Why Stats Matter When Sending Marketing Email John Vajda November 11, 2013 Best Practices, Technical // SUMMARIES ?> Data. Why does it matter when sending marketing email? Without understanding your marketing email data you will have no idea how your email is performing. Good marketing is all about measuring metrics. Great marketing is all about understanding those metrics. SendGrid’s Marketing Email product offers you many different stats to use so you can understand how your marketing email is performing. We’ve recently added a new data point called Total Click Through Rate (TCTR). Below is an overview of the stats SendGrid provides you. If you are a developer all of these stats are available in our APIs. Requests = Requests Delivered = Delivered/Requests Opens = Total Opens/Delivered (Open Rate) Unique Opens = Unique Opens/Delivered Clicks = Total Clicks/Delivered Unique Clicks = Unique Clicks/Delivered CTR = Unique Clicks/Unique Opens TCTR = Total Clicks/Total Opens Spam Reports = Spam Reports/Delivered Repeat Spam Reports = Repeat Spam Reports/Delivered Blocked = Blocked/Requests Unsubscribes = Unsubscribes/Delivered (Opt Out Rate) Bounces = Bounces/Requests Repeat Bounces = Repeat Bounces/Requests Invalid Emails = Invalid/Requests So you may be asking yourself what do these metrics actually mean and why should you care? Here is a overview to help you better understand the data SendGrid provides you. For more technical details check out our Documentation on Delivery Metrics Index. Requests What you should think about: This is how many requests you made to SendGrid to send an email for you. Delivered What you should think about: This is how many of those actual requests were delivered by SendGrid. Not every request makes it to the inbox unfortunately. However SendGrid prides itself on deliverability and getting your email to the inbox of your recipients. Keep in mind delivered means the message was accepted by the receiving server, but that does not necessarily mean the message reached the recipient’s inbox. If your delivered rate is lower, then you may be sending emails that are getting flagged as spam at the ISP, (Internet Service Provider) or your recipient lists may have bad email addresses causing bounces, or the emails are getting “stuck” at the ISP for some other reason. This problem is a tricky one to solve as ISPs are very complex. Luckily, SendGrid has great relationships with all the major ISPs! If you find this is a problem for you, contact SendGrid Support to assist you in determining what could be wrong. Opens What you should think about: This is how many of those emails delivered were opened by a recipient. With this stat, if a recipient opened your email 3 times, we’d count it 3 times. If your total open rate list is low, perhaps your subject line is poor and needs improving. If the total open rate is high, perhaps the content is interesting causing users to open the email more then once. You also probably have a great deliverability rating! Unique Opens What you should think about: How many of those emails delivered were opened by a unique recipient. With this stat, if one recipient opened your email 3 times, we’d count it only 1 time. If your unique open rate is low, perhaps your subject line is poor and needs improving. Look at the same engagement factors as you would for opens, above (i.e. content, relevancy of your messaging, frequency of your sends, etc.). Clicks What you should think about: This is how many total clicks occurred within your email on links. If your total clicks are low you may have too many links in your emails, or the links aren’t interesting to the recipient. If your total clicks are high then your content is interesting and it’s causing recipients to want to click through. Unique Clicks What you should think about: This is how many unique clicks occurred within you email on links. Follow the same logic when evaluating unique click rates as you would for clicks, above. CTR (Click Through Rate) What you should think about: This is your unique clicks divided by your unique opens. If your click through rate is low you should check your subject lines and content of your emails. If your CTR is high…congrats you are awesome! TCTR (Total Click Through Rate) What you should think about: This is your total clicks divided by total opens. A high TCTR means users are repeatedly opening and clicking links in your emails. Spam Reports What you should think about: A high rate means many of your emails are getting flagged as SPAM by a recipient. Be sure to check your content and subject lines and follow CAN-SPAM best practices when sending email and check out some of our blogs on the subject of SPAM. Repeat Spam Reports What you should think about: A high rate means many of you emails are getting flagged as SPAM by a single recipient multiple times. Why would they do this? Perhaps they think your company is sending SPAM email and they want to be removed from all your emails. Perhaps you are emailing them too much. Also, be sure to check your content and subject lines and follow CAN-SPAM best practices when sending email and check out some of our blogs on the subject of SPAM. Blocked What you should think about: When your IP address has been added to a blacklist or block list, it has been blocked by an ISP or messaging organization, the affected email shows up on this list. Typically it is possible to have your IP address removed from a block list, and some lists automatically do this after a period of time. If this rate is high, it’s definitely a red flag about your sending IP’s rating with ISPs. Again, ISPs are complex. Luckily SendGrid has great relationships with all the major ISPs! If you find this is a problem for you contact SendGrid Support to assist you in determining what could be wrong. Unsubscribes What you should think about: A high rate of unsubscribes means people aren’t interested in the emails you are sending them. If this is happening to you think about the 3 Ws. Who: Who are you sending to? Are they the right demographic? Have you segmented your recipient list correctly? What: What content are you sharing? Is it good quality content? When: What time are you actually sending email? Are you trying to reach your recipients at the wrong times of the day? Bounces What you should think about: A bounce means an ISP couldn’t deliver the message to a recipient. Higher bounce rates can lead to IPs being blacklisted so you want to be cautious with this stat. Bounces can happen for several reasons. Below are some of the more traditional bounce codes. Repeat Bounces What you should think about: A repeat bounce means an ISP couldn’t deliver the message to a recipient more then once, or you are sending multiple emails to a single recipient that are getting bounced. Higher bounce rates can lead to IPs being blacklisted so you want to be cautious with this stat. Bounces can happen for several reasons. Below are some of the more traditional bounce codes. Traditional Bounce Codes Keep in mind bounce codes can differ by ISP. These are just examples. Code Explanation 421 <domain> Service not available, closing transmission channel 450 Requested mail action not taken: mailbox unavailable (e.g., mailbox busy) 451 Requested action aborted: error in processing 452 Requested action not taken: insufficient system storage 500 The server could not recognize the command due to a syntax error. 501 A syntax error was encountered in command arguments. 502 This command is not implemented. 503 The server has encountered a bad sequence of commands. 504 A command parameter is not implemented. 550 User’s mailbox was unavailable (such as not found) 551 The recipient is not local to the server. 552 The action was aborted due to exceeded storage allocation. 553 The command was aborted because the mailbox name is invalid. 554 The transaction failed for some unstated reason. Invalid Emails What you should think about: If this rate is high then an ISP reports back to us that the email supplied is invalid or we discover with our own algorithm that the email you are sending to is invalid. Double check your recipient lists to verify you are sending to legitimate email addresses. Summary At SendGrid we know how complicated sending marketing email can be. There are many variables that go into email deliverability and we pride ourselves on being experts on the subject. If you have an questions about email data and email statistics, please let us know! Also, if you aren’t happy with your current email provider’s deliverability, we are here to help! Try us out for free and see if SendGrid is a good fit for you.