I was exploring my newsletter metrics the other day and at the same time reading a few articles on the very same subject, when I landed on this one that I thought pretty well summed up what’s important to measure when running a newsletter.
“6 Crucial Email Newsletter Metrics You Should Be Monitoring”, by Ginny Mineo at Hubspot
The first one on the list, and definitely the one I’ve focused on since the beginning is clickthrough – the number of users that click on your newsletter’s links.
So here’s a little update on where I’m at with this newsletter (sorry about the ugly graphs, I quickly put them together in R).
Maybe I should start off by showing the evolution of this newsletter’s subscribers.
Of course, that amounts to an increase in total links clicked per newsletter edition.
And here’s how many users actually clicked on at least 1 link per edition.
Now, we’re getting to the fun part. Here’s my clickthrough rate per edition.
Here’s what’s interesting with this metric. The other ones were really just vanity metrics – everything going up makes you feel warmth in your hearth. But it’s misleading.
As we’ve learned in Lean Startup/Analytics, you need a ratio to get a realistic picture of what’s going on. And clickthrough rate is a good one. It’s the number of users who clicked on at least 1 link, divided by the total number of subscribers.
So when looking at this rate, my performance in terms of engagement does seem like it’s been pretty much flat since the beginning.
But, let’s look at trends by smoothing my rate with a rolling average of the last 3 editions. I now get the following.
That one is interesting to me as it shows that performance degraded while I was experimenting with links in editions 4 to 7. But a new layout does seem to have made you readers more inclined to click on the content and that rate has started to climb from there.
Let’s see how that will improve/degrade over the next few editions.