Jun 29, 2012

My Favorite MailChimp Stats

We sent an email campaign to all our users the other day (here’s a link, in case you missed it). Immediately after it was sent, I sat down to look at the stats with Neil, our COO. Neil’s kind of a stats junkie, and it’s a hoot listening to him talk about this stuff. So I just thought it would be a neat exercise to jot down every stat we focused on, then share it all with you. There are probably some reports in MailChimp you didn’t even know exist here.

A little background:

This particular message had two big announcements. First, all the mobile features we released in MailChimp v7.2. Second, the unveiling of our new transactional email service, Mandrill. Mandrill’s a whole new department that recently formed inside MailChimp, and we were particularly interested in customer response. So here’s what we looked for:


When I log in to MailChimp, I like to peek down the left column first. There are some neat, quick little stats there waiting for you under "Recent Campaigns."

I glance over here to see what my open and click rates are, and to see how they compare with my overall list average. What I’m most concerned about is whether or not engagement is trending up, down, or steady. I also like to compare our stats to others in our industry.

At the moment, I’m trending a little lower than my list’s average. But the last few percentage points always trickle in many days after sending. And I have a feeling this one’s going to outperform my average. No, literally–I had a feeling. Our golden monkeys app was buzzing in my pocket more than usual as VIPs opened the email.

Speaking of things in my pocket, I should also mention the MailChimp Mobile app:

After I hit "Send" in MailChimp, I used to sit at my desk and refresh my stats all day. Now, I get my stats on my iPhone. What? Stats on a phone?!? Crazy world we live in, I tell you.

Okay, back to the stats.

On the Dashboard screen, at the bottom of that left column, I like to check out my all time Top Fives. In particular, I like to see what our readers click the most:

Nice to see that the link to v7.2 already made it to the top 5 all-time clicked list! By the way, this is where I learned that you guys really, really like it when we release new templates. And that’s pretty much why almost all my email subject lines start with "New templates…" 

That one’s for you, Mathias:

;-) Remember, user interest in Mandrill is what we’re looking for here. So we looked for how many people clicked the link to Mandrill.com. I go to Click Performance:

Scroll down to the table, and look for "mandrill:"

Okay, +4,000 so far. "Not too shabby" Neil tells me, noting how the Mandrill content is not even the primary focus of the email, and is waaaay down the page. We check out the Click Map, to see which links were clicked:


This click map view always makes me feel good, because I can see that people are actually reading all the way to the bottom of my message. By the way, I want to hug all 352 people that clicked this lonely little link about MailChimp’s security features:


Next, I go to Subscriber Activity > URLs Clicked:


International audience

And I see a list of everybody who clicked. It’s +4,000 people, so I’m just eyeballing the columns of data for any trends. We immediately noticed a lot of international domains. Email addresses that end with .fi, .is, .au, .sk, .eu, .il, .hu, .uk, and on and on. We actually noticed this in our Mandrill logs too: since our beta launch, we’ve attracted quite an international audience. Granted, MailChimp itself gets the majority of our revenue from outside the US (one reason we have all these currency options), but we’re surprised at how quickly Mandrill has been discovered across the pond, down under, and so on.

Within the campaign summary, there’s a little map showing where everybody opened from:


along with a top five list:


So that’s the flag for the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Thank you, MailChimp!


Long time listener, first time clicker

Another thing we noticed: lots of 2-star people clicking. For those who don’t know, we have these engagement ratings for recipients, where "5 stars" generally means someone is opening and clicking and very engaged with your emails. You want lots of 5-star recipients on your list, because that improves the overall engagement score of your entire list, and that helps with your deliverability (we treat higher engagement lists a little better than lower engagement ones). Suddenly, this email I sent got a lot of these 2-star recipients interested. It’s important to note that MailChimp regularly refreshes this data, so if I look at it in a few days, these 2-star people may be graduated to 3, 4 or 5 star people. We clicked into one of these "first-time clickers," and you can see their activity history change from dormant to active on 6/21, the date of my email:

Wonder if it was my subject line, or the time of day, or something that finally got through to these first-timers. And that’s pretty much the immediate, post-send analysis that I typically do. But over the course of the next few days, I tend to come back to MailChimp to check on a few more things…

Social Stuffs

Yep, MailChimp has a lot of social features. The point of all our social integrations has always been to learn more about your customers. We don’t really have anything that helps you "blast marketing to social networks!" My co-founder Dan likes to say that "social is where you can show your company’s human side. Why the hell would you use that to blast out more marketing?" Amen. I also like to think that showing your human side is marketing. So I tend to peek at the social stats with this in mind: who’re my readers, and what can I learn about their interests, so I can improve my content? Here are the people who clicked the "tweet this" button for my email:



I usually spend a little time on their websites. Paul Gailey had this interesting article on his blog: Claque SEO is Out that I personally tweeted, which then got re-tweeted by MailChimp’s twitter account. We probably sent all of five people to his blog from that, but hey–we’re just humans connecting here. And this made me happy:

This was the first time I’ve thought about the topic of SEO in quite a while, to be honest. I was once fascinated by it, but lost interest once all the jerks turned it into a game of "let’s trick the search engines!" I liked Mr. Gailey’s take on it. Anyway, this made me wonder what other topics my subscribers are interested in. It just so happens that our Tweet Trends feature can tell me that. Assuming you’ve integrated your MailChimp account with your Twitter account, Tweet Trends pings Twitter to tell you a lot about your subscribers. Like what hashtags they use:

Soooooo I’m pretty much going to pretend that I didn’t see "#MSCRM" and focus on working #css3, #photography, and #mailnerd content in my upcoming MonkeyWrench newsletter.


Google Analytics

You may have noticed MailChimp integrates with Google Analytics. When you integrate the two, all kinds of nice stats pop out, especially if you run an e-commerce site. But that’s another post. Personally, I take a peek at if–and how–my email might’ve caused a blip in website traffic. That’s under Reports > SiteAnalytics360:

You’ll see little dots on the graph. That’s basically telling you when email campaigns and tweets happened. This graph shows you how those activities drove traffic to your website. My email drove a slight bump. Nothing to write home about, but I’ll probably get a few comments from our web team.  Maybe an email, or an iChat. Maybe a high-five or two in the halls. Maybe even a cake. This is a cry for help, people. Won’t someone please visit me in my lonely office?

Okay, from here I like to go back to my campaign stats and look under Advanced Reports, then Analytics.

This report is extremely handy if you’re into e-commerce, and want to see how much revenue your email generated. But like I said earlier, that’s for another blog post. We don’t really sell anything directly in our MailChimp emails, so the ROI stat is going to try to divide by zero. Thats why we make it say "infinite" in the screen above. But if we sold products, we’d calculate the revenue you made versus the cost of the email send (fractions of pennies) to give you a nice, ginormous ROI that you can brag about.

In my case though, I just see how much traffic I sent to our website with this email (about 27,000) and I can see how many goals were completed. The meaning of "goal" is something you determine yourself, and you set up inside Google Analytics. The goals we typically look at for MailChimp.com are signups, subscriptions to lists, downloads of our resource guides, etc. This particular campaign completed a goal over 2,000 times. I have no idea what that specific goal was, but I’m really, really proud that I accomplished it more than 2,000 times. Makes me feel better about my daily to-do list never getting done. Thank you, MailChimp!