We watch our open rates. We track our clickthroughs. But do we really know who we’re e-mailing?
When we capture the all-important e-mail address, we’ve gained access to that person’s inbox (and, ideally, her approval — or at least an absence of disapproval) in order to communicate with her.
Then we start sending e-mails … and more e-mails — and, for too many of us, we never look back. Yes, we track open rates, clickthrough rates, donations, number of new e-mail addresses and on and on. We do a great job of accumulating e-mail addresses and analyzing campaigns.
But we’re leaving out an important part of the analysis if we don’t look at the behavior behind the e-mail address.
Who is the person opening and clicking? Does she click through every e-mail or just the ones that ask her to take action? Is she opening the e-mail and then abandoning it? Does she rally her friends around her cause? Does she download the video? Does she also participate offline?
In the direct-marketing world, we always have had only one goal in mind: Secure a donation. And so our analysis has taken us to ever-expanding realms to understand the triggers for a donor to make a gift. We not only analyze the campaign — from the creative and the technique to the timing and seasonality — but we also analyze the donor’s behavior and the actions each donor takes leading up to her most recent gifts. It’s time we apply those insights to our e-mail lists.
Here are three key metrics and reports to better understand your e-mail subscribers.
1. Overall activity of the file. This isn’t about how many people opened a particular campaign, but how many have opened anything in 12 months or more.