How do contact scores and ratings work?

Contact rating identifies your best performing contacts, ranking them according to how actively engaged they are. The more a contact engages positively with your emails, the higher their rating. This FAQ takes a look at how we calculate the contact score and rating.

Each contact’s score and rating is based on his/her activity. The score improves with positive actions (e.g. reads, clicks, and forwards), and decreases with negative actions (e.g. bounces, complaints, and unread mails). The relevancy of an action to the current score is inversely proportional to the action’s age. In other words: older actions have less impact on the contact score.

The Contact Score

Our platform keeps track of the following actions to calculate the contact’s score:

  • Bounces
  • Reads
  • Clicks
  • Forwards
  • Complaints
  • Replies
  • Profile updates
  • Invites
Assigning Points

Each positive action is assigned a points value relating to how good that action is. A forward, for example, is more than a read.

Not all individual actions will be considered when calculating the final score.

For bounces, reads, clicks, forwards, complaints, and replies, only the latest action on an individual message will be considered. In other words, if a contact opens a particular message four times, it will only count as opened once. Profile updates are also only counted once at the time the profile was last updated. Invites count once per list that an invite is sent for.

Points Decrease by Age

An action’s values are aged to decrease their relevance on the final score depending on how long ago they occurred. Their age can be determined according to actual age (physical time), or according to how many actions have occurred since.

The current score for each contact is calculated by a summation, of all the age-adjusted sub scores for each action.

Impact of Negative Actions

Negative actions have a drastic impact on the score. A bounce or complaint, for instance, divides the current contact score. Negative actions also use an aging to calculate current relevance.

The Final Contact Score

The final contact score is determined by first adding together the positive action scores, which have already been aged, and then dividing by all the aged negative scores.

The decreasing priority of older scores will also mean that it is not that important to keep old data.

The Contact Rating

Now we have a numerical score associated with each contact. Next, we will use this score to come up with a contact rating which will be a star value from 1 to 5.

1-Star Rating

The 1-star value is for contacts that have a score less than 2. This may be caused by multiple bounces or complaints. It’s probably best to remove them from the contact list.

2 to 3-Star Rating

Scores between 2 and 3 equate to a 2-star rating. New contacts joining the system are given a score of 2. This is not a very high score, but we assume that since they have just been subscribed, they are still active and want to engage with the email being sent to them.

Inactive contacts may also be rated 2 stars. They receive the mail (not bounced) but have never opened the mail to read it. This means that they either never check their email, their emails are going to junk, or they’re ignoring your emails.

3 Stars and Up

As the contact score increases above 3, the contact will receive 3-stars and up, depending on their activity.

A contact with 5-star rating is one that opens and interacts with every email sent to them.

When are Contact Scores Calculated?

The contact score and rating are updated each time a contact action occurs, such as a read, a bounce, etc.

First, the platform takes note of the action and the time it occurred and gathers it in an array. Next, the platform determines if it is a positive or negative action and then sorts the array in reverse chronological order to establish the correct age of each action. Lastly, the arrays are added and/or divided to get the total.