I intend to get geeky here. What I hear from communicators is that they don't get the nuts-and-bolts of how to undertake measurement from most sources. They get theory. I'll do my best to give step-by-step descriptions of how this stuff works.
Anyway -- latest measurement thought.
I recently sent out a broadcast e-mail to a subset of our employee population. The e-mail mistakenly had both the the read- and delivery-receipt options selected. Luckily, the message went out from a group mailbox so I didn't get all the responses in my own Outlook e-mail. I saved them, though, and now I have 913 bits of data, with more coming in every day. I'm trying to see if they provide a bit of a view into what happens when we send this stuff out.
Here are a few of the things I might learn from this information:
- How many people open these messages vs. just deleting them without reading them?
- What is the timing of this activity? How long do they wait to take either action?
This is a start. Through a follow-up survey, I could find out if the people who opened the e-mail retained any of the message. I could find out why so many people never opened it, and if they received the same message through some other channel. Is there a better way to reach them? Are there regional differences in how they treat the data? Can I improve my "opened" numbers with clever subject lines or other tactics?
This all seems worth doing -- we rely on e-mail to an amazing degree. By looking at the first two bullets I can size the problem and decide if it's worth pursuing. I don't need any additional data to tackle those two, but I do have to figure out how to get these bounce-back responses into a spreadsheet so I can easily analyze them. I have to make the machine eat the work.
More on that process -- the nuts and bolts -- in my next post. I'd like to know what e-mail programs you use, so we can determine if this will work for systems that don't use Outlook.