Mar 10, 2006

What happens if you never check your email open rate

Th_opens_noloveI recently gave a guest lecture for a class of web design students at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Man, those students were smart, and their school made mine look like crap! I’ve never seen so many Powermacs and giant flat panel displays and high-end printers (droooooling).

Anyways, I had to put together some email marketing case studies for them, so we’ve been running reports across MailChimp, and finding some really interesting stuff. I thought I’d share a few of my slides (over the next few days) here on MonkeyBrains.

Below is an example of "What happens when you send an email newsletter every week for 2 years, and never check your campaign reports, and never, ever tweak your content."

It’s a graph of one MailChimp user’s open rate since 2004. Basically, this newsletter got no love:


This user has been sending regular email campaigns for years with MailChimp, and apparently hasn’t been watching their stats as much as they should. They started off pretty nice (40% open rate) but their open rate eventually fell to about 8%. Keep in mind it’s normal to start off with a bang, but then your open rate will usually level off to around 20-30%. After drawing this graph, we called up the user and gave them a little advice: 1) Stop sending so frequently,  2) Make your content worth reading, and 3) Check your open and click stats after every single campaign.

Do you analyze your reports after every single campaign? What’s a "normal" open rate for your emails? Are you trending up, or down over time?

Speaking of Email Reports

Th_emailreportsguide_1_1If you’re sending email marketing, how often do you check your campaign reports? Do you understand what all the stats mean? Do you know how to experiment with your campaigns to improve your performance? Do you know what you should even be measuring?

If you’re new to email marketing, and need some help understanding your email reports, we’ve got a new free guide called, "Cool, I’m getting clicks and opens. Um, now what?" It’s got everything a beginner needs to know about tracking email opens and clicks, and more importantly, what to do with all that information.

Download it here: Free 23-page Guide: Understanding Email Reports (1 Meg PDF)