Analyze your open rate

Share this content:
Dan Forootan
Dan Forootan

E-mail marketers often spend a lot of time analyzing their bounce rates to discover delivery problems. While bounces should always be noted, not enough senders closely monitor their open rate. Bounce data does not reveal whether your messages are going to the inbox or the bulk/junk folder. Bounces also don't indicate whether your messages are being filtered — not being delivered to the inbox or the junk folder. While open data does not explicitly tell you where your messages are going, doing some simple analysis will almost guarantee useful insight.

First, do a domain breakdown of your list or mailing segment – you want to know what percentage of your list segment belongs to each domain. For example, let's say your list breakdown is 20% Yahoo, 10% AOL, 10% Hotmail, 5% each Gmail, Comcast, ATT, Verizon, Bellsouth, Charter.net, MSN and 25% miscellaneous and corporate domains.

After sending your message, you look at the bounce report and you see no major blocks or delivery problems, just the typical invalid addresses and difficulty reaching a couple of corporate domains. Your mailing is not bouncing any of your high percentage domains, so you assume your deliverability is good. You are even happy with your 16% open rate.

Now, look closer at the 16% open rate. Breakdown the openers by domain – just like you did for the entire list or segment. You find that 2.5% of your openers are Yahoo, 15% are AOL, 0% Hotmail, 0% MSN, 7.5% each Gmail, Comcast, ATT, Verizon, Bellsouth, Charter.net, and 37.5% miscellaneous and corporate domains. Without too much further analysis, you can see you have a major problem with Hotmail/MSN mail getting filtered, and a majority of your Yahoo mail is going to bulk.

By going to their postmaster Web sites, filling out the proper delivery issue forms, and then answering follow up questions from the ISPs, you should be able to resolve the delivery issues, bringing your 16% open rate now up to 24%. That is a 50% increase in opens.

Dan Forootan is the president of StreamSend Email Marketing.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above