June 30, 2013
Being Opened vs. Being Read
Does a high open rate mean anything if nobody is reading and acting?
Your open rate is an indication of brand recognition. Your click rate is one indication of whether your newsletter actually gets read. (How many newsletters do you open without reading?) Getting read is what raises your reputation and prompts interaction.
Did you know that you can actually increase one at the expense of the other? That’s why, when you shoot for one goal, you have to be aware of what else you’re impacting.
Being opened, being read, and being clicked – that’s being 'read deeply'. Want to know how to ensure that your newsletter gets read more deeply? Send it at an off-peak time. When there is less available to read, people are more likely to read more deeply.
You might be thinking, “That’s nuts! My open rate would drop.” And you’d be exactly right. But the amount of reading in relation to your open rate would increase. Go figure.
Email marketing stats show that open rates are (slightly) lower on weekends. But they also show that click rates are (slightly) higher on weekends. (I caution you that these are industry-wide stats and may not represent your situation.)
Likewise sending at peak times may increase your open rate, but possibly at the expense of not being read as much. Obviously the trick is to find the point when both are optimized - quite a trick if you can do it.
Would you rather be opened or read? It really can be a trade-off.
(OK, so I used a cute animal photo. You caught me.)