|SharpSpring uses industry standard metrics in order to report on how your emails are performing. This article explains the various email reporting metrics, and how these metrics and statistics are pertinent to you and your customers.
Understanding how your jobs and lists are performing is paramount to achieving a good sending status and ensuring your emails continue to reach your contacts. In order to ensure delivery of your email campaigns to your contacts, it is important to prove to ISPs that you have a history of providing relevant content to recipients who want to receive it. With ISPs turning further and further to your particular domain's sending reputation, every job you send has the potential to impact your sending reputation. Understanding these metrics helps get your emails to the inbox.
|Historically, SharpSpring would attempt to send to any recipient on your contact lists that did not fall under the Exclusions tab. However, SharpSpring has recently implemented a third-party abuse prevention system that may impact your list size due to certain addresses being suppressed. SharpSpring now also focuses on the engagement level of each contact.||
Note: A list's Exclusions tab counter will display the total number of leads currently excluded from the list.
Delivered emails are messages that have been confirmed by the recipient's server as having been accepted. Normally, the easiest way to calculate your delivery rate is to subtract your hard and soft bounces from your messages sent, and then divide that number by the messages sent. The resulting number is the percentage of emails that arrived at your recipient's server.
Your delivery rate can give you a surprising amount of information about your list and reputation. If you seem to have consistently low delivery, it may be prudent for you to contact SharpSpring to identify the specific issue.
Opens are all emails that are clicked on and opened. Another interesting trend in the email deliverability ecosystem is the movement toward engagement-based reputation. There is now a considerable amount of tools and technology available to email senders. In order to be considered a good sender, one must do more than just not send spam. You should strive to send emails that your recipients want to read and interact with.
SharpSpring tracks your email opens by inserting a small, transparent tracking pixel into every email sent from the platform. When the email is opened in the recipient's email client, the tracking pixel is rendered, and the open event is captured in SharpSpring. However, if the recipient's email client disables images, opens will not be tracked. This does not happen often, and this is a limitation of all marketing automation platforms.
Opens are a great indicator that your emails are engaging your recipients. This shows that the email is interesting enough to a recipient for them to view.
Note: A preview pane allows for recipients to view an email without opening the entirety of the message. Emails opened in a preview pane will only register as opens in SharpSpring if the recipient email client has images enabled for the preview pane.
Your open rate can be calculated by dividing the number of opened emails by the number of emails delivered. However, it is not a perfect statistic, as a recipient may need to open an email to unsubscribe or report it as spam. Also, there are internet service providers (ISPs) that may falsely report opens if the email is previewed.
A click rate is the number of people that have received an email and then both opened and clicked to be redirected to the intended website. In nearly all cases, this means your email caught your recipient's eye, had enough engaging content to spark their interest, and enticed them to visit your site. A high click rate—which can be determined as clicks divided by delivered emails—indicates that you are creating high-quality, successful email campaigns. High click rates translate to a great sending reputation.
Unique Opens and Clicks
By using unique opens and clicks as a metric, you remove the risk that your rates may be inflated by a particular recipient opening or clicking multiple times. This gives you a more objective view of how many recipients you engaged.
Spam complaints are direct complaints that SharpSpring receives through ISP feedback loops. These feedback loops let SharpSpring know that a recipient marked an email as spam. A high spam complaint rate with an ISP will have a negative impact on how an they view you as a sender. The lower the spam complaint rate, the better. Keeping this rate as low as possible should be one of your top priorities.
The industry standard ceiling for your send should be no higher than 0.1% spam complaints in your entire send. However, SharpSpring recommends aiming for less than 0.08%. This is because not all ISPs supply feedback loops to report when a recipient marks an email as spam. That means there is a portion of spam complaints not being reported—but they are still influencing the ISP’s decision on if your mail should go to the inbox, spam folder, junk folder, or be rejected from delivery altogether.
SharpSpring is signed up to receive all available feedback loops, but it is important to understand there is a portion of your recipients who may be marking your emails as spam. Since SharpSpring does not receive that information, SharpSpring cannot include that spam complaint in your spam complaint rate. Additionally, SharpSpring's Unsubscribe Survey can give you additional insight into how your recipients view your mail.
For more information on how to keep your spam complaint rate low and your deliverability rate high, refer to Email Best Practices.
In the Unsubscribe Survey, SharpSpring provides options to indicate if the recipient considers the email spam or did not opt-in to receive it. While this choice will not necessarily affect your reputation with ISPs, SharpSpring uses this information internally for determining your reputation pool and sending reputation. As feedback for third-party spam complaints can vary between ISPs, tracking these unsubscribes for spam complaints reasons provides SharpSpring with an internal feedback loop. Like third-party spam complaints, you should strive to keep these types of unsubscribes at a minimum by confirming opt-ins and providing quality content in your emails.
Hard bounces are emails that are rejected by the recipient ISP and are marked as permanently undeliverable. The most common reasons for a hard bounce are that the email recipient does not exist, or the address that is being sent to is formatted incorrectly. While hard bounces are not inherently bad, an abnormally high bounce rate can be indicative of an outdated list.
High bounce rates can also indicate a purchased list. Purchased lists, in particular, can be dangerous, as they may be riddled with ISP spam traps. Compared to opt-in lists, these lists also have a substantially higher chance to be flagged as spam. As such, SharpSpring does not allow the use of purchased lists.
Bounce rates are calculated by using total sends as the denominator instead of deliveries, as deliveries already calculates out for your bounces.
Contacts that have been hard-bounced are automatically unsubscribed to prevent further emails being sent to those contacts.
Soft bounces are emails that are rejected by the recipient ISP and are marked as temporarily undeliverable. As there are a number of reasons that an email may be temporarily rejected from a recipient’s server, soft bounces are not a good indicator of poor email performance. However, a high soft bounce rate is far from inconsequential. While an email may be rejected due to that the recipient’s server was full, there may be other reasons. For example, soft bounces could be a result of a rejection based on the sender’s reputation, or that the the email was rejected due to being sent to a protected domain.
A soft bounce within SharpSpring is indicative of a temporary failure to make the connection, such as a server timeout error. Due to the nature of soft bounces, there may have been multiple attempts to make the connection already before the failure was registered. Once the email has been registered as a soft bounce in SharpSpring, the system will not reattempt delivery of that specific email job. If an email address experiences repeated soft bounces after several email sends, the system will consider the email address as undeliverable and convert the soft bounce to a hard bounce. The conversion to a hard bounce is done to prevent the risk of further failed delivery attempts diminishing sender reputation.
The following are emails that SharpSpring suppresses in order to prevent sending to bad recipients:
Email addresses that would normally hard bounce due to bad
formatting. Bad formatting can include person@company or
person.company.com. For more information on which email
addresses are suppressed, refer to Understanding Role-Based Addresses.
Emails that are marked to not be sent to a recipient multiple
times that have been queued to be sent to a contact again.
SharpSpring is integrated with a third-party application that
removes addresses that match with known ISP spam traps
or bad domains that would otherwise ruin your reputation.
Email addresses for contacts with an engagement score of 0
and, if enabled, an engagement score of 1-4.
These suppressions are not sent to your list, and they should account for any discrepancies between your list size at time of send and the number of sends that show up in your email job report.
When dealing with problematic email addresses, be aware that, as there are billions upon billions of email addresses in use, identifying invalid or toxic addresses is an impossible task from a user's perspective. It is instead better to focus on identifying those contacts that will engage with you meaningfully through confirmed opt-ins, opens, and clicks.
Workflows are limited to 10% of the overall job limit for a given instance, which is defined by that instance's sender status. If the sender status is Healthy, and the job limit is 100,000, then workflows will be capped at 10,000. This cap applies to a single scheduling of a given workflow. The customer can alternately segment the list into smaller chunks in order to schedule the workflow to the entire lead segment, if needed.