Most online organizers and political campaigns are familiar with classic metrics to watch when sending mass emails: your open rate (how many people open an email), click rate (how many people click on one of your links in an email), and your action rate (how many people then complete the action). But there are more, perhaps better, numbers to watch. Ratios like clicks per open (the total number of clicks divided by the total number of opens), actions per click, and unsubscribes per open are extremely useful.
- They don’t change over time, enabling quick decisions. The classic metrics of opens, clicks, and actions gradually go up after you hit send – an hour later, your open rate might be 5%, but after 24 hours it might be 15%. Ratios, on the other hand, generally don’t change over time. If you’re seeing 65% clicks per open after an hour, you’re likely going to see the same 65% clicks per open after 24 hours. This allows you to use the ratios to make quick decisions – after an hour, you’ll know if the email is engaging your list or if one test version (sent to a random sample of course!) is doing better than another. You’ll be able to make your decision, then move on with your program.
- They more accurately measure engagement rate. An open rate is a number without a lot of context. Maybe you sent your email on Sunday morning – your open rate will likely be lower than it otherwise would. Just looking at that open rate, you might think the email’s not performing well. Instead, look at a ratio like clicks per open – that way, you’re looking at a measure that reflects the actions taken by people who did see your message, giving you more accurate insight into the performance of your email.
Next email you send out, take some time to calculate your ratios (or set up your mass email program to create reports with them). You’ll very quickly discover the power of metrics beyond simple open, click, and action rates.
Jason Rosenbaum is Senior Online Campaign Director at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and an NOI alumnus, trainer, and community member. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is an organization powered by its members to build long-term progressive power. PCCC supports bold congressional candidates and mobilizes around progressive policy priorities.
Progressive Change Campaign Committee 1630 R St NW, #703 Washington, DC 20009