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Your Email Metrics Can Be All Wrong…

Date Added: November 23, 2011 08:20:09 PM
Author: AnchorComputer
Category: Internet Marketing: Marketing
The average “open rate” declined by 9% from the year before, while click rates remained the same or increased. Did you know that “open rates” are not a perfect measure and some opens may not even be recorded! If you are using “open rates” to measure the success of your email campaigns, it is important you have a good understanding on how “open rates” are determined and may be affecting your campaign reporting. Many marketers believe that “open rates” are simply based on the number of emails opened. This is not the case. In fact, the definition of email “opens” is the number one misunderstood and misused metric in the email marketing industry. What do images have to do with opens? Image blocking is one of the main factors that effect the accuracy ofyour “open rate” reporting. Most email marketing software tracks open rates by adding a tiny gif (image) to every HTML message sent. When the email is opened, this image is downloaded from the web server and reports back that an open has occurred for that reader. However, recording an “open” can only happen if the reader’s email software is able to display/download images. In order to cut back on spam, email mailbox programs and free web mail providers such as AOL and Gmail, block images by default and prompt readers to choose whether or not they want to download the images for each email they receive. This means readers can still read your email messages without viewing images and therefore opens are not accurately reported. Image blocking has had a major affect on how legitimate marketers measure campaign open rates. Email preview panes, another factor to consider that is affecting your open rate accuracy. Many of your readers may use an email client that has a preview pane, such as Outlook and Gmail. A preview pane allows your emails to be displayed and will download images automatically. This will register as an opened email, without the reader to ever have to read or click on it. What’s the bottom line? Although “open rates” are not 100% accurate, the metric can still be a good measurement for tracking campaign responsiveness when used in combination with other metrics – especially click-thrus. Using the “open rate” as a general metric will help determine changes in regular campaign activity when a rise or fall occurs. For example, when AOL decided to disable images for all customers who receive emails on, marketers saw a significant drop in their open rates which alerted them a change had occurred and allowed them to differentiate a change in the campaign’s render rates – not an overall drop in campaign success! Be proactive in getting images viewed! Increase open rate accuracy and deliverability by asking your readers to add your from address to their address book. If your from address is in the address book, your images will automatically display! This may also help keep spam complaints low and increase your chances of being Whitelisted!
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