The two primary measures in email marketing are open and click rates. Most of us know that that an ‘open’ implies that the recipient has taken an action to read an email. A click is quite simply a click on a hyperlink in the email campaign.
How to calculate the open rate
That sounds simple enough but the open rate isn’t typically calculated as the proportion of all emails sent that were opened. The calculation for the open rate is calculated by Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact and numerous other marketing services as the proportion of emails sent, minus bounces, that were opened.
How does Mailchimp know that an email has been opened?
When you send an HTML email campaign, most email marketing providers insert a small transparent image that leads to a unique tracking URL. When that image is opened by the recipients email reader, the email marketing service knows that the image has been loaded by the recipient and the email is determined as opened by that recipient.
Because measurement of opens relies on the image being loaded, if the recipient has images blocked, an open won’t be recorded even if the recipient has in fact read the email. Open rates are not therefore entirely accurate.
How does Mailchimp know an email address has bounced?
A bounce is a non-delivery of a sent message. Your email service knows that a message couldn’t be delivered as it may be informed by the receiving email server if there is an issue or, alternately, your sending service may not be able to connect to the receiving server (read more about checking which of your email addresses will bounce).
There are two primary categories of bounces that are reported in most email marketing platforms; hard bounces and soft bounces.
A hard bounce is a permanent delivery issue and include instances such as where the sending email address was spelt incorrectly and where a person is no longer available at the email address.
A soft bounce is typically a temporary delivery issue such as a connection not being possible between the sending service as the receiving email server.
I hope that this article helped with queries you may have about email marketing open rates. Please leave a comment below if you have questions.