Email Marketing KPI: Return Path posts new KPIs regarding deliverability

Return Path, the deliverability company, has posted a new article on their blog concerning the use of email marketing KPI to measure success.
Basic email marketing KPIs you could consider are:

  • open rate (for exposure)
  • bounce rate (for list quality)
  • unsubscribe rate (also list quality)
  • click rate (engagement within inbox)
  • clicks on site or web store (ROI, if measured this way)
  • sales / downloads / etc (ROI)

Return Path adds another type of email marketing KPI: this type is about what happens between sending an email marketing campaign and actions (or inactions) within the inbox.
The KPIs posted by Return Path are the following:

  • Inbox Placement Rate (IPR)
  • Spam rate
  • Read rate
  • Deleted without reading
  • ISP-marked spam
  • User-marked spam
  • TINS (“this is not spam”) – categorized by the user as “not spam”
  • Forwarded

The trouble with the second set of email marketing KPIs posted by Return Path is the fact that quite a few ESPs out there can’t (or won’t) deliver those stats to their clients. The article notes that this fills the black hole between ‘delivered’ and ‘opened’.
The article continues with tips on how to increase opens of email campaigns. These tips include carefully crafting a good subject line. The length of the subject line influences the open rate, but the day an email campaign is sent out influences it as well:
So, if you want to maximise results, it seems your days of sending should be Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. Then again, your mileage may vary. Keep testing, keep optimizing, keep learning. What worked last month or last year may not work today. Because your contacts list changes over time, so do their habits of email. Keep up with it and eventually you will be succesful in email marketing.

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