Why your unread email newsletter can still be effective

In a world of never ending statistics on any measure you care to name, there’s one that can never be truly measured and perhaps doesn’t really need to be.

While ‘email opens’ is clearly a great metric to be able to measure, what is less obvious is that the electronic newsletter in question has done much of its job simply by appearing in your customer’s valued inbox.

That’s right, an unopened email can still provide you with significant promotional value.

Your silent salesperson

The reason for this is that even if an email is unopened, you have managed to remind your customer that you are interested in their business, or that they needed to call you, or that quite simply you’re an expert in your field.

All without a single click.

The point is it’s now tougher than ever to get in front of your customer. They are now bombarded with messages from the time they wake up till the time their clogged head hits the pillow at night.

Cutting through the melange

One recent US study suggests the number of exposures people have to promotional messages of any kind in a single day might be as high as an astronomical 20,000.

That’s right, 20,000 exposures via radio, television, signage, social media, email, ordinary conversation and even hot air balloons!

So cutting through this myriad melange of messages takes some doing. And it underscores further just how privileged you are if you have moved into that rarified league of organisations your customer is prepared to stay ‘subscribed’ to.

Your privileged relationship position

This is a privileged mantle indeed, particularly when you consider just how time-poor customers are in an increasingly crowded battle for their attention across multiple media.

For most people, heaven is an empty inbox. So your ability to survive the regular ‘unsubscribe’ cull might well be the difference in getting their next piece of business or not.

And when you’re competing with up to 19,999 other messages for their attention, that’s a useful promotional leg up in anyone’s language.

Great content is still king

I’m not for one second suggesting that you reduce your efforts to come up with compelling email newsletter content. This is the fundamental reason your subscribers have signed up in the first place.

Just don’t think that because your ‘open’ rates aren’t as lofty as you think they could be, that your regular email messages aren’t doing their job.

They are — only in a less obvious and measurable way.

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Tony Jaques
Tony Jaques
4 years ago

Good analysis Craig, and its important to remember that the “opens” data can be very unreliable. I know from experience that some of my subscribers read my newsletter in preview mode and its doesn’t show up as an “open,” and the same applies to readers in some overseas countries. So no-one should be too discouraged by a low “open rate”