Reading Email Marketing Reports

Could you imagine going through school and merely being told at the end of the year you failed? No report card, test results or feedback. Just public humiliation. How would you ever hope to improve without at least a hint of direction?

Well, your email marketing campaign could be suffering from this fate if you’re not using  and interpreting email reports correctly.

Why Should you Use Email Reports?

Email reports answer the important questions on who is reading your mail, why are they reading it and what they like about it. This invaluable data has the power to transform your campaign!

The 2014 Econsultancy Email Census reported that 77% of businesses identified reporting and analytic tools to be the most valuable – and they’re right on the money! If you’re not tracking how your email marketing campaign is doing, improving it will be based on guess work – which will leave people guessing what your marketing department actually does.

Use Email Reports to find out…

  • Who is reading your email (age, gender)
  • What location is your email being read (country, location, nationality)
  • What parts of your email are most interacted with (through heatmaps)
  • Which of your emails are shared socially (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
  • Which addresses are bouncing your email (not responding)
  • How many new subscribers you have acquired
  • Which browsers are used to open your email
  • Which email clients are used to open your email
  • Which devices are used to open your email

Reports tailor your email to your most common readers. For example, If the majority of your email is opened in a particular area, it would be a good idea to do some research about that area, its history, local celebrities and other unique ways to make your mail more relevant to the people who live there.

The Benefits of Reporting

  • Avoid spam traps and blacklists (by identifying and removing bounces)
  • Improve deliverability (by focusing on areas to improve on)
  • Save money by removing inactive accounts from your mailing list
  • Optimize by identifying which clients and devices open your mail
  • Track your email marketing progress and effectiveness
  • Find and monitor your target market
  • Improve your email content by identifying which is engaged with the most
  • Target specific social media sites that are the most popular with your readers

However, all this data means nothing if you don’t know how to read and interpret it. That would be similar to attempting to read Shakespeare to a Frenchman in chinese! So here are some basic guidelines to interpreting your email report data.

Interpreting Your Email Reports – Step by Step

  1. Your first stop should be how many of your emails were actually delivered. After all, if your email isn’t getting delivered, your campaign isn’t even arriving to the exam venue!

To check this, take a look at the ‘Delivered’ stat and compare it with the ‘Bounced’ stat. The lower your email bounces are the better your campaign will do, but if your email bounce stat is higher than 15% you should use the list cleanup function SharpSpring Mail + offers to protect your deliverability.

  1. If you have a low bounce rate, take a look at your open rate and compare it with your total email delivered.

If your email was delivered but not opened, you should take a look at your subject line and snippet. If your readers didn’t open the email, they found no relevance or interest in the subject line. Try spice it up with some relevance or curiosity.

  1. Finally, check out the Click Through Rate and how many readers shared your email.

If your Click Through Rate (the greenline) is low, you should take a look at the content of the email itself. Ask yourself if it rendered correctly, was well written or well designed. If, however, the Click Through Rate was high, you can be assured your email was well received.

To find out how you can improve your email design, use the heatmaps function in reports. This will give you a graphical representation of where your readers interacted on your email – meaning you can focus on the content that was most popular with your readership!

Of course, if your email was shared a lot, pop the champagne, throw the confetti and hug the next person you see – because your send was a great success!

SharpSpring Mail + report function also comes with detailed reports on statistics surrounding your email campaign such as list growth, industry specific reception and much much more.

Try us out!

Start improving your email marketing campaign today.


  • Author: maryka.burger

  • Maryka has worked across multiple industries ranging from hard news journalism to digital tech companies and advertising. She is an expert at building online presence, and offers a wealth of knowledge on digital marketing, social media and automation trends to agencies and digital start-ups.