Back in March I launched Web Dev Weekly, a weekly email newsletter that tries to combine the week’s latest news and releases from the industry. I find the newsletter itself quite easy to write as I check industry news websites and articles regularly, so it is simply a case of making a note of the best articles and creating a small write up on them.
I was initially surprised at the interest Web Dev Weekly got, especially on Twitter, and subscribers came in their hundreds.
Getting subscribers is actually quite easy if you don’t care about the quality of them, but I do. I would much rather have a few hundred people who genuinely find my newsletter interesting and want to read it than hundreds of thousands of people who never open it, or even worse, mark it as spam.
My newsletter is sent out using MailChimp, who kindly provide me with all kinds of statistics related to my industry. These stats give me a a great indicator to work against.
The first figure is the open rate. This is the percentage of people who are sent the newsletter who open the email. However, there is a small caveat with this figure – it’s impossible to be accurate, and is always going to be lower than the true figure. An open is counted when MailChimp’s servers detect a request for something, usually a file (traditionally this was a 1px*1px transparent image). However, many clients now block all requests to external resources in emails as a security feature, so not all opens will be counted.
MailChimp tells me that the industry average for opens in my sector is: 14.3%.
Web Dev Weekly’s average opens is: 63.0%.
The next figure is the click rate. A click is counted every time a user clicks a link from within the newsletter. This is the important metric for me, as if people aren’t clicking links then my newsletter content isn’t good enough. I want my readers to feel engaged and interested in the same things that I found interesting.
MailChimp tells me that the industry average for clicks in my sector is: 2.3%.
Web Dev Weekly’s average click rate is: 28.2%.