A large number of our clients ask us to help them with email newsletters and as such we stick our noses in a great number of email blasts. We see a lot of web statistics showing read and open rates, clicks, and that sort of thing.
Clients always ask “is 60% open rate good?” and look to us for our expertise. I’m always happy to provide my feedback and explain how it works. It’s still a new thing to most people.
But lately I’ve been thinking that too many companies rely on read and open rates to determine whether their email campaign was successful. When they see 60% they say “that’s the industry average so it must be good.”
Well, in my opinion they’re missing the mark (to use an overly used sailing term). They’re not tracking sales results. We just did an email campaign for a restaurant to their “club members” and it was interesting because they didn’t do any in store tracking. None at all. No coupon. Nothing. It strikes of marketing for the sake of marketing.
I think a number of companies pick on email because it’s supposedly inexpensive. Everyone says it is anyways. How can you know when you aren’t tracking?
Then there’s the issue of HTML vs text only emails. I can point to several successful campaigns that were done with text only. The reason it works is because everyone has a different spam filter set up and text emails just happen to go right through them most of the time. Still, clients don’t want to do it because it isn’t pretty and they can’t use pictures.
Here’s a tip: The next time a client asks you to send an email suggest that they send two emails (separated by a few days or a week) and send the first one as HTML and the second as text only. See which one gets opened more. You might be surprised.