Email Analytics

Measuring the response of email campaigns need to take into account the full user journey.  This starts with Campaign Response – how many people respond to your email and how many you retain for future campaigns.  Then you look at Website Behaviour – how do users engage.  This can be a measure of quality of your email lists or the quality of your landing pages and website content.  Finally, Business Outcomes – the hard end of your campaign – does it work, does sell products?

Campaign Response

Delivery Rate = (# of emails – # of bounce backs)/ # of emails sent

Open Rate = # of emails opened / # of email sent

Click-to-open rate (CTOR) = # of clicks / # of emails opened

Subscriber retention rate = # subscribers – bounce backs – unsubscribers / # subscribers

Website Behaviour

Bounce Rate = # of email campaign visits with a single Pageviews / # of email campaign visits

Length of Visit = percent of email campaign visits that last longer than xx seconds

Business Outcomes

Conversion Rate = # Orders / # of email campaign Visits

Average Revenue per Email Sent = total revenue / # of emails sent

Email Campaign Profitability = (Revenue generated – campaign cost – cost of goods sold) / # of emails sent

Email Domain Configuration

If you want to avoid your emails being blocked by the major email providers you need to update your MX Records to let them know you’re not Spam.

There are many references on this subject:

Sender Policy Framework Project

The Authentication and Online Trust Alliance resource centre

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

The Internet Engineering Task Force – DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Signatures RFC4871

Requirements for a DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) Signing Practices Protocol RFC5016

SenderID: Authenticating E?Mail RFC4406

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) for Authorizing Use of Domains in E?Mail RFC4408

There are instructions in this document to follow too:

Email Domain Configuration

Email Analytic Metrics

In order to understand the success of an email there are 5 industry standard metrics. All Email delivery systems report on the same standard metrics. They are:

Bounce rate is the number of emails returned as undeliverable expressed as a percentage of total emails sent.

A hard bounce is an email returned because delivering it is impossible. The email account may be closed, but for whatever reason, that email address is permanently out of touch.

A soft bounce happens when delivery is delayed temporarily. Soft bounces happen because of technical conditions such as full mailbox or a server being down temporarily.

Delivered total is the number of emails that were not bounced and therefore assumed delivered.

Open rate is the number of email recipients who opened the message expressed as a percentage of total number of email assumed to be delivered.

Click-through rate is the number of unique individuals who click on one or more links in your email expressed as a percentage of total number of messages opened.

Unsubscribe is the amount of people that unsubscribe from the email

Email Delivery systems will also tell you more about which links in an email were actually clicked too. No doubt you’ll be sending subscribers to a landing page with some kind of analytics tool. Ensuring the links of the email contain the appropriate tracking code is important for the analytics tool to identify the email as the source of traffic. If set-up correctly, the analytics system will be able to track if subscribers behaviour when they reach your website.

Email HTML Specification

Basic HTML Email Specifications:

  • Subject line 50 Characters max.
  • Provide a link to a browser version
  • Tested and QA’d to rendered in specified browsers
  • File size 60k Max.
  • Max width 600pixels
  • HTML coding for optimum accessibility and character rendering – it
    is recommended to use ISO05588-1 (Latin 1), W3C HTML 4.0, UTF-8
    coding to ensure best compatibility and rendering.
  • Do not use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Never include scripts in your email
  • Don’t use Flash elements
  • Ensure that all images have relevant ALT tags
  • Text Version
  • Analytics tracking

Email Tips

More Email Tips

  • Beware of image disabling – Dont make your emails graphically based otherwise emails will appear blank when they hit the inbox
  • Test sample subject headers and messages to see what performs best
  • Avoid “spam trigger” words in your subject line (free,
    discount, now only, one time, winner, hello, amazing, opportunity,
    promise, guaranteed, as well as the use of question and exclamation
  • Personalize email messages with dynamic content
  • Frequency is as important as content – if you email too much subscribers may get overwhelemed and become unsubscribers.
  • Put important content at the top of the message – it’s where you get you clicks so get as many links as possible above the fold
  • Keep up-to-date with the Competition.  OPpena dummy account and subscribe to your competitors emails – what are they doing well and what are they doing badly?
  • Avoid long messages full of text – they’re going to scan your email to see if there’s anything interesting not read it…
  • Have a clear call to action(s)

Email Checklist

Setting up an email to broadcast in your email delivery system can be relatively straight forward but only if you have all the information you need.

These are the key details you’ll need to have:

Sender Email Address

  • Who is the email being sent (you should not use no-reply emails).
  • You use a real person
  • For B2B clients you may want to use the CEO or Sales contact, if appropriate

Subject Headline

  • What headline(s) will you be using (or testing)
  • 50 Characters max.

HTML Email Specification

  • Provide a link to a browser version
  • Tested and QA’d to rendered in specified browsers
  • File size 60k Max.
  • Max width 600pixels
  • HTML coding for optimum accessibility and character rendering – it
    is recommended to use ISO05588-1 (Latin 1), W3C HTML 4.0, UTF-8
    coding to ensure best compatibility and rendering.
  • Do not use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Never include scripts in your email
  • Don’t use Flash elements
  • Ensure that all images have relevant ALT tags

Text Version

  • Mobile phones may require text versions of the email.

Analytics Tracking URLs

  • All links featured in the email should use unique url’s so each can be tracked and measured within the landing page/microsite. These should already be inserted within the HTML.


  • A database of emails and appropriate fields all formatted as agreed.
  • Perform regular deduplication and cleansing on databases
  • Run email HELO (ping) testing to ensure emails are correct
  • Adhere strictly to countries’ emailing legislation – get people to opt -in
  • Implement unsubscribe requests immediately

Salutation format (Dear Jon, Dear Mr Jon etc.)

  • Salutation needs to be confirmed and fields in database need to be specified and delivered

Sign-off format (Name, job title, etc..)

  • confirmation of sign-off details (and number of senders – multiple senders may require multiple campaign set-ups and data management)

Test email addresses

  • a list of recipients that will need to receive a final test email to sign-off before the email goes live

Customer Segmentation for Email Retention Campaigns

There are many different segmentation methods, but the following 3 criteria can be used as a guide to indentify target audiences for email retention campaigns:

  • Past customer interest in company products and services
  • Previous customer behaviour to marketing
  • Customer demographic information

You can further segment your database by mixing and matching characteristics from the following list:

  • Products or services purchased
  • Frequency of purchases
  • Value of purchases made in the defined period
  • Average price of purchase / Average order value
  • Reaction to discounts on products or services
  • Utilization of special promotions such as free shipping
  • Demographics such as age, gender, income level, family status, education level, occupation, hobbies, interests, and so on.
  • Geographic segmentation based on location

Try not to over complicate segmentations at first – test, refine and implement.

Promotional Email Themes

Promotional Emails can be broken down into 4 different themes:

  • Promotional Email
  • Informational Emails
  • Procedural Emails
  • Relational Emails
  • Transactional Emails

Promotional Email Themes

Promotional emails try to persuade your audience to take a specific action or to make a specific purchase decision.

The type of content a promotional email might include would be:

– Product images and descriptions
– Coupons and rebates
– Testimonials from satisfied customers or laudatory reviews of your product or service
– An offer deadline – the expiration date so that customers act quickly
– Links that call for action or directions on how to take action

Informational Email Themes

Informational emails help when you just want to educate your audience and help them form an opinion.

The type of content that may feature in a information based email would be:

– News articles, stories and narratives
– Opinions and viewpoints
– Event calendars
– Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Procedural Themes

A procedural theme is what you use when the main objective of your email is to give official instructions or explain processes.

Content featured in a Procedural Theme would include:

– Text welcoming a new customer or list subscriber
– Notifications, official statements, disclosures and warranties

Relational Themes

Use a relational theme to build or deepen personal relationships. Such as thanking a Customer for their loyalty.

These emails may include:

– Greetings and acknowledgments
– News or stories about personal experiences
– Customer recognition messages

Transactional Emails

A transactional email isn’t initiated for pure marketing purposes, its main purpose is to convey information to a customer. However, they all carry opportunity to carry additional marketing messages for up-sell or cross-sell purposes.

The following are examples of transactional email messages:

– Order confirmation
– Notice of shipping
– Notification of changes made to account
– Monthly account statements
– Change in terms and conditions of service
– Information on warranty or product recalls

Transactional emails are powerful because:

– They have high open rates and reading rates.
– They have the ability to target recent customer behaviour (products they have recently purchased or enquiries they may have made reveal marketing opportunities).
– They can reinforce and expand company brand by including brand promos without appearing pushy.