How many time have I heard it quoted:
Oh, you should expect about a 1% response
One percent has often been used as a convenient, and somewhat throwaway, response rate figure where people really don’t know what to expect. And anyway, how do you define response? Is it someone who reads your message (even though you don’t always know this) or someone who send you an order? As a general rule, I think it’s fair to say that, for many businesses, the response they get from their marketing isn’t as much as they might hope even if, on reflection, the results achieved do make the investment of time and money worthwhile. But what this really means is that most of us don’t know what to expect? As an example, we recently sent an initial e-newsletter on behalf of a new client to their carefully selected key customers and they expressed surprise when only half of the recipients open the email. Why don’t they all read it, we are asked?
Marketing in the real world
The fact is that people are busy and have lots of calls on their time and sometimes, reading your e-newsletter is down the priority list – even though they think that you and your products/services are wonderful! In the real world, a 50% open rate is VERY good – our best ever is around 80% but that’s another story! In fact, actual marketing response rates are surprisingly low. Here are figures from slideshare, a B2B social media platform (where real engagement stats are relatively easy to come by) that may surprise you: Slideshare is not perhaps one of the leading social media sites but nonetheless it is very popular across B2B markets as a platform for getting presentations onto the web. If you have ever wanted to get a PowerPoint presentation onto your website, take a look! Anyway, slideshare has had well over 10 million presentations uploaded and some people claim over 1 million views of their own presentation! Last month I received an email promoting the top 5 presentations on Slideshare over the past few weeks. These 5 had clocked up a total of 420,000 views but what surprised me was the modest level of active engagement that these views had generated. LIKES – Not to hard to click a button to say you like something, you might think. Yet the 420,000 ‘Views’ generated only 1411 ‘Likes’ – thats around 1 in 300. Comments – OK leaving a comment takes a bit more effort but the 420,000 ‘Views’ generated a grand total of 26 comments. A ‘comment’ rate of 0.006%
Coming back to my email example
Analysis suggests that a typical B2B e-newsletter is read by 10-20% of recipients but if you look at readership, at some point, in a series of emails over time, the percentage of a list that engages with you is normally closer to 50%. So maybe having 50% of your contacts reading an individual e-newsletter isn’t so bad!
And the point is…
Real-world marketing response rates are low, but they are there, and when it comes down to it, response quality is more important than response quantity. But your marketing must work for you! To get maximum long term engagement with your market, your marketing communication should be sustained so make sure you can stick at it. Regular communication with your contacts will help them get to know you and the more they feel they know you, the more confident they will be to engage with you – and it is on this confidence that strong and long-lasting customer relationships are forged.