Industry lacks e-mail metrics standards: EEC

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A lack of standards exists around industry metrics, bounce data, 
definitions and bounce management practices, according to a new study 
by the Email Experience Council.
"The State of Email Metrics and Bounce Management" report  found that 
these issues make it difficult for senders to improve the 
effectiveness of campaigns, manage lists and maintain good 
reputations. The project was developed by the EEC's Deliverability 
Roundtable chair Deirdre Baird, president/CEO of Pivotal Veracity, 
and Bounce Project Committee co-chair Dave Lewis, with participating 
roundtable members from Datran Media, e-Marketing Strategies, Listrak 
and Return Path.
"I see the EEC report as a wake-up call that marketers can't always 
trust what they believe their results to be," said Mr. Lewis, who is 
vice president of market development at StrongMail Systems, Redwood 
City, CA . "And that false sense of security about campaign 
performance can have disastrous consequences in terms of e-mail 
delivery, reputation and bottom line."
The survey is based on the responses from 321 mailers and 29 e-mail 
service providers.
Findings demonstrate a significant variance in how senders calculate 
metrics. The lack of consistency in calculating performance metrics 
makes it impossible to establish industry benchmarks or compare results.
The study said there is inconsistency in bounce data provided by 
Internet service providers, corporate domains and other e-mail 
receivers. Widespread industry disagreement on key bounce definitions 
remains a challenge.
In addition, despite the fact that there is confusion about the 
definition of bounce management, the survey found that mailers and 
ESPs face problems maintaining clean lists and retrying temporary 
failures.
"While we have not proposed standards, that's clearly where we need 
to go as an industry, and I do believe that the basis for such 
consensus is contained in the EEC report," Mr. Lewis said.

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