E-commerce Link: Does Your List Measure Up?
As direct marketers, you know “the devil is in the details.” Being able to drill down on results is important to determine future strategies. Then you can fine-tune your results, target better and reap the rewards.
Give Your List an Annual Physical
It’s wise to make an appointment with your doctor for an annual physical. It’s just as important to determine the health of your list. Use your “churn” rate as one metric to assess your overall list fitness.
Picture a bucket with a leak. Once you determine how much fluid leaks out, you can determine how much additional liquid you’ll have to add to keep the level in the bucket even or increase capacity. With e-mail, the negative factors that reduce list size are opt-outs, hard bounces, soft bounces retired after a certain threshold is hit and spam complaints. The frequency of e-mail campaigns also affects churn. A monthly e-mail results in losses to your list size; campaigns that are sent twice weekly (or eight times a month) incur many more opportunities for churn.
To examine churn, you want to log the number of names you have at the start of a year and then plot, over time, the average patterns you’ve seen for each of the negative factors mentioned. Create a simple spreadsheet and chart this activity for a year, based on the frequency of your campaigns. This allows you to see how many new names must be added to stay steady or to increase your list by a factor that you set.