I sent out my newsletter, yesterday, and once again, noticed fairly high read rates among the readers, which seems to have been a trend with it for several months. I watch these types of statistics hoping to notice which topics readers like to read, what times of year they read, and other information that helps me to write about topics that people do want to read about.
But in noticing that the read rate has been high for the last several newsletters, of course, I have to wonder why. This is where some of the spin artists in our industry would get excited. First of all, let me mention that this particular statistic measures the percentage of people who appear to read the newsletter as measured against all those who are being sent it.
If I were to take a creative marketing view of these numbers, I would write to you all to claim it’s because people are starting to really appreciate the greatness of my writing, or that I’m improving the quality of the newsletter that much that the readership is responding. I’d use the word “mandate” as in “this newsletter has become so well-read that it’s a mandate that I continue with it.”
If I were going to be creative with these numbers, I would claim it’s because people don’t want blogs, they want newsletters (I don’t tend to believe either one is the ideal – I think we read what we want to, and that different people have different preferences).
My point here is that we are besieged by our industry’s statistics, every day. The marketing and sales people get ahold of some of these numbers and give them a life of their own reading things into them that probably aren’t there. Before I say too much about marketing and sales people, remember that I’m one, too. That’s also one of the many hats I wear, here, so I can understand the appeal of it. At the same time, it’s not just a silly sales tactic to do that but silly to believe it, as well. Buyer beware.
Finally: So, if you’re a number fiend and wonder what those higher read rates really mean, you’ll have to keep wondering. I have some theories about it but don’t happen to actually know why they are suddenly so high. The topics could be especially interesting, it could be that people are taking more time to read the things that come into their InBox, these days, or quite a few other reasons, as well. Or, it could be that the world has come to recognize the grave importance of my newsletter – that there’s nothing more important than dropping everything else you have to do to read it, first. 😉