Loren McDonald at Email Insider has an interesting post up that talks about “render rate.” In a nutshell, EEC is looking at getting support to make “render rate” an industry standard.

The “render rate” is a new industry-wide metric created to measure the initial level of email engagement more accurately and consistently than the open rate.

On the surface, “render rate” may seem like just a terminology change to replace the often ambiguous “open rate”, but it goes slightly deeper than that.  While “open rate” is commonly in use now, it is often times far from accurate, especially with the prevalence of image blocker these days, which will prevent tracking images from being downloaded even though the email has been opened.

“Render rate” will serve to clarify the true meaning of “open rate”.  It also introduces another metric, called the “email action” that can more accurately measure email engagement instead of solely relying on “opens”.  This metric takes into account “opens” and “clicks” to track if a recipient can be considered as having been engaged by your email.

This is definitely a step in the right direction.  In fact, from the outset, eConnect Email has already been designed to take into account “clicks” when calculating “opens”. To illustrate, say you have a recipient who’s using Microsoft Outlook, and chooses not to download images in your email. This means we will not be able to track this “open”.  However, if he clicks on one of the links in this email, we will track this as a “click” and an “open”.  This is much like the proposed “unique action” metric.  If the recipient clicks on yet another link, we will then just track it as another “click”, but will not track the “open” a second time.  In other words, as long as a link is clicked on, and no opens have ever been tracked for this recipient for this email, we will count it as an open as well.  Therefore, no more orphan clicks!

The “render rate” proposal is a welcome suggestion.  Not only will it promote a more standardized measurement, it will make the metrics less ambiguous and far more intuitive to understand.

About James Trumbly:
Director of Business Development for eConnect Email, an email marketing software company. James enjoys spending time at the beach and traveling in his free time. Follow him on twitter @eConnectEmail