Understanding email statistics

One of the key benefits of Email Marketing is its accountability. However, understanding what the statistics actually mean and how they relate to the success of your marketing campaigns is crucial. The Sign-Up.to platform has a wide range of analysis tools which come free with every account. Here's a guide to the key statistics you need to know.

Open Rate

This statistic shows the number of unique users who've opened your message. Unlike some email marketing platforms that simply count every time anyone opens your message, the Sign-Up.to system identifies unique opens, so you can distinguish between 100 different people opening your campaign and the same person opening it 100 times.

What it tells you: The number of unique people who actually loaded up the images in your campaign, either by properly opening your message or by viewing it in the preview pane of their email client.

What it doesn't tell you: How many people actually read your email. Just because someone opened your message doesn't mean they read it. Also, because open rate tracking relies on the user loading images, some recipients may have read your message but not loaded the images.

What it's good for: Providing an overall impression of the success of your campaign compared to previous campaigns and indicating how successful the subject line was in getting subscribers to at least preview your message.

Open Rate by Time

This statistic shows you what time of day people are actually reading your message. The open rate by time is displayed hourly for the 48 hours after you send your campaign. The same rules of accuracy apply as for opening rates.

What it's good for: Assessing whether you're sending your email out at the optimum time. If most people read your email in the afternoon but you send it in the morning you could try scheduling your campaign for later in the day and see if that increases response.


These are the number of messages which didn't make it to the subscribers' inboxes. There are two types of bounces:

Hard Bounces are caused by a permanent problem with a recipient's email account, for example if that email account is no longer active or the server doesn't exist.

Soft Bounces are temporary issues with delivering to the recipient, commonly caused by their inbox being full or a delay due to network issues. A soft bounce usually indicates that the message reached the recipient's server and was then rejected. Sometimes a soft-bounced message will be successfully delivered later, or may become a hard bounce.

If you want more information about hard and soft bounces, check out our detailed bounce guide.

What it tells you: How many people definitely didn't get your message. For regularly-used lists, this should remain fairly constant for each campaign. As people change email addresses or go on holiday, it's normal for a proportion of messages sent to any given list to both hard- and soft-bounce.

What it doesn't tell you: There is no set standard for defining a bounce due to the recipient's system determining your message to be spam, so you can't get an accurate measure of this from bounce rates.

What it's good for: If you see an unusually high bounce rate for a campaign sent to a list you use regularly, it's likely that spam filters are the cause. Occasionally a large number of soft bounces may indicate that a lot of your list members are on holiday.

Link Clicks

Your Sign-Up.to account is able to show you detailed information on who clicked the links in your campaigns. The most vital information you need to be able to see is detailed below.

Number of unique users who clicked links. This is the number of unique people and not just an aggregate total of all links clicked. This shows you how many people actually performed an action in response to your campaign.

Number of unique users who clicked on each link in your campaign. You are able to see exactly how many people clicked on each link in your campaign, who they are and at what time they clicked. This lets you identify what copy, offers and other devices work best in your campaigns and which calls to action are less successful. The Sign-Up.to system automatically identifies individuals who clicked on specific links and allows you to send them specially targeted followup emails in response using Marketing automation.

Link click by time. Similar to the open rate by time statistics, this shows you when people actually interact with your message. You can compare this with the open rate by time and see if people reading your message at a specific time are more likely to perform a given action, helping you decide when the best time is to send your message.

Unsubscription Rate

Any email campaign you send must carry an unsubscription link and Sign-Up.to shows you how many subscribers use this link to stop receiving your messages.

What it tells you: How many people no longer want to receive communications from you.

What it doesn't tell you: Why. It could be that they've changed job or subscribed with another address, or it could be that your offers don't interest them anymore.

What it's good for: If your unsubscription rate suddenly increases (more than 1% of your list) then you've got problems – perhaps you're not meeting your audience's expectations.

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