#UnderstandingAnaltyics 5: E-Newsletters

They might seem old-school, but e-newsletters are really important marketing tools. You see, people have to sign up for them, so they land in people’s inboxes. That’s a great privilege to have.

Still, even though people sign up for your newsletter, doesn’t mean they’ll actually read it. A bunch of different factors are at work here:

  • They might have gmail, where newsletters are now banished to the “promotions” tab. Your newsletter will no longer show up in their main mailbox. This could be a good thing, though, because in the past, I’d often just delete newsletters in an effort to get my inbox to zero. Now that they are already filed away for me, I can sit down and check them out when I have the time.
  • They might be suffering from “inbox overload.” That’s totally a thing!! And they may delete your email because they simply don’t have time to deal with it.
  • You might have gone into spam by mistake. Or on purpose. If one person reports your newsletter as spam, your email address gets black-listed, and your emails start to go into spam folders from then on. Yikes!
Mailchimp Open Rates
Mailchimp Open Rates

What you need to look for when it comes to analytics:

  1. Overall growth. Is your overall number of subscribers growing? It’s normal to have a couple people unsubscribe every time you sent out a newsletter. But overall, your growth should be upwards, not down.
  2. Open rates: next to overall number of subscribers, open rates are the most important stat to look at. They tell you how many people actually opened and looked at your email. Anything in the 10-30% range is considered to be successful.
  3. Click-throughs. Let’s say you’re trying to sell something through your newsletter, or you’re asking for a donation. You can check and see how many people actually clicked on that link to go through and purchase or donate.
  4. Social shares. Most e-newsletter programs will show you if anyone tweeted your newsletter, or shared it to Facebook.
  5. Demographic information. Where in the world are the people who are opening your email? The answers may surprise you!
Report: Links Clicked
Report: Links Clicked

What to do with your E-Newsletter Analytics:

If your overall growth is slow, here are some tips to grow your newsletter list:

  • offer something for free in exchange for the email address
  • always give good value, so that people want to subscribe, open, and share
  • don’t spam people
  • make it easy for people to subscribe by having a form on your blog or website, encouraging them to sign up

If your open rates are low: 

  • carefully consider your subject line, and make sure it’s a powerful one, or use one of these popular keywords.
  • offer a contest (and let them know in the subject line)–everyone likes to get something for free
  • ask a question
  • use their name in the subject line–it’s attention-grabbing!

Next week, we’ll have a look at YouTube analytics, and what you can learn from them.

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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