Friday’s release of a new report from eROI published on emarketer is a glaring example of why you have to look hard at email marketing reports to comprehend what is really going on. If I hadn’t read this one carefully I would think that: a) if I have a large mailing list I’m automatically getting lower response, and b) I should be mailing on Saturday.
Neither of these is true.
The report suggests that large lists are getting lower click and ‘read’ (read ‘open’) rates and that overall response is higher on Saturday. But based on the composition of the lists they are using as a basis for this argument this is akin to determining which is juicier between an orange and a banana.
The smaller lists they say clearly in their report are high value business-business lists, easier to manage and deliver very clearly targetted messages to. As the lists get larger, they are composed more of consumers, retailers in fact, which accounts for the spike in weekend response, and a trend to lower response overall as those lists are more general.
Another herring to watch is terminology. EROI actual classifies their stats as ‘Read’ and ‘Click’. Unless you are looking over your recipient’s shoulder, you can’t know if your email has been ‘read’ vs. opened in passing or glanced at quickly before being deleted — this is just an ‘Open’ stat, which One Degree readers know not to rely on.
What they do do, and I wish had done more openly, is provide some hints on how the small list owners have achieved higher response: by having closer relationships and more easily maintaining their list. You, too, can do this if you have a large list simply by segmenting it into smaller groups that are easier to manage, understand needs and communicate with.
In fact, if you have not browsed the list of subscribers and responders on your list in a while, I urge you to do so. At the very least, it will get you curious and at most will provide some ideas on how to determine your list segments.