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Table of Contents:

Table of Contents

Delivery and Email Marketing KPI Terms Explained

(info) The following is a list of delivery and Email Marketing KPIs you'll find in all the various Ongage analytic reports.


  • The hard bounce value is the number of hard bounces that occurred in a given campaign or time-frame. The accompanying rate value is based on 'Hard Bounce' / 'Sent'.
  • A  hard bounce is an email address that the destination mail server (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) rejected with a hard bounce code and reason. Typically the most common reason is that the email address does not exist. In some cases, the outbound ESP/SMTP vendor might employ a policy, whereby if a soft bounce occurred more than X amount of times in a given timeframe, it will mark it as a hard bounce.
  • In order to avoid hard bounces, it is recommended to employ double-optin in your registration process.
  • High hard bounce rates ( typically more than 5%, though much less is preferredfrom 4%-5% and above (when ideally you want to be under 1%), will negatively impact on your sending reputation with ESP/SMTP vendor you ar are using in Ongage. Ongage recommends using its built-in Validation, or other list hygiene services if for whatever reason you are not able to employ a double op-tin registration process, along with double opt-in registration process whenever possible.
  • All hard bounced contacts are automatically deactivated in Ongage, and will not be sent to by the platform once their status changes to hard bounce.


  • These are emails addresses that Ongage sent over to the SMTP vendor in order to be sent-out, but ended up not getting sent by the SMTP vendor. So they are neither Sent nor Bounced (and neither hard bounced nor soft bounced). This is by and large a rare scenario and does not happen on all SMTP vendors. Moreover this only occurs if and when the sender has a reputation issue with one or more Mailbox services (aka ISPs), they are sending to e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Oulook, etc. This is what happens: let's say the sender has a reputation issue with Due to that will only accept a certain amount/rate of emails per hour from that sender. If the campaign is large, in the end not all email addresses will end up getting sent. Those that don't get sent, become deferred / expired. Currently in Ongage there is no special designated status for deferred / expired, as there is for hard bounces and soft bounces. Since they were never sent, you'll see a notably lower sent count than targeted when this occurs. That along with often a high soft-bounce rate, is usually a strong indicator for this issue. Sending a Mail-Tester can often further confirm a related reputation issue.

Delivery and Email Marketing KPI Terms FAQ

(info) FAQs about some of these terms and how they work in Ongage.


How does Ongage count opens

  • Ongage automatically places a 1x1 transparent image pixel into the bottom of each email message. When that image is downloaded it is tracked via Ongage's tracking server. This 1x1 transparent image pixel is placed right before the closing </body> tag, i.e., at the bottom of the HTML email message.
  • (warning) Note: When exporting Openers for campaign X, that number should match the number of unique opens (as the raw open count will be bigger, as the raw count includes recipients that opened an email more than once). 

Opens in Ongage are implied 


For how long does Ongage collect Open and Click Stats for a given campaign

  • Ongage collects Opens/Clicks for all campaigns that were sent up to 45 days ago.
  • Meaning if you open/click an email message, that was sent more than 45 days ago, those stats will not be counted, and the behavioral will also not be registered.

Are the 'Unsubscribe' and 'View Email in Browser' links counted


  • 90 days


Gmail Discrepancy in Open Rates



Gmail offers a feedback loop (FBL) to high volume senders and email service providers (ESPs). The Gmail FBL is not like those offered by other mailbox providers, because it does not send complaints in the Abuse Reporting Format (ARF). Gmail's FBL only provides a report with aggregated spam statistics for recipients based on specific identifiers in the header, in order to protect their users' privacy.

It is important to note that some lower volume senders may not see feedback loop data, even if all requirements for implementing the feedback loop are met. Gmail requires senders to hit an undisclosed volume and spam complaint threshold for data to be available. So, large volume senders and ESPs typically benefit the most from Gmail's feedback loop data.

To implement the feedback loop, Gmail requires that you insert a special header called the Feedback-ID. And the header is required in either of the following formats:


  • “a:b:c” are the optional 3 fields which can be anything you choose (campaign/customer/other)
  • “SenderId/ESPid” is the only required field. This ID corresponds to an Sender/ESP customer and must be unique and persistent to that customer.

For the optional 3 fields, in Ongage you can inject following values:

  1. Literal value e.g., 10, IP-Pool, etc.
  2. Ongage System Field For example {{ocx_mailing_id}}, {{ocx_child_id}}, {{ocx_esp_id}} etc.
  3. Ongage Dynamic List Field For example {{unique_id}} where "unique_id" is the custom data field added in your Ongage List.


(info) The following is a not an exhaustive list:

Italiaonline (Libero and Virgilllo)
La Poste
Microsoft JMRP
Microsoft SNDS
Rackspace (formerly Mailtrust)
SilverSky (formerly USA.NET)
Telcom Italia
United Online/Juno/Netzero
Virgin Media