Email and subscriber engagement metrics are directly tied to email deliverability - the likelihood of your email campaigns actually reaching your subscribers’ inboxes.

How is engagement measured?

The metrics below are an indication of your overall email marketing program and measure your ability to get the right message to the right recipient at the right time. Improving these metrics is a critical effort that is important to being a successful email marketer.

Email Metrics

Best Practices

Spam Rates

0.1% or less

Bounce Rates

1% or less

Open Rates (unique)

15% or higher


0.7% or less

In addition to monitoring email metrics, email providers often use the following factors to evaluate email engagement:

  • How many times messages are forwarded

  • How often messages are ignored/unopened

  • How often messages are deleted without being read

  • How often a sender is added to a contact book

  • How often a message is moved from one folder to another

What do these metrics mean?

Spam Rate

This is the strongest negative signal to Email Providers about the emails you send. Rates above 0.2% are considered high, but even rates as low as .08% can start to adversely affect deliverability and may lead to Email Providers blocking your email.

Some best practices to keep Spam rates low are:

  • having a clear, easy-to-find unsubscribe or email list opt-out link. This will prevent recipients from reporting spam on your emails simply because the unsubscribe button was too difficult to find.

  • limiting the amount of email you send to your subscribers. Most spam reports are from recipients getting too much email, or getting email they didn’t expect to receive.

Low Open Rates

This can be a signal that you’re:

  • sending too frequently

  • sending to unengaged recipients or are not practicing proper list maintenance

  • have subject lines that are not relevant or compelling for your subscribers

Every message that goes unopened is hurting your reputation to a small degree. Low open and engagement rates can lead to email providers blocking your emails or filtering your messages to the spam folder.

Low Click Through Rates

This can signal that your emails:

  • lack compelling content

  • are not personalized to the recipient

  • do not have a call to action enticing a recipient to click on the email

The goal of every eCommerce email campaign is to increase revenue for the store. Getting subscribers to click on email content and go back to your store is vital for success.

High Unsubscribe Rates

This is not necessarily a negative factor for your reputation, but it acts as a strong signal that your content and sending cadence misaligns with what your subscriber wants.

Why Is There a Discrepancy In My Unsubscribe Numbers?

If you are seeing a discrepancy in the number of Unsubscribes from your Exchange features versus your Email Lists, keep the following information in mind.

Emails can be listed as unsubscribed on the Exchange but not on your Email Lists because the emails are being reported as Spam. Springbot Exchange finds any spam reports and labels these as Unsubscribes in the Exchange reporting. However, the Email List page will only show unsubscribes that happen when the user clicks specifically to Unsubscribe from the list.

Bounce Rates

While not technically engagement metrics, they should be watched closely as they have an impact on your sender reputation and deliverability. Email provides will often throttle your message sending or automatically send email to junk folders until they get more positive engagement signals from initial recipients and determine what to do with the rest of your list.

Some tactics to improve bounce rates are:

  • following a proper email and list warm-up schedule when sending from a new domain, ESP or IP address

  • not purchasing email lists from 3rd parties and/or cleaning bad emails from your lists

  • focus on sending to highly engaged subscribers until your reputation and email metrics improve

Email Best Practices Checklist

Consider the following checklist when considering how to improve open rates, unsubscribe rates, and other engagement metrics:

  • Do I have engaging subject lines that encourage recipients to open email without using common spam indicators (excessive exclamations, hidden text, spam trigger words/phrases, etc.)?

  • Does my email contain 1-3 clear, concise calls to action (CTAS)? Check out these Top Email Marketing Examples for tips and inspiration.

  • Have I identified which campaigns are generating the highest open rates and the lowest unsubscribe rates? How can I incorporate some of those qualities into my underperforming campaigns?

  • Does my send cadence align with what subscribers want? Reducing frequency to those that aren’t engaging while keeping a normal cadence for those that are boosts positive reputation signals for Inbox Providers.

  • Is the unsubscribe link easy to find? (more here)

  • Have I stopped sending to recipients who haven’t opened an email in the last 6 months?

  • Have I unsubscribed recipients who haven’t opened an email in the last 12 months?

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