Forward Rate

In the field of email marketing, particularly for email newsletters, Forward Rate is a key metric used to measure the percentage of recipients who forward a particular email to someone else. This metric is crucial as it indicates the level of content virality and audience engagement; a high forward rate suggests that recipients find the content valuable enough to share with their contacts, effectively expanding the reach of your campaign.

Implementation Examples

  1. Retail Newsletters: For a fashion retailer, tracking the forward rate of a newsletter announcing a seasonal sale can indicate the campaign’s effectiveness. If many recipients forward the email to friends or family, it suggests that the discount or the products are highly appealing.
  2. Event Invitations: An organization sending out event invitations can use the forward rate to gauge interest. A high forward rate might indicate that the event is well-targeted and generates buzz, prompting recipients to share it within their networks.
  3. Informative Content: Newsletters from educational platforms or industry blogs often contain valuable insights, tutorials, or tips. The forward rate for these kinds of content can highlight which topics are particularly interesting and relevant to the audience.

Interesting Facts

  • Virality and Reach: Unlike other engagement metrics like open rates or click-through rates, forward rate taps into the viral potential of an email campaign. When an email is forwarded, it reaches new, potentially untapped audiences without additional marketing spend.
  • Social Proof: Emails with high forward rates often leverage social proof. Content that resonates deeply, whether it’s an intriguing blog post, a valuable resource, or even a humorous meme, is more likely to be shared.

Benefits of Monitoring Forward Rate

  1. Extended Reach: By tracking forward rates, you can identify how far your email content is spreading beyond your original recipients. This can help measure the organic reach of your campaigns.
  2. Content Optimization: Analyzing which types of content get forwarded can inform future content strategies. If certain topics or formats generate more forwards, you can produce more of that type of content to boost engagement.
  3. Community Building: High forward rates can enhance community building and brand advocacy. When recipients share your email, they endorse your brand to their connections, fostering a sense of community and trust.

How to Increase Forward Rate

  1. Create Valuable Content: Focus on providing content that your audience finds valuable, whether it’s informative, entertaining, or exclusive. The more useful your content, the more likely it is to be shared.
  2. Incorporate Shareability: Make it easy for recipients to forward your email by including clear call-to-actions and “Forward to a Friend” buttons. Simplifying the sharing process can significantly boost forward rates.
  3. Personalization: Tailoring content to your audience’s preferences can make the email more relevant, increasing the likelihood of forwarding. Use segmentation to deliver more personalized newsletters.
  4. Encourage Sharing: Sometimes all it takes is a nudge. Use phrases like “Feel free to share this with friends” or “Know someone who would love this? Forward this email!” to encourage recipients to share your content.


In the realm of email marketing, the forward rate is a critical metric that offers insights into how engaging and shareable your email content is. It reflects the organic reach of your newsletters and highlights their potential for virality. By focusing on creating high-quality, valuable content and making it easy for recipients to share, marketers can effectively boost forward rates, thereby expanding their campaign’s reach and impact.

Monitoring and optimizing forward rates can provide a competitive edge in any email marketing strategy, turning recipients into brand advocates and extending your message far beyond your initial contact list. This metric underscores the power of community and the importance of content that resonates deeply with your audience.

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