July 6, 2013

My Email List: 58% Open Rate, 23% CTR

This morning I shared the performance of my email list:

My email list stats: Open Rate: 58% (3x industry avg) CTR: 23% (7x industry avg) Subscribe: http://t.co/bOTrJwY3L9 pic.twitter.com/RES8Sq0JwK

— Ryan Hoover (@rrhoover) July 6, 2013

Although it may be deceiving to compare my email list to “industry averages” reported by Mailchimp, no one would deny the quality of its performance.

Here’s what I do to keep my audience engaged:

  • Make it Personal - As I’ve argued before, email is one of the most personal forms of communication (behind chat/SMS). I try to provide readers a look into my life, communicating with few filters the way I do with friends. I’m not afraid to share a bathroom Snapchat or my MessageMe PIN. It’s fun. :)
  • Personally Email Every Subscriber - I email every subscriber to express thanks and include a brief personal note such as “How are things at Company X?” or “I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful Portland summer!”[1] This has lead to fun conversations and sometimes in-person meetings with interesting people.
  • Consistent But Not Too Frequent - I send emails once a week. I don’t have data to support this frequency; it just feels right. More than once a week seems too demanding and once a month is too infrequent that people may forget they subscribed.
  • Succinct - We’re overloaded with email and as more of it is consumed on mobile devices, it’s increasingly important to be conscious of the user’s time and attention. My emails are rarely more than 5 sentences long.
  • Unpredictable - Predictability is what leads people to ignore and unsubscribe. Most bloggers simply rebroadcast their posts. This is predictable and imho, boring. Emails I send are focused on a topic I’m interested in or project I’m working on that I believe readers will find interesting. At the bottom of the post, I’ll share a brief “P.S.” linking to my latest posts.

If you made it this far, you might be interested in subscribing to my email list. I might just say ‘hello’. :)

[1] Thanks, Rapportive

More Writing by Ryan