B2B Deliverability Metrics That Matter
When B2B Marketers think about key campaign metrics, the typical statistics that come to mind include open and click-through rates. However, there are other metrics that matter, especially when it comes to making sure that your nurture emails are hitting the Inbox. Not sure what to measure? A great source for understanding email metrics is the Silverpop 2013 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study as marketers should pay attention to key engagement metrics that show activity and conversion, as well as additional metrics such as the bounce rate, unsubscribe and complaint rates. You need to pay attention to all of these metrics, especially the latter set as these metrics tell a different story of deliverability or potential issues that impact your success.
Pay close attention to each campaign’s bounce rate, specifically the hard bounces and the soft bounces. The hard bounce rate will let you know the amount of invalid email addresses and bad domains that you are sending to. Most platforms will suppress these bounces so you will not send to them again. The soft bounce rate is a temporary bounce, but can continue to cause issues that may be related to IP/domain reputation issues. Monitoring and reviewing the details of these bounces will let you know if your campaigns are blocked at a particular network, possibly blacklisted, or being deferred because of reputation issues.
Monitoring unsubscribes for campaigns can provide some insight into problems with content and/or the audience that you are sending to. Reviewing this metric on a daily basis, as well as other trends, can let you know if certain campaigns are causing spikes in unsubscribes before it becomes a larger issue. It also may be a good time to revisit your campaign unsubscribe options and/or discuss implementing a preference center to optimize success and minimize any negative implications.
The complaint rate is the number of people who are clicking the “Abuse” or “Report Spam” button in their email client. Not all domains that you send to have the ability to capture these complaints (even more reason to really pay attention to the complaint rate). Reviewing this number on a daily basis is critical to ongoing success as having spikes in complaint rates could cause IP/domain reputation issues and could impact business in the future.
Key deliverability metrics include measurements that indicate positive activities including engagement and conversion. However, part of obtaining a holistic view of your Demand Strategy and Deliverability performance should also include metrics that indicate when there may be potential problems such as increase in bounce rate, unsubscribe and compliant rates. Keep in mind you need to benchmark your organization’s performance to gauge improvement and degradation over time, however, just starting to look at key deliverability metrics, both positive and negative, is a good place to start.
Author: Chris Arrendale CIPP/US, MCTS @arrendale is Chief Deliverability and Privacy Strategist, ANNUITAS