There was a discussion on the Chamber of Commerce Professionals group on Facebook about what a good chamber email open rate was. It depends on whether you have solely members in your send or non-members as well. Non-members will bring the rate down slightly, but a good chamber email open rate is still between 25-30%, anything more than that is a marketer’s dream.
But there is one thing that no matter how much you optimize your send times, delivery schedule or how you analyze your list, it will kill your email open rate. That thing is….
That doesn’t mean you need to go out and hire a writer. It’s not about how you write, only having a face for radio, or any other concerns about your skills and talents. There’s only one thing that contributes to creating “bad content” in the eyes of your email recipients and that means you’re serving up something they don’t find interesting, informative, valuable, or inspirational.
You’re simply not appealing to them.
I can produce an article where I end my sentences with a preposition, where I start sentences with a conjunction, and where I use a plural pronoun for a singular situation (although AP just awarded us all the ability to use their instead of “his or her” and still be considered grammatically correct.), and as long as I’m producing content about something my audience is interested in, those things don’t matter. They’ll think it’s “good.”
On the other hand, if your inaugural newsletter contains the same event info and chamber hours that are on your website, welcomes a few new members (again, all available on the website) and that’s it, why would anyone spend their time opening it? According to The Radicati Group, the average employee receives 122 emails a day. If all you’re doing is sharing info from your website, why wouldn’t someone delete it immediately, promising to check on events and such at a later time?
But here’s the worst of it…
You don’t have time to perfect your newsletter or your email blasts. You do this to one email recipient — provide them with the information they don’t care about — and it’s very unlikely they’ll give you a second chance. Your newsletter will be marked as not worth their time.
So how do you avoid this?
If you haven’t launched a newsletter or email blast, take the time to find out what they need and want before you begin sending.
If you’ve already launched and watched your chamber open rates dip with every send, relaunch. Create a big fanfare of the new and improved newsletter or email blast. Hopefully, they will give you another shot at winning them over.
When they do, make sure you’re ready with content that will inspire, educate, and/or entertain. And, no, chamber hours and a list of new members aren’t going to do that.