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What You Should Know After You Hit “Send”

So you’ve put together a solid message; you have all of the right pieces in place including a punchy subject line, an attention-getting lead, interesting content and clear calls to action. You click “send.” What happens next?

As a user of GovDelivery, you know that detailed analytics are at your fingertips with information like who opened your message, what links they clicked on and how long they viewed your message. These metrics can give you important insight into how effective your message was – you might have even tried A/B testing to compare which tactics are better for your audience.

Now multiply this metric monitoring by 1,800 organizations that send billions of messages to 120 million people – that’s the data we dive into every day. The Business Intelligence team at GovDelivery works to provide insight into the metrics that help government organizations communicate effectively, and uses data to inform best practices on a large scale.

To say we were excited about the recent benchmark report for the public sector “Improving the Metrics that Matter” is an understatement. The report, which identifies key metrics for the public sector, is the first of its kind for government agencies.

In our reflection of the benchmark metrics, here’s what we believe you should you know after you hit “send:”

  • Most Emails Aren’t Opened: The median open rate for public sector organizations in this data set was 21.47 percent. Compared to private and nonprofit sectors, this open rate performance in the public sector is solid. Across all sectors, the reality is that there are millions of messages sent each day and a vast majority are not opened at all.
  • Total Clicks Matter More Than Click Rate: Click rates will rarely be through the roof, but a large and growing subscriber base combined with stable or improving click rates will position your digital communications well.
  • Fewer Emails is Not Always Better: Yes, there are billions of messages sent per day (205 billion sent and received to be exact, according to Radicati), which might lead you to believe that less is more. On the contrary, we found that consistent, targeted messages based on user subscriptions is more effective.
  • Reach + Engagement = Best for Success: If engagement is at or near the median (53 percent) while outreach is growing, you are on track for continuous improvement in your outcomes.

While these metrics are important to continue monitoring, every organization’s mission, goals and outcomes look different. We stress over and over again to our users that testing to optimize is best for determining what works best for you and your audience.

It is always a good practice to continue asking questions and challenging the status quo. Also remember that competition can be a powerful driver – use the benchmark metrics to measure against, but look to the top 20 percent performers as goals to strive for.

Have questions or insight into what metrics matter to your organization? Let us know at info@govdelivery.com.