Email Deliverability KPIs: the ultimate guide

Email Deliverability KPIs: The ultimate guide

The key to achieving success in email deliverability is to use tracking and regularly measure your metrics. This will allow you to measure the success, or not, of your key performance targets. 

Firstly, you need to know what the objectives are and make a plan to achieve them. Then you should determine the primary objectives that you will be measuring with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).                                                 

Tracking will help identify any potential problems with your deliverability. Regular tracking will also help minimize the damage produced by the changes in spam filters by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Fixing the deliverability problems swiftly will quickly improve email deliverability.

Think of the KPIs below as an essential tool kit for the success of your business.

Firstly, what are KPIs?

KPIs are measurable values to track key business objectives. They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-related, or SMART for short. Measuring them will provide the insights needed to make better decisions and to be capable of doing a comparison of your deliverability performance over time.

Moreover, some KPIs will give a quick view of the overall performance and will tell you if the recipients are engaged. For instance, the Bounce Rate, the Click-through Rate (CTR) and the Unsubscribe Rate.

The most useful KPIs you should be tracking

If you are feeling lost and don’t know how to start, in this article we will go through the most important KPIs for deliverability. If you want to know the best email marketing metrics check out this article. Let’s learn about them:

Email Deliverability KPIs

Inbox Placement Rate

Inbox Placement Rate (IPR) is the percentage of emails that land in the targeted inbox instead of landing in the junk folder or spam folder. It is a more accurate KPI than the Delivery Rate. 

The Internet Service Provider (ISP) does not show your IPR, so we use tools like Mailercheck to do it. In order to determine where we land according to each Email Service Provider (ESP). 

This tool sends a copy of your message to a certain email marketing software contact list of email addresses and then generates the percentage of the emails delivered which land into the inbox folder. A good IPR will be 80% or higher. If it is lower than 80% it is considered as bad deliverability. 

A bad result could be a consequence of different factors, such as irrelevant content, your IP or domain reputation, and/or the recipient’s email is an invalid address. You could fix this by applying the following tips: 

Email Authentication: you should authenticate your email because it is one of the factors that helps inboxes to protect their users. This authentication corresponds to the Sender Policy Framework (SPF),  DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authorization, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC). You can read more about this in this article.

Keep your list clean: email marketing software contact list cleaning goes hand in hand with good deliverability. By removing contacts in your marketing list that either don’t open, or don’t read your messages you will improve Open and Click-through Rates, deliverability, and customer retention. How? Read this to find out more.

Segmentation: split your email marketing list into smaller groups, or “segments” based on set criteria, eg, region, business type, interests. In doing so you can tailor your campaigns, making them more relevant to each segment, rather than using a “one message fits all” approach. It will increase your engagement, if not check back with us to find out what’s going wrong.  CTA button.

Delivery Rate: indicates that your emails were accepted by the email service provider. See next section.

Delivery Rate

It is essential to have a good Delivery Rate, which means that your emails are accepted by the email service provider – but, remember, accepted doesn’t mean that it lands in the inbox. It simply indicates that the email was delivered – it could still go into the junk, spam, or the inbox folder

If you want to analyze how many emails land in the inbox you should track the Inbox Placement Rate (IPR). Read more about it in this Hubspot article.

Your sender reputation affects the Delivery Rate. You will have a number between 0 and 100 that tells how much reputation you have. The bigger the better. Moreover, a good result for Delivery Rate is more than 97%, if it is below it you should look for the root of the problem.

Delivery rate email deliverability kpi

This is where we can help. MailSoar is expert at email deliverability and solving issues that might arise – including improving performance of your KPIs. We are here to help you to ensure your emails land in the inbox.

Spam Placement Rate

This refers to the number of emails that land in the junk, or spam folder, which has all the emails marked as spam by the ESP. 

The lower your Spam Rate is, the better. It indicates that you have good email deliverability and your audience interacts with your emails. If you have a problem with this, you could contact our experts to ensure you land your email in the inbox. 

For this calculation, take the number of emails in the spam folder and divide it by the number of emails sent. If the result is more than 40%, in ESP such as Gmail or Outlook, it is high. Therefore, you should look at your message content, your subject line, your infrastructure, and the level of your engagement.

Some things in the email content can impact email deliverability, such as spam keywords, images and links from blacklisted domains, and irrelevant content for your audience. Meanwhile, in the infrastructure you should check your email and domain reputation, your sender IP, and sender score. 

Spam placement rate email deliverability kpi

Engagement Rate

It is the number of recipients who interact with your email. It could be taking action by clicking on a video, images, a CTA button or a hyperlink. 

Measuring it will require tracking three KPIs: the email Open Rate, the Click-through Rate and the Click-to-open Rate. Then, compare it with your industry average, published by Campaign Monitor. Check if you exceed, underperform, or meet your industry performance.

Industry Averages of kpis

This is where we can help. MailSoar is expert at email deliverability and solving issues that might arise – including improving performance of your KPIs. We are here to help you to ensure your emails land in the inbox.

Email Open Rate

The Email Open Rate tells you the percentage of emails opened of the total amount sent. More open emails indicate more people are interested in your subject. This is one of the most important KPIs that you need to track. Therefore, you should read this article “10 Email KPIs You Should Be Tracking”

Open rate email deliverability kpi

Bounce Rate

A “bounce” is when an email cannot reach the designated recipient and is “returned to sender” – you. Bounce Rate is the percentage of how frequently your emails “bounce”.

There are two types of Bounce Rates: soft bounce and hard bounce. You can read more about this in our article “Email Bounce Rate: How To Reduce It?” where you will find useful tips and information to help you.

Regarding the calculation, you can see it in the following picture. A good Bounce Rate is under 0.2%, meanwhile, if it is between 2% and 5% you should see in detail which is the problem. 

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Bounce rate email deliverability kpi

Rejected or Mail Block Rate

This KPI is a subset of bounced emails. The little difference is that this metric included only emails that were not delivered because of their reputation or content. It could be an issue with a huge number of spam complaints, being on a blacklist, spam words in the content, the server blocked or rejected your email because it was considered spam, and other causes.

Regarding the calculation, you have to divide the total of rejected or blocked emails by the total of emails sent, and then multiply by 100.

Block rate calculation

Spam Complaint Rate

As you probably know, the spam complaint is a factor in sender reputation. Consequently, you should pay attention to it because it will reflect your behavior to the ISPs

If you want to read more information about this KPI, such as how to calculate it, what is a good result, how you can prevent or reduce a high rate, examples of top spam words, check out this article. 

Spam Complaint rate email deliverability kpi

Unsubscription Rate

It is the percentage of email addresses that decide to unsubscribe from your subscriber list. Therefore, it is a key indicator to track if you want to evaluate the performance of your strategy. 

You have to take into account that having a decrease in the Unsubscription Rate could be positive or negative. It depends on the cause: it could indicate a higher engagement which is positive, but it could also indicate a decreasing Inbox Placement Rate which is negative. For this reason, you should track this KPI with the Inbox Placement and Spam Placement Rate. 

For additional insights about the Unsubscription Rate, you should check out our article where we talk about the calculation, what is a good rate, when you should look at it closely, and what could be the problem. 

Unsubscribe rate email deliverability kpi

Click-through Rate

The Click-through Rate is the percentage of people who click a link in your email. Therefore, you need the necessary insights to know how the engagement is going to understand more about the motivation and behavior of your subscribers.  

We explain this KPI in more detail in this article. You will learn more about the Click-through Rate, how to calculate it, what is a good rate, and how you can improve it.

Click-through rate email deliverability kpi

Click-to-open Rate (CTOR)

The difference between CTOR and CTR is that the first one is the percentage of people who click divided by the number of emails open, meanwhile, the CTR is divided by the total number of all your subscribers. This will tell how many people actually read the email and show interest in it.

There are a few things that you must take into account if you want to have a good CTOR. Firstly, you might personalize your campaigns and share relevant information with your audience. You should use the information that you already have about them and add a Call To Action (CTA), titles, or images, depending on your target audience or segment. If a reader is interested in what you have written, they are more likely to click the CTA. 

Finally, you have to take care of the design. It should catch the attention of your customer, so put the best images that you have near the top. You should make it easy to click the CTA and the links have to be clear and highlighted to stand out from the rest of the email. 

Regarding the calculation, it is easy, take the number of clicks made and divide it by the number of emails opened, then multiply it by 100. Like this:

Click to open rate email deliverability kpi

Generally speaking, a good CTOR is between 20% and 30%, but you should always compare with your industry’s average. 

If you still need help to achieve good rates, MailSoar can help you improve them and increase your email deliverability. Our team of experts is used to managing the ongoing deliverability of massive senders from all industries.

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