What does it mean when a subscriber opens my email several times?

There are several reasons why a subscriber may appear to have opened your email many times.

1. Most likely is that your subscriber simply did open your campaign multiple times. It is very common for people to open an email more than once - they are interested in your email and can potentially come back to look at it many times.

2. A subscriber could have a "Preview Pane" feature enabled in his or her email client. In this case, every time the campaign email was clicked or scrolled to in the "Preview Pane", and the images are downloaded, the subscriber's address displays as having opened the campaign.

3. If the subscriber uses the email client to "forward" the email campaign instead of using our Forward to a Friend feature, any subsequent opens by those recipients show as another "open" under the original subscriber.

The Unique HTML Opened count in your Campaign Snapshot indicates the total number of unique opens for that entire campaign and does not take multiple opens into account.

What percentage of my subscribers receive my emails successfully?

It is impossible to tell exactly how many subscribers successfully receive your email campaign in their inbox, because not all ISPs and corporate mail administrators send non-delivery bounce notices and some subscribers may have set up their own spam filters, which can prevent your email from reaching their inbox.

We do report the exact number of email addresses that the email campaign was sent to, and we report the exact number of email addresses where we receive a bounce notice. We cannot report a truly 100% accurate number of "Opens" due to issues with text emails and ISPs and email clients that strip away the open tracking feature.

So the most important thing you can do is look at your open rates over time - are they improving, staying still or getting worse? Even if the absolute numbers are not 100% accurate, you can assume the measurement is consistently out between campaigns. So the trend is more important than the individual figures.

What is a reasonable unsubscribe rate for a campaign?

Generally, if you receive less than a 2% unsubscribe rate, you are within industry norms. The one exception is when you send to new lists, as they naturally tend to generate a higher unsubscribe rate than previously emailed lists.

Keep in mind that if your readers are no longer interested in your content, it is best to let them unsubscribe quickly and easily. That way, if they later are interested again, they will be left with a good impression of you.

Obscuring or hiding the unsubscribe link, on the other hand, will just frustrate people and lead to possible spam complaints.

What do the terms in my campaign report like opened, clicked, bounced, etc mean?

The Campaign Snapshot contains a number of important terms which explain the most recent results for each campaign you send. Below is a quick explanation about what these figures actually mean.

Total Opened

The total number of times your campaign was viewed by your recipients. This means that if you send a campaign to 2 recipients and one reads your email twice while the other reads it once, the total opened will be 3.

Unique Opened

The unique opened does not take repeat opens into account, meaning the figure represents the total number of recipients that actually opened your campaign.

Clicks

The Clicks data provides a number of important figures about the links in your campaign. As an example, "2,481 (14.28%) recipients clicked 7 links" tells us the following:

1. A total of 2,481 recipients clicked at least one link.

2. This resulted in a click-through rate of 14.28%.

3. All up, 7 different links in the campaign were clicked.

Unsubscribed

The unsubscribed data tells you the total number of recipients that clicked the unsubscribe link in the campaign and also provides you with the percentage of recipients that unsubscribed.

Bounced

The bounce data tells you the total number of recipients that bounced and also provides you with the percentage of recipients that bounced.

Delivered

The delivered count tells you the total number of emails that were successfully delivered to your recipients. It is equal to the total number of messages sent minus the total number that bounced back. The delivered percentage tells us the total percentage of messages that were successfully delivered.

Should I assume that an email address that doesn't bounce has been delivered?

No, you should not make that assumption. An email can bounce, but not show up in our Bounce Reports if the receiving ISP or corporate mail administrator does not reply to us with a non-delivery bounce notice.

Unfortunately, we don't have any way to confirm that - we've sent the email out, and nothing has come back to us. This is just an unavoidable part of how email works.

How long does it take for a bounced email to appear in reports?

In most cases bounced emails appear within minutes of delivery. However, some may take up to 4 days to appear as bounces. You can monitor this by visiting the "Bounces Over Time Report" report frequently. You will also notice your email campaign statistics change during the 4-day period after sending a campaign.

A bounce is a message that comes back from the recipient's mail server, saying the message could not be delivered. That can be a permanent failure (a hard bounce) or a temporary failure (a soft bounce). We will only show a bounce in your reports once all the attempts to redeliver a temporarily bounced email have failed.

For that reason, it may not show up for some time.

How many bounces are normal for a campaign?

Even double opt-in lists can experience high bounce levels the first time they are used. The first mailing to an opt-in list typically experiences a 20% bounce back rate, so don't be alarmed if yours is in that range.

If you have a significantly higher bounce rate, we recommend you look more deeply into how the list was gathered, how frequently it has been used and how bounces and unsubscribes have been handled in the past.

What is a hard and soft bounce and how do I reduce the number of emails that bounce?

A 'bounce' means that your email was sent to a specific address, but the mail server that received the email for that person has sent it back, saying it could not be delivered. There are quite a few different reasons that might happen, and we can divide them into two main categories.

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient's mail server (it recognizes the address) but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. A soft bounce might occur because the recipient's mailbox is full, the server is down or swamped with messages, or the message is too large.

Soft bounces can also include things like auto-replies to your email.

Once an email has soft bounced 3 times without any trackable activity it will automatically be converted to a hard bounce and be removed from your list.

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to the sender and is permanently undeliverable. Causes include invalid addresses (domain name doesn't exist, typos, changed address, etc.) or the email recipient's mail server has blocked your server. Servers can sometimes interpret bounces differently, meaning a soft bounce on one server may be classified as a hard bounce on another.

Our email sending application automatically moves subscribers that hard bounce into a "Bounced Subscribers" category, so they don't receive future campaigns.

As well as using the built in bounce handling features, here are some quick tips on ways you can reduce bounces even further:

Keep your subscriber lists clean:

We will automatically remove invalid email addresses as you add them, but when new subscribers sign up via a subscribe form, they may enter the wrong address. Check each list for incorrectly formatted addresses, invalid domains and typos.

Use double opt-in:

When creating a subscriber list, set it as double opt-in, allowing each address to be validated by the subscriber before it can be added to your list.

Monitor Delivery Rates By Domain:

Track your open and bounces rates by major domain, such as AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, Earthlink and others. If one is significantly different than the others, or your experience a sudden change, your campaign may be getting caught by spam filters.

Test Your Emails:

Prior to sending your campaign to your entire list, send a test to yourself and others. Make sure you try and include all the major types of email clients used by members of your list when testing.

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