Friday, June 24, 2005

Hello and welcome. This is a new blog where communicators can discuss methods for measuring the impact of their work. While my experience is in internal corporate communications, I hope some of the measuring methods can be used for all kinds of purposes.

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.

3 comments:

Chad Crawford said...

This isn’t so much a comment on this particular post as it is on this entire blog. Matt started this blog soon after a communications conference in Las Vegas (where he was by far the most competent presenter). Since this blog began I’ve made it a priority to check back on a regular basis. I have done so only twice in two months, and neither time did I actually ever read an entire post. The reason … too busy. Likewise, I’ve also been too busy here at the office to ever actually measure any of our communications, nor have I had any time to start any new communications initiatives or improve any existing ones. Essentially, I’ve been too busy doing my job, to do my job. I have a feeling there’s a lot of other communicators out there in the same boat I am. We all know the plight of the communicator.

Well, I say, “No more.” As a communicator I owe it to my company and to myself to communicate with fellow professionals. This is a perfect forum for doing so. Today I make this oath; I will take the opportunity that this blog provides to grow professionally, and to use what I learn to improve my company. I challenge all of you to do the same. Matt has done some great work with “Stand on a Box.” We owe it to him to take it a step further. I’ll see you in the comments section.

Matt said...

Chad, you've made my day. I swear I was ready to jump in my car and drive to wherever your office is to help you! Thanks for the kind words and good luck with your bold goal. Please post your progress and issues so we can share.

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