How do I use the ESP plugin data to improve my campaigns?

The SendForensics deliverability metric is there to fill the gap in the suite of standard metrics provided by an ESP. With it (and the analysis behind it), the email marketer finally has everything needed to fully understand, and therefore troubleshoot and optimise, campaign performance. With this live campaign data pulled in from a supported ESP via plugin, the complete set is now available in a highly visible and digestible format.

Setting up the data

Once you have successfully activated a plugin ('Account > Plugins' from the main menu when logged-in) and sent some live emails, the next step is to view the performance of a campaign over time. If you have multiple Domains/Sending-addresses/Campaigns within the system, filter the results shown on the Overview page to give you the particular campaign progress you are interested in:

ESP Plugin Instructional

So how to interpret the data?

Consider the following sample campaign (we're keeping it simple for better illustration..):

List-size: ~50,000
Mailing frequency: weekly
Industry: ecommerce
Goal: sales of weekly special deal

Now a typical campaign report with the standard metrics as provided by an ESP may look like this:

Regular Metrics

So what happened in weeks 2, 4 and 6 that resulted in poorer response (unique clicks)?

  • Week 2: Drop in OR, CTR, and clicks. Is it the content? Could it be that the subject line wasn't enticing enough? Or perhaps there's a deliverability issue and less emails are getting through?
  • Week 4: Another drop in OR, CTR and clicks. Again, could it be a poor subject line? Or are emails getting blocked? Perhaps the recipients are just not interested in the content? Or is it a combination of all these factors?
  • Week 6: Slight drop in OR, CTR, and clicks. Maybe it's just an 'off' week?

With the deliverability metric

With Deliverability Metric

So what actually happened in weeks 2, 4 and 6 that resulted in poorer response (unique clicks)?

  • Week 2: Drop in OR, CTR, and clicks. There is a clear deliverability issue resulting in the drop in response.
  • Week 4: Another drop in OR, CTR and clicks, but no deliverability issues. All data now points to the subject line and/or the offer itself just not being enticing enough! (if your ESP provides a Click-to-open-rate, over time this may help determine whether an incident like this is more the fault of the subject line or the content itself)
  • Week 6: Slight drop in OR and CTR and clicks, but there is a slight deliverability issue caused by blacklisting from the previous week's high bounce rate (in week 5 an extra 3.5K contacts were added to the list without proper verification, resulting in the high bounce rate and consequent blacklisting).


This is an illustration using data from a relatively consistent campaign. With more irregular campaigns troubleshooting can become very difficult, given the many variables in play. Taking control of your deliverability eliminates the guesswork for one major unknown, fills in the analytics gap for the others, and smoothes the way towards consistent campaign success.

Now test and optimise before sending to make deliverability worries a thing of the past