Welcome to Curious Business

Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, April 13, 2007

Newsletter News

Statistics are one of the aspects of retail that I enjoy the most, and Constant Contact is a great source for new stats. Before I started using this service (see last week’s post), I could not even see how many newsletter subscribers I had. Now I’m getting precise reports.

The first issue went to 434 addresses. Twelve of those bounced. Ninety-four of the remaining 422 e-mails (21.6%) were opened. (Many of those are multiple opens by the same people. I think that displaying in Outlook’s preview pane counts as an “open,” so some of those multiple views are probably just people who haven’t deleted it. Perhaps they still intend to act upon it later in the month.) Six recipients opted out, and two people who apparently don’t understand what “spam” means filed spam reports with their email providers. Spam reports are bad. If I rack up too many of those, Constant Contact will suspend my account.

The opened emails generated 41 clicks, for a 43.6% click-through. Two of my product links got no clicks at all, which surprised me – maybe readers don’t realize that the photos are links, or maybe those products are a whole lot less interesting than I thought. I'm not going to share actual conversion results with you, except to say that the number of sales fell short of my hopes.

For comparison’s sake, the average mailing has an 18% bounce rate, 37% open rate, and only a 9% click-through.

What does this tell me? On the plus side, my mailing list is nice and clean. The

high click-through indicates that those who did open the newsletter were interested in its content. On the negative side, nearly 80% of my messages were not opened. My subject line was not exactly compelling. Sending it out on Easter weekend probably didn’t help; most people do their personal email and web surfing from their jobs, on weekdays. I’m going to send my next issue on a workday, and see how that affects the open percentage.

Is Imitation Sincerely Flattering?

“Gifts for the Curious”.

That’s a new slogan for Where Did You Get That?!, the store in Williamstown that was one of Curio City’s original inspirations. Do you suppose they read my blog? It’s just possible that they adopted that slogan against the day that Curio City comes to their turf. Not that I ever expect that to really happen. It’s curious, though, that they would use that word. My word. I am half tempted to retaliate. What do you think of this new slogan? “Here’s Where You Can Get That”. :)

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