This will be the last post on email metrics. I’ve been exploring them for a while, have explored the standard metrics such as Delivery Rate, Open Rate, Growth Rate, Cost of Acquisition — and I want to take a moment here to restate that I know nothing about email marketing. I’m a researcher, an explorer.
What this most often means is that I start with no knowledge and create methods as I go. I rarely study what others have already done ahead of time, only in retrospect. There are several reasons for this.
First, I don’t not do something simply because someone else did something and failed. For that matter, I don’t not do something simply because most people failed at it or because it’s not a “best practice”. This frees me up to explore why something failed, and as far as that goes, my failures rarely duplicate others because my basis for exploration is usually different from those who’ve gone on before.
Second, I can discover fairly rapidly which “best practices” are simply those things done so often nobody thinks to question them anymore. From this I learn that most “best practices” aren’t. In all cases, I learn. In many cases and because our methods make use of different strategies to achieve their goals, our numbers are well above the norms.
And so it goes —
those metrics followed by ReOpen Rates, something I haven’t seen others exploring yet something NextStage finds very revealing, then Platform and Environmental Variance, two metrics that can shed light on your newsletters importance to individual subscribers and points to whether or not subscribers are passing your newsletter on to others ala WOM, what NextStage measures as Viral Capacity.
This time out I’m going to look at New Conversions.
New Conversions for NextStage’s newsletter are coming from two sources primarily; 30% is due to people signing up via these columns, my IMedia columns, my BizMediaScience blog and from the NextStage website. A whopping 70% comes from people passing the newsletter on (the Viral Capacity thing).
Conversions are always nice. Knowing where these conversions are coming from is better. Knowing that subscribers are finding enough value in The NextStage Irregular to pass it on and those people are finding value?
As Visa says, “Priceless”.
Knowing Your Audience
I do not query new subscribers about anything. Many of them, when signing up for The NextStage Irregular, ask questions they’d like me to address in upcoming issues. Knowing my original audience and seeing the questions I’m asked provides me with a great deal of information about my subscriber base.
Let me offer another metric that I don’t see others using; Email Address.
Email Account? Yes, as in how many subscribers are having your newsletter sent to a business account rather than a blind box (yahoo, google, hotmail, aol, …)? NextStage studies and offers products and services based on how people think, how and what they believe, what motivates them and why. People who provide a “direct” email address are demonstrating a higher level of commitment to your newsletter than people people providing a blind box (in general, of course). Currently 85% of The NextStage Irregular’s subscribers are providing a direct email address over a blind box.
That, when considered with all the other metrics I’ve discussed, demonstrates high interest and lots of commitment. I might offer that it demonstrates a high level of engagement and that’s a hole I don’t wish to dive into.