First, a short story
Recently I participated in a roundtable discussion led by a salesperson for one of those cookie-cutter planned giving website companies. She was showing off her firm’s marketing emails. As she presented her Powerpoint slides, she kept emphasizing how wonderful the open rates were.
17% open rate. 28% open rate. 34% open rate.
“Oooh. Aaah. Wow” said the others seated beside me.
Then I asked, “Why are you measuring open rates? They don’t account for the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of email marketing. No smart marketer cares about them. I don’t get it. Why do you keep talking about open rates?”
Stunned! The sales rep was stunned. She had no idea what to say.
That’s because she didn’t know a darn thing about effective marketing. She was just spewing misinformation. Sadly that’s what I see happen at most fundraising conferences. That’s why I rarely go to them.
Some people call email open rates empty metrics. Others say they are just a vanity metric. I’m here to tell you that there’s simply no good reason whatsoever to measure them. Here’s why:
So what should you measure instead?:
What really matters is engagement! Email open rates are faulty and useless!
So the next time you hear one of those cookie-cutter planned giving website salespeople tell you about their open rates, tell ’em you know better.
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