The conventional wisdom in email marketing is that open rates and click rates diminish as names on a list get “older.” There are many reasons why names go stale, but IMO these are the biggies:
• The subscriber’s circumstances change and they don’t need your information anymore.
• The subscriber has gotten bored or disinterested with what you have to say.
I thought it would be interesting to put conventional wisdom to the test Thursday with the announcement of TheSolopreneurUniverse.com to my e-newsletter list.
So I sent the announcement in four mailings: to the subscribers who signed up in 2013; those who signed up in 2012; those who signed up in 2011; and those who signed up in 2010.
For my list, performance of subs remains healthy for up to 3 years after the subscription dates. Performance tumbles when a sub reaches the 3-year mark.
Industry average: 17.2%
List average: 27.3%
2013 subscribers: 40.2% open rate
2012 subscribers: 27.1%
2011 subscribers: 19.6%
2010 subscribers: 17.3%
Industry average: 3.8%
List average: 5.4%
2013 subscribers: 9.4% click rate
2012 subscribers: 5.3% click rate
2011 subscribers: 5.1% click rate
2010 subscribers: 1.6% click rate
Here are a few observations:
• Open rates and click rates for the 2013 subs is extraordinary.
• Open rates and click rates for all four mailings outperformed the industry average.
• Open rates for 2013 subs are 2.3 times (230%) higher than 2010.
• Click rates for 2013 subs are 5.8 times (580%) higher than 2010.
• Open rates for 2013 and 2012 subs exceeded my list average (the 2011 and 2010 subs did not.)
• Click rates for 2013, 2012, and 2011 essentially matched or exceeded my list average. Click rates for 2010 subs plummeted.
1. If you want an accurate picture of your email list (and why wouldn’t you?), I think it’s worthwhile to send the old subs an email that asks if they want to remain on the list. (This can be done politely: “I know that people’s circumstances change, and I’m contacting you today to see if you still want to be on my list…”) If they don’t respond, then remove the sub from your list.
2. Your newest subscribers are the most eager consumers. Take this into account when making all marketing decisions.
What do you think the implications are for my list (or lists in general)?