Industry lacks e-mail metrics standards: EEC
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
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
"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.