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How do you measure the success of a newsletter

Discussion in 'Best Practices & Showcase' started by John Borst on Feb 2, 2019.

  1. John Borst

    By:John BorstFeb 2, 2019
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    As you probably realize by now, I am somewhat obsessed by increasing the readership of the District Newsletter.

    I'm still trying to raise the number who open the e-mail above 50%. So far without much success. My analysis of the data ClubRunner supplies informs me that the same people open the newsletter each month. To date for D5550, the per cent opening the email is stuck at 45%.

    IMAGE OF THE THE EMAIL LOOKS LIKE
    [​IMG]
    The Feb. issue, which I think is of above average quality after the first day is at 523 out of 1403 emails sent. This is 38%.

    The question is what per cent of those who open the email actually read an article in the newsletter. That is where Google Analytics comes in.
    The articles have been opened as this data shows:


    PAGE /stories/seven-new-membership-types-created-by-clubs/
    PAGE VIEWS 68 (13% of 523)
    UNIQUE PAGE VIEWS 60
    AVG TIME ON PAGE 00:03:21


    PAGE /stories/a-revolution-in-the-types-of-rotary-clubs-is-underway/
    PAGE VIEWS 57(11% of 523)
    UNIQUE PAGE VIEWS 50
    AVG TIME ON PAGE 00:03:29


    PAGE /stories/how-rotarians-meet-around-the-world/
    PAGE VIEWS 38(7% of 523)
    UNIQUE PAGE VIEWS 36
    AVG TIME ON PAGE 00:02:41


    PAGE /stories/rotary-clubs-weekly-bi-weekly-monthly-quarterly-what’s-next/
    PAGE VIEWS 37(7% of 523)
    UNIQUE PAGE VIEWS 29
    AVG TIME ON PAGE 00:03:45


    So if 523 members opened the email the number in PAGE VIEWs is the number who actually opened that story/page

    This is interesting because now we know that 13% of the 523 people who opened the e-mail read that story. We also know that they do read the Newsletter page and the stories available and do not necessarily pick the lead story. In fact, in this instance, the lead story with the biggest picture is the least read of the four articles.

    Average time on article tells us that the people who opened it did read all of it. All the times are high. A good average time is 1:00 minute.

    It probably seems like a lot of work for such a small return, but that is the reality of how we behave. Think of the fraction of the news articles you read in a newspaper.

    One final comment. One of the advantages of building the newsletter the way I do permits Google to gather the data on each article separately. If they were all visible in one page to scroll down that data would not be gathered. (ClubRunner staff, please correct me if I am wrong.)
     
  2. Zach

    By:ZachFeb 4, 2019
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    Hello John,

    Just remember that the "open" stat is just telling you that the tracking image that went out was downloaded. This means that if the email was delivered (mail service said, okay no problems!), then a secondary service like a firewall or the companies secondary mail processes may read and scan the entire email, including downloading the tracking image. This would count as a open, but at this point in the process has not been seen or read by the individual who the email was sent to. Assuming it passes all of the secondary filters/checks, it can be delivered to the individuals inbox.

    The open rate is a good measuring stick but isn't highly accurate due to technology limitations, in addition to security and privacy concerns.

    I generally tell clubs and districts to focus on a 0% bounce/block rate. This is the only stat that is 100% accurate, anyone who shows up on the blocked/bounced list did not receive the email. It is also the issue with the highest level of being able to resolve. Fixing these may be as simple as removing the current blocked record via the Manage Blocked Emails page or updating the members email in their profile.

    A very small note about the unique views (website stats), just keep in mind a unique view is generated anytime a unique person visits that page. It doesn't have to be that they clicked the link in the email. Possibly they went through the District's website.
     
  3. John Borst

    By:John BorstFeb 4, 2019
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    Thanks, Zack. I keep getting more and more accurate knowledge from experts such as you and I appreciate it. I know it isn't totally accurate but it is a message of openness which is better than nothing at all. Similarly, with Google Analytics - they could have arrived there through FaceBook or LinkedIn pages as well as I placed notices there. I really thought this was an excellent issue. It is the first time I have used GA to track the articles in a long time. But it does give me a rough estimate of the proportion actually arriving at the page and the time on the page is a good indication it was read. As to managing the bounced/blocked e-mails, I have been using ClubRunner Management tools and the number is slowly moving towards zero. Speaking of which in your system a message is likely to be a rejection because the email address is not valid. Normally, I think that is the bounced message. As I understand the terms, the dropped means the receiving server classifies it as spam and instead of putting it in the spam folder simply drops it and it is never delivered. Am I on the right track?
     
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  4. Zach

    By:ZachFeb 8, 2019
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    A dropped message means that it is already on the blocked list, and will continue to be dropped until they're removed from the block list.

    If they're on the block list, it means that their email service rejected receiving the email and in most cases provided us with the reason. We do try several deliveries before the email goes into the block list, as a basic example if we send an email and we get an error like "inbox over quota", we'll try up to 3 more times, if the error persists, it will be logged as a block, and all future emails to that person will be dropped until it is removed.

    The status showing as blocked in that messages stats means this email received the error itself, and created the blocked record.
     
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