6 email marketing deliverability metrics that will supercharge your email marketing

Email marketing, has been evolving with the times. The demand for good email marketing experts who know how to gain the best from their campaigns is at an all time high. To become an expert today, it is necessary to have a firm grasp of how the industry works, what doesn’t work and how to get around the various issues and blocks that have become all too common. These changes and boundaries are necessary and fully justified. This is because the email marketing sector has been riddled with a deluge of sub standard marketing messages that are so irritating; people have taken dramatic steps to reduce them.

Email marketing deliverability metrics that matter

For your email marketing campaigns to work well, there are a set of key metrics that matter. These email marketing deliverability metrics are crucial to the success of any email marketing campaign. For starters, it is important to understand that email is not the same it was five years ago. It has changed dramatically. Deliverability is important, not just sending it out to your subscribers. Engagement is important, not just getting your readers to read and not do anything about it. The true success of an email campaign depends not just on the technical aspect, the content and the usability of your message matters too. The metrics that we shall be discussing today are majorly derived from the technical aspects of email marketing. These metrics enable us to plan ahead, understand the readers, what they are looking for and how we can improve numbers.

Metric #1- Delivery rate

This metric gives you a clear idea of how many emails have been accepted by the ISP. There is a difference between delivery rate and email opens. Delivery rate is simply the number of emails that go through, irrespective of it being opened, read and clicked upon. A low delivery rate means that there are issues with the email itself. It may have a higher SPAM score, low IP reputation and so on. If you are facing low delivery rates, find out where and how it is happening, sort out the issue and then make changes wherever necessary.

Metric #2- Clicks

Clicks are the total number of clicks to the links you have mentioned in your email divided by the total number of emails sent. As is with delivery, it gives you a good idea of the content present in your emails. If you have a high click rate, it means the content is engaging, useful to the reader and the content is doing what it is supposed to do- get people interested. If you have high click rates but low form fills, then the issue is with landing pages. There are various landing page generators that optimize the landing page for better performance. It is important to note that a standalone landing page has a higher chance of conversion than say, a contact us page. A/B testing also helps you in improving your click metric.


Metric #3- Bounce rate
1) Soft bounce- Soft bounces are when the email doesn’t reach a dead end, as the receiver may not be in a position to accept new emails. Maybe their inbox is full, the IP maybe temporarily down or maybe they might be blocking incoming messages for the time being due to quotas being full. While such issues are common, the email will try to be delivered several times before it fails.

This is a crucial element of any email campaign. An email is deemed bounced if the ISP you are sending the email to rejects the email and is sent back. Now bounces can be of two separate types.

2) Hard bounce- This is the other type of bounce wherein failure is permanent. It can be caused due to bad email addresses, email address not existing or inconsistent addresses, such as special characters in the email address. Hard bounce is a good thing as today, most email service providers unsubscribe such addresses automatically from your database helping in lowering bounce rate and improving IP stability.


Metric #4- Opens

Open rate is the number of times the receiver has opened your email divided by the total number of emails delivered. This is a good metric to measure the receptive nature of the brand you are using to send your emails. Trustworthy email senders have a generally high open rate. This is a key indicator of engagement and shows the positive aspects of the email campaign. If the subject line is attention worthy, the chances of a high open are, well, high!

This metric is usually calculated by attaching a small transparent image into the email body which downloads when the message is opened. This metric is only registered when the settings in the receiver email client is set to automatically download images. If receivers manually do it, then that’s even better news!


Metric #5 Unsubscribe

It means that someone has opted out of the list they are in. they do not want to receive any further communications from you. There may be various reasons for this. They may have signed up but are no longer interested in your products and services. It can also mean that you may have not done what they wanted you to do, such as bad service, delay in service, too many messages and many other such reasons. It is good to have a small survey ready for anyone unsubscribing. It gives you an idea of why they are doing the same. Once this data is collected, you can run corrective measures faster. CAN-SPAM guidelines are strict when it comes to honoring unsubscribe requests. They need to be dealt with within 10 working days of receipt. Heavy penalties are levied if they are not sorted out.

Listening in to unsubscribe reasons is a crucial aspect of email marketing. It allows us to know where we are going wrong and correct it. A good email marketing professional takes this seriously as it can give us valuable insights on what we are doing with our business.

Metric #6 Spam counts

This is the number of times your readers have marked your mail as spam message. It is also called as complaint rate. This is slightly different from the technical spam complaint. When an ISP blocks your message from getting through due to high score of spam, it is a technical spam issue. This can be caused due to certain issues.

1) Bad subject lines that cause spam triggers. Eg. For spam triggers are symbols such as $, % and so on. Words such as discount, free, reward are also termed spam triggers too.

2) If your IP is black listed. This means that too many mails sent from your IP have been marked as spam by readers and the IP has acquired a bad reputation.

Though the technical SPAM issue can be sorted out by taking care of spam triggers, complaints by readers is a serious issue. This is harder to sort since the reader is almighty when it comes to this. ISPs are not tolerant of these types of complaints and can cause serious issues to your IP stability and sending capacity.

Here is an illustration of the spam percentage based on industries quarter wise.


Email marketing is a truly fantastic tool for those who know how to use it. With an ROI at the highest in the industry, email marketing is a potent and reliable way to get your message across. By taking care of the above mentioned metrics, using good content, designing landing pages that are optimized and good for conversions, you can use email marketing to the fullest. Ensure you use the right means and don’t try to game the system. It will always back fire, no matter how smart you think your tactics are. Those days are beyond us. Today, being honest, upfront and useful to your subscribers is important. It makes you reliable and gives your faster and stronger results.

You might also like

Contact US