Don’t try to maximise open rate for every campaign

Too often the question is asked on how to get more people to open a single email marketing campaign.  This is the wrong optimisation to be making in your email marketing program, same for trying to maximise click rate in each and every campaign too.  Let’s take an example of following some common “best practices” and see how they can mislead you.

A phone retailer with two products: an iPhone and an Android phone

They are about to start an email marketing program but cannot decide whether to make it about the iPhone they sell or an Android phone.  So they follow common email marketing advice to run an A/B Test and find the iPhone campaign gets more opens and clicks.

The iPhone campaign gets an open rate of 25% to an open rate of 20% for the Android campaign.  From this they conclude that all future campaigns should be about iPhones.  See how this is a fail?  A significant part of their audience is interested in Android phones.  They should be running a campaign about their Android phone as well.

They still make the same mistake if they continue to A/B test iPhone vs Android offers because iPhone offers will always get more opens in their audience.  Now there are lots of potential solutions to how often an Android campaign should be run vs an iPhone one as well as segmenting that could take place.  (We’ll leave it for another post to show how you can optimise for this in your email marketing program.)

Are you making a similar mistake in your program?

Probably, yes.  While the above is an extremely simple example, there are probably areas where you optimise your campaigns for a plurality or majority and ignore significant interests of other parts of your subscriber base.  You probably know a topic that gets less opens and clicks than another and avoid sending about it.  What you might not know is whether that engages a different part of your subscriber base or not.  If it does, then you need to be sending campaigns about that topic sometimes as well.

The question you should be asking is did I engage different subscribers with my latest campaign,  not why is my open/click rate so low compared to previous ones.

How Email Analytics helps with this problem

At Email Analytics we have a number of ways for measuring engagement with subscribers.  We can find your campaigns which had very different subscribers clicking and opening.  We also calculate how many unique subscribers have opened or clicked in any of your last 10 campaigns.  Is it better to every campaign at a 20% open rate and 40% of your subscribers open one of the last 10 campaigns or every campaign at a 16% open rate but engage 50% of your subscribers in the last 10 campaigns?

If you currently optimise for subscriber reach across campaigns, we’d love to hear in the comments below!

We’re on a mission to advance email marketing analytics so you can improve your returns from your email marketing program.

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