7 Key Delivery Metrics You Need to Know


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Graphs and ChatsManaging your email delivery requires that you keep a close eye on your delivery metrics. To do so, you need the right tools to accurately track your overall email performance from the moment you deploy your email campaigns. With access to this data, you can gain useful insights that will enable you to make actionable decisions for a more successful email program. To get a full 360 view of your email program, you should monitor the following metrics.

  1. List Growth Rate:  This measures how fast your email list is growing. Measure the number of new subscribers minus the unsubscribes and bounces.
  2. Delivery Rate: This is the percentage of emails that actually made it to your subscribers’ inbox. This should not be confused with “Delivered Rate” rate otherwise known as the “Accepted Rate.” The Delivered Rate simply means that an ISP has accepted the email, but does NOT mean it made it to the inbox.
  3. Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of total emails that could not be delivered to the inbox because it was rejected by the mail server. Common reasons are misspelled or non-existent email address or full inbox. Repeat bounces occur when the email address has bounced more than once, in which case you should remove the address from your email file.
  4. Open Rate: This measures how many subscribers “looked at” your email. However, the only way this metric is counted is if the images included in the message are downloaded. However, many subscribers have images automatically turned off, so despite viewing your message, they will not be counted in the open rate.
  5. Clicks: This is the number of subscribers that clicked on one or more links in your email message. Unique clicks measure the number of unique individuals who have clicked on links in your email. With unique clicks, there is no double-counting if a subscriber clicks on the same link twice.
  6. Unsubscribe Rate: This is the number of subscribers that asked to be removed from your list. This number should be monitored to check for spikes and to help measure list growth.
  7. Spam Report: This is the percentage of subscribers that have reported your email as spam. For ISPs this registers as the complaint rate. This is the #1 factor used by ISPs to determine whether or not to deliver your email messages so it’s important to have a good handle on this metric with each deployment.

By keeping a sharp eye on these metrics, you can ensure that your email program is on the right track delivering the results you need to reach your goals.  For more information on email delivery, download the SendGrid Deliverability Guide.


Carly Brantz is a veteran in the email deliverability space working to make email simple and easy for developers by regularly writing whitepapers, research briefs and blog posts about email, technology and industry trends.

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