Malleable Musings

December 1, 2008

You must use our email….

Filed under: BTP, Emails — Tags: , — Brendan @ 10:40 pm

lsesweekemailrepIt’s been just over a week since I was involved in what I consider to be one of the very worst email campaigns ever*, so I thought it was a good time to reflect.

The graphic on the left shows the stats from this email – a week after the email was sent (although the open graph just shows opens on the first day).

Notice how big the mailing list is – 18,000+

And then look at that open rate  <1% – How appalling!

So what’s going on – well let me give a little background.

Up until recently the university didn’t provide email addresses to students.   These were finally introduced with a student portal system at the beginning of this academic year.  This particular email was sent to 18,000+ students at their new university email addresses.  So what the poor open rate really shows is that the student email accounts are not being used that widely yet.

We’ve probably not done enough communication with, or education of students.  Oh well – that’s probably another job for next  week!

* Why the worst email ever – well it’s wasn’t just the poor open rate.  There was also a mistake with a URL in the email (a line break somewhow crept in to the HTML) and it was only noticed that this caused a dud link after the email had been sent.  However it was dealt with very quickly and efficiently by the people at Campaign Monitor who have also promised to update their parsers to ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.

For info, I’m currently exploring whether other ESP’s (Email Service Providers) are likely to be better for my particular circumstances but at this point in time I’d strongly recommend Campaign Monitor.  They’ve just introduced a new interface which I haven’t really had much chance to explore properly yet – although the reporting is looking great and if the WYSIWYG support has been introduced as promised my life could suddenly have been made a whole lot easier.


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