Key Metrics to Monitor for Proactive Email Marketing

Key Metrics to Monitor for Proactive Email Marketing

Every minute of every day, Gmail blocks an average of 10 million emails from arriving directly into the inboxes they were initially sent to.

As email authentication algorithms for the most popular mailbox service providers become more complicated, so must email marketing tactics. Methods that were once effective no longer are and digital marketers must adapt if they wish to continue reaching their audience effectively.

Tips for Engagement Monitoring

To stay on top of the game and see what’s coming next, you must constantly monitor a set of essential metrics.

A list of key metrics to monitor for better deliverability

Inbox Placement

If you want your email to be opened, the first step is making sure it gets to the inbox, not the spam folder. The best way to guarantee clients are receiving your emails is to understand how emails get marked as “spam” in the first place. Gather as much information as possible on the major email service providers (ESPs) you’re looking to send mail to and use third-party analytical tools like Glock Apps Inbox Insight whenever possible.

Monitoring Major ESPs

When sending out email campaigns, marketers tend to create a message that targets one type of audience that they will then be sent across multiple ESPs. The problem with emails containing all the same information, generally speaking, is that if they get marked as “spam” at one major domain, it’s likely that they’ll soon arrive in spam folders on other domains as well. While it’s true that all email providers have different spam filter algorithms, it’s often that major networks ‘set the tone’ for the rest. For example, if Gmail flags your email as spam, there is a big chance that other networks will flag it as well. To guarantee your emails are reaching customers and clients, you must proactively monitor your spam rates at major ESPs.

Monitoring Regional ESPs

It’s inevitable that some of your clients will use other networks besides Gmail, Hotmail, Verizon, or any of the other large ESPs. We recommend creating at least two or three accounts on the regional email networks that your clients are using in order to monitor what your messages will look like in their inboxes. Again, the more information you can collect in this situation, from broken links to the organization of content, the better. If you have a paid monthly plan with GlockApps, you can request the addition of up to 5 custom test mailboxes set up with regional ISP to your personal seed list for inbox delivery monitoring.

Third-Party Tools

If you have the budget for it, the use of third-party analytics tools like GlockApps is a must. Deliverability and email reputation monitoring tools simplify the management of your email marketing campaigns and provide guidelines for an efficient strategy. Third-party tools, like the GlockApps inbox monitoring tool, can help you pass email deliverability tests, diagnose and solve issues that may affect your campaign’s inbox placement.

Spam Rates and Complaints

A healthy spam rate is anything below 0.1% but in some cases, unforeseen factors may impact whether or not emails are reaching your clients. Regardless if you are sending out hundreds of emails or millions, if users are marking your messages as spam, ESPs may begin sending your emails directly to spam folders. This makes keeping the number of spam complaints as low as possible yet another challenge of email marketing. To combat this issue, you must regularly rework your campaign strategies by asking yourself these questions:

  • Are your emails relevant to the client?
  • Do you send too many emails?
  • Do your emails contain an ‘unsubscribe’ button?

If your spam rates are slightly above 0.1% but your complaints are low, you maintain a good reputation and are consistent in sending volumes, you may be able to bounce back to a good spam rate quickly, but this isn’t something that should be relied upon. It is always easier to proactively manage your spam rates than it is to recover from the initial damage.

To understand more regarding spam complaints, check out this article: Everything You Should Know about Spam Complaints


Even though we all know what does ‘blacklisted’ mean, here is the question we should regularly ask ourselves: ‘Is my IP blacklisted?’. Key tips for keeping your IP off blacklists are to stay away from purchased mailing lists, try not to repeat sending emails, and never overload your clients with content. Some blacklists, such as the Spam and Open-Relay Blocking System (SORBS), SURBL and others can pose a large threat to your email marketing campaign.

There are countless other blacklists in the world and while many won’t threaten your campaign, almost all will provide you with valuable information. By analyzing smaller blacklists and if you are on one, you can discover less obvious issues that are hiding in your campaign. The most valuable information you’ll gain from monitoring your IP address against blacklists will allow you to predict an incoming campaign failure and have the time to do something about it. By monitoring for smaller red flags, you can stay ahead of the game and continue to reach your clients.

To answer the question ‘Is my ip blacklisted?’, understand how your IP can get blacklisted and how to get it off, checkout this article: IP Blacklist Check and Removal: Ultimate Guide to Blacklists

Reasons for Unsubscribing

It is important to accept that people who are taking the steps to unsubscribe from your emails are noticeably unhappy with your content. Whether it is an issue regarding frequency, or content, clients have many reasons why they may unsubscribe from your messages. Understanding those reasons is a great way to improve your campaign.

Tips for Proactive Monitoring Takeaways

  • Monitor Major ESPs

    Proactively monitor spam placement at major networks. If one of them flags your content, others are likely to follow suit.

  • Monitor Regional ESPs

    Figure out which smaller ESPs are popular among your clients and explore the platform to further understand how your emails will be displayed in their mailboxes.

  • Use Third-Party Tools

    If you have the budget, use third-party reputation monitoring tools like GlockApps. They will give you an ultimate understanding of how your campaign is doing across all platforms.

  • Concentrate on Quality of your Mailing List

    Concentrating on the volume of your emailing list instead of its quality will get you blacklisted and give you a shortcut to the spam folder. Don’t buy or borrow lists, grow your mailing list organically, keep the list healthy and content of the email relevant.

  • Analyze Blacklists Big and Small

    Regardless of whether they impact your deliverability or not, IP blacklists monitoring can show you smaller issues that you can concentrate on now to avoid big troubles later.

  • Use Complaints as a Tool for Progress

    Unsubscription and spam complaints are a very powerful tool to fine tune your email marketing campaigns. Understanding people’s perceptions of your emails is a great source of ideas for improvement.



Julia Gulevich is an email marketing expert and customer support professional at GlockSoft LLC with more than 15 years of experience. Author of numerous blog posts, publications, and articles about email marketing and deliverability.