveness.”

Abhi explains: “We use UTM attribution, since it’s built into HubSpot. We’ve also installed a small snippet on our website that hops these UTMs from page view to page view and pushes them to our CRM when someone books a meeting or purchases a subscription. That way, we’re able to track how many users that came through an email campaign actually became SQLs, customers, etc.”



With its marketing analytics offering, Mixpanel offers insight into your best acquisition channels and your optimal customer journey. It automatically links marketing and product data so you can see what really drives revenue for your SaaS business.


Supermetrics, a marketing intelligence cloud platform

A marketing intelligence cloud platform, Supermetrics analyzes data across channels and forecasts results. It’s designed to measure cross-channel results throughout the funnel so you can see what’s working and spot areas that need improvement.

Final Thoughts on SaaS Email Marketing Metrics

With the metrics above, you can measure email marketing performance and track trends over time. By adding attribution tools to your tech stack, you can get even more visibility into what’s creating the most value—so you can integrate your SaaS email strategy with other channels and improve outcomes across the customer journey.

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