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5 Metrics Newsletters Should Care About: More Than Just a "Seen"

From "Seen" to "Sold": Master these 5 metrics and watch your newsletter transform from inbox noise to a revenue-generating machine.

Photo by Luke Chesser / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Welcome to the wild world of newsletters, where the battle for attention is fiercer than a Black Friday sale at a tech store. If you're running a newsletter, you know it's not just about bombarding inboxes with your latest musings. It's a fine art, a science, a... well, let's just say it's complicated. But fear not, dear reader, for I'm here to guide you through the jungle of metrics that matter. Grab your machete, and let's cut through the underbrush of data!

1. Open Rates: The Digital "Hello"

Open rates are like checking if someone waved back at you. It's the first, and arguably, the most ego-bruising step in your newsletter journey. A solid open rate means your subject line was more tempting than a mystery box at a game show. But remember, high open rates without any follow-up action are like getting a high five and then being left hanging. Awkward.

Pro Tip: Test different subject lines like a mad scientist. Think catchy, but not "I'm a Nigerian prince" catchy.

2. Click-Through Rates: From Lookie-Loos to Doers

So they opened your newsletter – great. But did they click anything? Click-through rates (CTRs) are your digital pulse check. It's the difference between someone nodding politely at your story and actually asking follow-up questions. High CTRs mean your content is as engaging as the last episode of a cliffhanger series.

Action Steps: Include clear calls to action. No one clicks on a link that's as enticing as a dentist appointment.

3. Unsubscribe Rates: The "It's Not You, It's Me"

Unsubscribe rates can feel like a breakup text. It's not fun, but it's crucial. A high rate could mean your content is about as relevant as a VHS tape. But don't just sulk; use this as a learning curve. Maybe your content needs more spice, or perhaps you're emailing more often than a clingy ex.

Keep It Real: Conduct exit surveys. They're like post-breakup closure but less dramatic.

4. Engagement Metrics: The Stalker-ish Data

Now, let's get a bit creepy (in a totally legal way). Look at how long they're reading, if they're scrolling, and if they come back for more. This is like knowing their coffee order – it shows you care (but again, not in a creepy way). These metrics help you tailor your content like a bespoke suit.

Deep Dive: Use heat maps to see what's hot and what's not. Literally.

5. Conversions and Revenue: Show Me the Money

At the end of the day, your newsletter should be more than a digital paper airplane. Whether it's selling products, driving traffic, or getting sign-ups for your llama yoga class, conversions and revenue are your bottom line. Track what content leads to actions that fill your pockets.

Money Moves: Tie specific articles or promotions to sales or actions. It's like following breadcrumb trails, but instead of a gingerbread house, it's money.

Last Thoughts

Running a newsletter isn't just about sending emails; it's about understanding human behavior, one click at a time. It's part psychology, part detective work, and a whole lot of trial and error. So, keep an eye on these metrics, tweak your strategy, and remember: every inbox is a stage, and every email is your performance. Break a leg