Email Campaign Basics – Open, Clicks and Bounce

Email campaigns are one of the oldest, most common forms of digital marketing. But sifting through the campaign reports can be quite mind boggling, especially when it comes to the terminology. Here’s a quick cheat-sheet on what Open, Click-through, Hard Bounce, Soft Bounce and Unsubscribe mean.

Open Rates
This is the percentage of subscribers on your campaign list who open your email. In our email campaigns, we embed  a unique invisible image file into each email. Whenever a user opens the email, the image gets downloaded and we record the download as an open. We can measure unique opens as well as multiple opens by the same subscriber.

Clicks and Click-through Rates
This is the percentage of subscribers on your campaign list who click on any link in your email. Every time we blast an email campaign, each email sent to the user will contain a unique code identifying the link and the user. This way we know exactly who and what your users click (isn’t that great?!).

Soft Bounce and Hard Bounce
This is the bit where it confuses most people. Emails that bounce simply means that it didn’t get through to the subscriber. There are two kinds of bounced emails – Hard Bounce and Soft Bounce. Soft Bounce usually occurs when the subscriber is away (‘I am away on leave from…”) or when the mailbox is full. Hard Bounce usually happens when the email address is invalid (either mispelled or does not exist) or when the recipient’s mail server marks your mail as spam (horror!).

This is the percentage of subscribers in your campaign list that unsubscribed from your mailing list. If the rate is high, that’s a great cause of worry. And no, you cannot remove the ‘unsubscribe’ button from your email because a) it is bad practice and b) it’s against the law under Singapore’s Spam Control Act.

So there you go. You’re now less likely to make a fool of yourself during those dreaded post-campaign briefings!