How to Read Email Campaign Reports, Part 2

How to Read Email Campaign Reports, Part 2

Hi there, and welcome to Part 2 of our two-part series on reading email campaign reports. If you missed Part 1, on reading open and click-through rates, click here. Otherwise, let’s dive into some other commonly-provided campaign report features.

Links Clicked

Most email vendors offer you a breakdown of which links were clicked and how many times. This information is particularly useful, because it highlights which calls-to-action or other links are resonating strongly with your subscribers.


If click-throughs are considered a gauge of “how good” your content is, then unsubscribes would be a reflection of “how bad.” A variety of factors can influence why people decide to opt-out of your emails, but the top reasons are:

  • They don’t believe they ever opted-in to your list
  • You’re emailing too frequently
  • Your content is not relevant
  • Your emails are repetitive

Of course, unsubscribes are unavoidable, but monitoring them is important. If any individual email blast results in more opt-outs than normal, see if you can figure out why. Additionally, take a closer look at who is unsubscribing from your emails. Is there a certain type of customer who is continually unsubscribing? Or, maybe customers who’ve purchased specific products in the past unsubscribe from emails that promote unrelated items. List removals are unfortunate, but investigating them a little more deeply could help shed light on why people drop off and prevent more customers from leaving in the future.

Bounce Rates

Two types of bounces exist: hard bounces and soft bounces. Here’s what they mean:

  • Hard Bounce - the email address doesn’t actually exist
  • Soft Bounce - the email cannot be delivered because the recipient's inbox is full, their mail server is down, or your email is too large

Monitoring hard bounces gives you an idea of the quality of your subscriber list. If lots of emails are hard-bouncing, then you’re getting a lot of fake email addresses, which typically means that people are willing to give you their email addresses in exchange for whatever it is that you’re

offering, but they don’t trust you not to spam them. In that case, make it clear that 1) you’re not going to harass people who give you their emails, and 2) that they actually will get something of value out of the emails you’ll be sending them. Recipients who have soft bounces should remain on your list, because it is likely that their inboxes will clear up in the future. If emails continue to soft-bounce to the same address, then you’re not likely to ever actually reach that customer, so scrubbing him or her from the list is eventually a good thing.

Your email vendor probably offers some other campaign metrics, but what’s covered here are the most common ones. As with any statistics, it’s not just the numbers that matter, but also the driving forces behind what produces the numbers. Properly analyzing your email campaigns can help you determine what works and what doesn’t and provide a baseline for improvement for each subsequent campaign.

Want further explanation? We'd love to assist you! Get in touch with us here.


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