What Your Email Click Through Rates and Bounce Reports Are Telling You

Irina Doliov
May. 15, 2015 by Irina Doliov

ClickThruRateHow do you know if you’re being successful with your outbound email? Generally, senders look at bounce rates, open or render rates, and clickthrough rates as metrics to determine the success of their messaging efforts. However, when comparing competing email service providers, the efficacy of one versus another is sometimes difficult to determine because different ESPs calculate bounce rates, clickthrough rates and open rates differently. Understanding how numbers are derived is essential to clarity.

In determining how we would calculate these metrics, SparkPost takes a conservative stand, always using the number that you sent (targeted) as the foundation for any calculation. So the bounce rate is calculated as bounces divided by targeted. Other ESPs such as SendGrid use the “accepted” or “delivered” number as the denominator, which means making a direct comparison isn’t possible without the raw numbers for a given campaign or time period. “Accepted” or “Delivered” factors out bounces – which results in a lower denominator – and therefore a higher overall rate.

We chose “Targeted” as the denominator in rate calculations for a number of reasons. The primary is that in looking at the industry, we discovered that the only written and agreed-upon set of standards for how these metrics are defined and calculated has been established by the Email Experience Council (EEC).

The Email Experience Council has been working to standardize the terminology and calculations for these metrics and SparkPost uses that industry benchmark in reporting data to its customers. The metrics definitions can be downloaded from the EEC website here:http://redpillemail.com/eec/standardizedmetrics.pdf

Now that we’ve launched, we will work to get the EEC certification. Unfortunately, not all ESPs have made the change. This fact is important to keep in mind as you begin to use SparkPost, especially if you find yourself wondering why your clickthrough rates are different from what you saw with a previous provider.

To learn more:

Bounce classification codes https://www.sparkpost.com/docs/bounce-classification-codeshttps://www.sparkpost.com/docs/bounce-classification-codes

Consuming SparkPost Webhook Events with Loggly – Part 1 of 3https://www.sparkpost.com/blog/consuming-sparkpost-webhook-events-loggly-part-1-3 

Related Content

5 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Customer Segmentation Strategy

With hundreds of ways to segment email lists and personalize campaigns, these 5 methods of customer segmentation are an easy place to start.

read more

Learn To Love Your Unsubscribers

Unsubscribers are inevitable in email marketing. They’re often looked at negatively, but we prove how they do a lot of work for marketers by cleaning lists.

read more

How ClickMechanic Delivers Auto Repair—and a Great Experience—with Email

Learn how ClickMechanic solves the challenge of finding a great automobile mechanic—and uses email to deliver a great customer experience.

read more

Start sending email in minutes!

The world’s most powerful email delivery solution is now yours in a developer-friendly, quick to set up cloud service. Open a SparkPost account today and send up to 100,000 emails per month for free.

Send 100K Emails/Month For Free

Send this to a friend