Email “open rates” are more unreliable than Apple maps
I happened to visit one of my old e-comm clients and the manager in charge of digital bragged about high open rates on their emails.
Maybe he wanted to score good in front of the owner, maybe he has been taught “open rates” are one of the important metrics for email.
So I asked, then why do you need me for fixing your email campaigns?
He replied we aren’t getting people buy after opening our emails and think can improve sales.
That’s where I got little technical and asked him do you know how “open rate” is tracked?
As expected these things are not taught in digital marketing institutes, unfortunately.
A few days back I wrote an article on email subject lines and how the only job of the subject line is to make people open your email.
That brings us to one of the important metrics “open rate”.
Now, what if I tell you the “open rate” you see in your email tool ( MailChimp, AWeber or whatever else you are using) are showing you wrong data.
Any email sent using these email service providers needs to have pixel(image) to track what’s happening.
Now, remember “Always Display Images from…” ? If it’s not clicked in your prospects email settings, that pixel might never be “seen” leading to no open report. So you see less than actual.
This is not all, I like many of you use unroll.me to keep my inbox as clean as possible. They mark the email as read even if I never opened it. So you see more than actual.
My point is you should not be obsessed with “open rates”
So what metric should get you excited?
Click rate, or whatever was your objective of investing time in writing that mail, my friend.
Action people take after reading your email is the only thing that matters.
That’s the only reason you sent that email out.
Open rates apart from being unreliable are never the right measure of success.
Maybe you just read my email subject line post and got creative with the subject line and didn’t bother with content inside.
Next article on how to write emails that make people take action. Some good old tips from the world of direct marketing & my favourite email campaigns if I manage to get 3 comments on this post.
So don’t be obsessed with “open rate” alone, measure the click rate and final outcome and yes it’s a good thing to tag people based on their clicks 😉
happy mailing! & don’t forget to leave your comment.
IMP: I invite you to join Facebook group Digital Marketing For Elephants