In my recent post I looked at why increasing the send frequency has a counter intuitive effect of increasing the delivery rate.
This time I’m considering why viewing a campaign in isolation can also take you in the wrong direction.
Consider a monthly campaign with an 8% click rate. If the monthly campaign is changed to twice a month, the commonly accepted wisdom is the click rate will fall. Assuming that wisdom is true and taking that the click rate drops to 6% on each campaign, then is this a bad result? What’s better, the twice monthly campaign with a 6% click rate or once monthly with an 8% click rate? The twice monthly campaigns would be better since the overall amount of customer engagement measured by absolute number of clicks is higher. Only if the click rate of the twice monthly campaigns is halved to 4% is the engagement the same.
To make a fair comparison when different frequencies are involved the monthly number of clicks per customer across all campaigns in the month must be compared.
The Revenue Per Email (RPE) measure is not useful in this case. The revenue per customer per month is a better metric. After all you would accept a small reduction in revenue per email if there was an overall increase in revenue per month, right?
Of course the long term impact of email frequency should be considered. Will the click rate drop with time in the higher frequency case? To have real evidence that any long term changes in individual campaign performance is due to frequency, create a control group and compare over time.
I’m not saying lower click rates are fine per se. Even better would be to double the emails per month, keeping the per campaign metrics the same or better. Added to which with the advent of intelligent inboxes and graymail filtering, inbox placement will be impacted if the engagement rate per campaign is too low.
So what is the click rate goal? Nobody expects to get a 100% click rate. It would be great, but after all, tweets go unseen, posts go unread, snail mail goes unopened and TV ads ignored.
As 100% click rate is not the goal then what is? 5%, 10% or 15%? If you currently get 10% what makes it the ‘right’ number?
It’s the wrong question. The question is revenue and profit. Certainly that’s the question for the CEO. The measure is then revenue per customer per month.
Yes, do consider per campaign click rates and revenue per campaign and look to improve them. Individual campaign metrics are diagnostics to understanding where improvement is possible. But don’t view and evaluate campaigns in total isolation. Look at the metrics and revenue across all activity.