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Measuring your Campaign

If you’re using an email service provider (ESP) to manage your email campaign, you’ll receive loads of data about the success of each email you deliver, kind of like a score. Lately there’s been lots of discussion about standardization of these metrics, because the truth is, not everyone agrees on the definitions. You’ll need to understand what this data means in order to put it to good use to improve future campaigns. Below is a list of the main metrics you’ll typically see in your analysis report.

Delivery Rate: The number of emails that are successfully delivered (not blocked by spam filters or bounced) as a percentage of the total number of emails sent.

Open Rate: How many recipients opened the message. Open rates can be misleading (if recipients preview messages that could be an open) and should be used as a relative measurement. Unique opens measures the number of individuals who open a message, not the total number of times a message was opened.

Click-through Rate (CTR): The number of recipients who clicked on a link or image within an email which led them to content on a website.

Pass-alongs: The number of recipients who forward the message along to a friend or colleague.

Unsubscribes (opt-outs): The number of recipients who ask to have their email address removed from the mailing list.

Bounces: The number of emails that did not reach their destination and were “bounced back” to the sender. Technically, information is included with the returned message that allows the sender to know why the message was undeliverable. These are generally categorized as “hard bounces” and “soft bounces.”

Hard bounces: The failed delivery of an email due to a permanent reason like a non-existent address. (It’s best to retire hard bounces immediately by removing the email address from your mailing list.)

Soft bounces: An email which bounces back due to a fault or unavailability of space in the user’s inbox. (It’s best to continue to send emails to soft bounces over 3 or 4 separate campaigns and retire the email addresses that continue to bounce.)

Click-to-Open Rate (CTOR):
An important measure of the effectiveness of your email message. This metric is the ratio of unique clicks as a percentage of unique opens. Essentially, it’s a measure of how effective your message is in motivating the recipient to click a link once they have opened the message. This measure demonstrates the involvement and engagement of your recipients.

Take a look at these industry benchmarks and compare the metrics of your own campaign.

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  1. 09/08/2010 at 10:21 am

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