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Do “open rates” matter?

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Last month, I was on the panel at the October Taste of Technology session that focused on email marketing (read about that here), moderated by Jennifer Sheehan of Technology Therapy.

During the discussion, we were asked about average "open rates" for email newsletters (that is, now many people "open" the message, according to the tracking through your email marketing provider). As the flood of email increases, open rates seem to be decreasing.

That's when the question came up as to whether, for an email marketing campaign, open rates and click thru rates are even relevant.

I suggested they might not be, based on an email exchange with my client, Bob Bly, who runs a very successful Internet business. (I had asked Bob to share open and click thru rates for his email marketing messages. His response to me: "We don't track that because we don't think it's relevant.")

What do you think? Do you watch yours? What do they really mean? How accurate are they? Does it mean someone actually read your message? Or just that their cursor happened to land on it? And if they do matter, what can you learn from them? How can you use them?

Please answer any or all of these burning questions.

  • More in: How to Get the Most from ______, Posts by Ilise, Self-Promotion

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