More Newsletter Metrics For Advertisers

Dear Email Diva,

Your article highlighted the need for newsletter publishers to provide better audience metrics to advertisers, in light of the increasing difficulty to register traditional open rates. Newsletters, in contrast to dedicated mailings, entice the subscriber to open the newsletter based on interest in the editorial content -- something the newsletter advertiser has no control over. So understanding the potential audience that will be viewing and reading the newsletter ad is important. Metrics that go beyond the traditional open rate can help newsletter publishers better represent value to their advertisers, particularly when conveying the message or increasing branding is the primary goal.

One metric that is helpful to all email publishers is the adjusted open rate or read rate. This measure requires that the publisher distinguish which clicks are from subscribers who registered an open by rendering graphics and which ones did not. If a publisher has that data they can compute the adjusted open rate by projecting the number of readers who did not render graphics from the two types of clicks. The formula is as follows

Adjusted opens = (unique opens) [1 + (unique clicks who did not open)/(unique clicks who open)]



The adjusted open rate can then be computed by dividing by total emails delivered.

Another useful metric is reach. Reach is the percent of the audience that interacted with or read a newsletter over a period of time. If the newsletter is a daily or weekly publication and the advertiser is considering placing an ad in multiple issues, they need to know what percent of the audience actually will read at least one newsletter. The publisher needs to get the unique opens for all the newsletters in the specified period and compare that to the subscriber base.

Reach can be significantly higher than open rates because not every subscriber will read every issue. For example, if a particular weekly newsletter has 100 subscribers with 20 subscribers who never read the newsletter and the rest who read it only half the time, the open rate would be 40% -- but over four issues, the reach is 80%. Another thing to look at is the demographics of the reach, which might be different than the demographics of the list as a whole.

A third useful metric is ad clicks and average ad clicks per newsletter. These can be computed by separating ad and article clicks from the other links in the email. In newsletters with a goal of driving traffic to the Web site to view full articles, article clicks can overwhelm total ad clicks. Providing separate ad click data gives advertisers a more accurate assessment of what the average ad might generate.

Brian McFadden, Xtenit

Dear Brian,

Thank you for giving us some interesting and useful statistics to ponder and for writing this week's column for me!

For more on email metrics, check out the Email Experience Council's latest report, "The State of Email Metrics and Bounce Management." Think everyone looks at stats the same way? You'll be surprised.

Good Luck!

The Email Diva

Send your questions or submit your email for critique to Melinda Krueger, the Email Diva, at All submissions may be published; please indicate if you would like your name or company name withheld.

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