NEW: iContact Case Study

4 Tips for Analyzing Email Reports

 In Email Marketing, Optimization

There are many insights to gain from a basic email report. Different statistics will interest you, depending on your goals, from campaign to campaign. Most people focus on their unique open and click through rates, but there is more to glean from other reporting data as well. Here are some critically important reporting tips to consider when assessing email performance.

1) Compare & Contrast

open ratesLooking at last month’s newsletter report, you might think that a 22% unique open rate is great because industry standards for B2B emails are in the 20-30% range.  But when you look back at your other recent newsletters, you might discover that 22% is the lowest open rate you’ve had in months!

An overview of your recently sent campaigns will show you what typical open and click through rates are for your business. Yes, there are industry standards, but every business is unique and so is its audience. Before diving in to your most recent email report, be sure to glance at an overview comparison to see if anything jumps out at you. Key statistics can include deliverability rate, unique open rate, estimated forwards, total views, click through rate, and unsubscribe rate.


2) Don’t Overlook Auto-Replies

auto-reply emailHopefully you are monitoring replies from your email campaigns closely. Replies where your contacts give you direct feedback are obviously meaningful. But even the auto-replies can tell you something. If you get a large amount of auto-replies indicating an email address has changed or is no longer valid, it may be time to have your list cleaned by an email validation service.

Invalid email addresses can impact your deliverability in the short and long term.  Also, a large amount of out-of-office replies may help you re-think your email schedule. For example, summer months are a time when many people take vacations or have Fridays off. If you email B2B, you may want to take this into consideration when you are planning your content and best times to send.


3) Monitor Soft & Hard Bounces

hard bouncesEnsuring great deliverability is very complex. Monitor the number of soft & hard bounces as a way to stay proactive. Check your list of hard bounces (email messages that are returned to sender and marked permanently undeliverable).

You may be surprised at the number of addresses that have been incorrectly entered (e.g. “” instead of “”). Fix these and try them again. If you notice a high number of soft bounces (above 1.5-2%), make sure you’re adhering to best practices to avoid being flagged as spam and consider having your list cleaned by an email validation service.

Over time, people change email addresses or change jobs, leaving email addresses dormant or invalid.


4) Check Non-Openers

non opensEveryone checks their unique open rate as an indication of engagement and an overall assessment how the email performed. But what about the majority of your list who didn’t open your email? The list of non-openers provides opportunity to flex your marketing muscles.

To see if you can convert these people to openers, consider running a re-engagement campaign. Through segmenting, you can identify contacts that have never opened any of your emails or haven’t opened in several months.  Segmenting provides another opportunity to deliver targeted messages to groups within your list. Contacts may relate to these targeted campaigns more than to one general message that tries to appeal to everyone. 

Ready to take this info and start building a new email strategy? Give us a shout and let us know if you have any questions.

Still having trouble understanding your email reports? We’re here to help, our online Support Center is available 24/7/365.

Recent Posts