What’s the Difference Between Bounce Rates, Open Rates, and Click Rates?

difference between bounce rates open rates click ratesWhat’s the difference between bounce rates, open rates, and click rates in email marketing? We won’t waste any time telling you about how important email marketing is for your business. We’re going to assume you already know that.

Below, we’ll talk about bounce rates, open rates, and click rates. At the bottom, there’s a short exercise you can complete. Play detective to find out what is going on with the email campaigns based on the level of bounce, open, and click rates they received.

Bounce Rate

The term bounce rate refers to the amount of your emails that are sent to invalid or inactive email addresses. If you’ve purchased email addresses instead of organically building a list, you’re likely to have lots of these invalid addresses on your list and resulting high bounce rates.

It’s important to monitor your bounce rates because Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can block you from sending additional messages if you’re consistently sending emails to invalid subscribers. To keep the rates low, regularly ask your subscribers to update their contact information and remove addresses that are invalid from your list.

  • Monitor your bounce rates
  • Don’t purchase subscribers, earn them
  • Ask subscribers to update contact information every 6 months
  • Remove all invalid addresses causing bounces

Open Rate

Open rates tell us about the amount of your emails that were opened by subscribers. Your open rates can tell you a lot. If your open rates are consistently low, ask yourself:

  • Are you using subject lines that appeal to your audience?
  • Are your emails standing out in their inbox?
  • Are your subject lines doing a good job of directing interested audiences through to your content and keeping them there?

Click Rate

Click rates tell us about how often subscribers click a link. High click rates mean your content is going over well with the audience, but it’s important to look at the analytics from Google as well ensure you’re sending targeted traffic to your website. Targeted traffic will spend more time on your site, look at more pages, and visit more often.

You don’t want to have a high click rate that sends lots of untargeted traffic to your website, because they’ll leave almost immediately after seeing it’s not for them and drive your website bounce rates sky high.

Analyzing Bounce, Open, and Click Rates

The best way to learn about analyzing bounce, open, and click rates is to do it. Here a few scenarios where your bounce, open, and click rates tell you different things.

1. Your bounce rate is low, your open rate is high, but your click rate is low. What’s going on?

A high open rate means your subject line is reaching a lot of people–that’s a good thing. It’s baiting them to click on your email and scan what’s inside. However, the low click rates tell you that the content they’re being shown once they click on the subject is not really for them.

Low click rates combined with high open rates usually mean the subject line isn’t doing a good job describing the content within. The subject line might be an unfair “tease,” offering information that is either exaggerated or unavailable.

2. Your bounce rate is high, your open and click rates and low. What’s going on?

Lots of your emails bounced in this scenario, so take a look at your source of new subscribers. Is it organic or did you purchase them? Remove the invalid email addresses.

Low open and click rates suggest the content you’re sending isn’t right for your audience, you’re sending to the wrong audience entirely, or you’re sending at the wrong time.

3. Your bounce rate is low, your open rate is low, but your click rate is high. What’s going on?

Low open rates mean the subject line either isn’t interesting, isn’t reaching your audience at the right time, or isn’t reaching the right audience, period. However, the high click rate means someone likes what they see when they open your email. This might mean you need to work on developing snappier, more interesting subject lines that lure more people to click on the email in the first place.

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