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Bulletin Response Rate

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by John Borst on Aug 7, 2018.

  1. John Borst

    By:John BorstAug 7, 2018
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    For the 2018 -19 Rotary year, I have taken on the responsibility for the District Governor's Newsletter. I was quite disappointed in the "open" rate for July. It was only at 44%, 621/1401 recipients. I am interested to know what kind of response rate others are achieving. If you are achieving over 50% please direct me to a sample of your bulletin design and content. My design is new to the members; https://rotary5550.org/bulletin/View/d2ae43d7-f916-4b1f-8c59-2f848dcb759b.
     
  2. Les Walsh

    By:Les WalshAug 9, 2018
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  3. John Borst

    By:John BorstAug 9, 2018
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    Les, thanks for the data. The August response rate is currently sitting at 51% but I am not confident in the result because of the trouble with the e-mail server. There are about 300 unknowns not accounted for and I know the ones from our club are correct.

    I have a lot to learn about the bulletin widgets. I noticed your bulletin is quite long. My philosophy is to keep them short. I want the e-mail page to show everything on the first screen. It is picture based with headlines. I figure I have about 1-2 seconds to have 1 of the four catch the readers attention and click on it. I have placed the story in the website's library/story archive. I didn't use the Bulletin Stories widget because I could not find the URL and didn't want the read more at the end of the page. Can anyone tell me what the thinking behind the difference in the design and function of the Bulletin Stories operation and the Home Stories Website widget? I ended up using a picture with the caption and putting a link to the Story in both the picture and the text.
     
  4. John Borst

    By:John BorstAug 9, 2018
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    Les, I just read your comment at the Bootstrap thread, which because I do not know code, I barely understand. However, you mention using website stories in the bulletin and that is what I do. As I mention I place a picture with Text in a widget and then link both to the story URL using "Custom URL".
     
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  5. Mark WILLIAMS

    By:Mark WILLIAMSAug 17, 2018
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    My open rate on bulletins is less than yours according to the stats, but I do know that a significant percentage of opens do not get captured by stats, because people who according to the stats page have not opened the bulletin come up to me at meetings and talk about the content. Not sure what the under-reporting rate is, but it could be as high as 30%.
     
  6. John Borst

    By:John BorstSep 4, 2018
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    Thanks, Mark! I must be doing something correctly. My August per cent was 55%. That is a 10% gain. It will be interesting to see I can achieve 60% in September. My theory regarding Newsletter design is that it has to be short. I have established four as the maximum number of articles. They must be highly visual, lots of pictures; short if possible. Limited to one topic. Include video or audio. What the client sees is the four choices on the entry page. Hope, at least one subject grabs the reader and is opened. I want to minimise scrolling to find articles even if they are short. I believe "In and out" is better than "up and down". What do you think? Here is the Sept. issue https://goo.gl/ssgcdh
     
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  7. Mark WILLIAMS

    By:Mark WILLIAMSSep 5, 2018
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    Very nice. Well integrated with the web, and as you say, a short sharp shock of teasers.

    Possibly not a style that can be applied to a club newsletter, because there is a lot of stuff of an administrative nature that needs to be included. However, I will think about rearranging my newsletters so that the very top looks a lot like yours.

    --mark
     
  8. Mickey

    By:MickeySep 6, 2018
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    Hello everyone,

    Just wanted to say I'm very impressed with the level of detail and sharing in this thread. I did want to clarify a few things, since our email read stats are not as straightforward as a single number.

    Every email / bulletin sent out of ClubRunner has a 1x1 pixel invisible, transparent image embedded inside it. This is how we determine our read stats: if the image loads it sends a message to our stats system - "opened'; otherwise the email was "sent" with but no opened status.

    You can surmise this is definitely decreasing your overall stats. I have no idea by how much, since it's something we're not able to measure. Some people don't load images when reading email; or their device has very strong security measures, so even if the image loads our system can't get notified.

    We chose this method since it is the least intrusive, we want no access to any user's personal Inbox, this 'relay' method is less problematic in terms of personal security.

    Also, John you have a very well laid out, short bulletin. A note on this: many mail programs (I've tested Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo myself) - have an email filesize limit. For these email programs it's around 125 KB or less. After this limit, the email program 'crops' the rest of the content and displays a 'Read more' button. Simply clicking 'Read more' will load the rest of the content, but this does pose a hurdle since in our own usability tests we saw many users mistake 'Read More' as the end of the bulletin / email.

    This isn't always the case, for example my MS Outlook typically displays emails in their entirety. This depends on the end user's email program.

    We run optimization tools to decrease the size of (image rich) bulletins before they get sent-- however, we are going to work on improving these methods in the coming months, as we've discovered new ways to improve our optimization methods.

    If you have more questions please ask.
     
    Jim Goit likes this.
  9. Les Walsh

    By:Les WalshSep 6, 2018
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    Thanks Mickey, that explains your 'system' well! I must say that our 'opened' rates during August ranged from 44% to 52% but I have established that all but one of our members have 'read' the bulletin (example: https://rotaryclubcaloundra.com.au/bulletin/View/9a2afd87-d900-43c1-8e44-655713248883). In a survey, 64% perused their bulletin in some detail and 36% skimmed the headlines; 89% said the bulletin met their needs as club members.
     
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