Is eNewsletter worth the investment?

Is this eNewsletter worth the investment?” a client asked recently as we reviewed returns at the close of the fiscal year. “Look, the Year End campaign generated more than 10 times the revenue per email sent…

Which means we should just send more appeals, right?

Over the years, we’ve seen what happens when a file simply gets pounded with asks. Opens go down. Unsubscribes go up. Revenues start to fall.

But the evidence of loss can take months, or even years to be seen. The development manager focusing only on immediate return may not notice at all.

This client has heard us talk about the value of engagement many times. A sound hypothesis, sure … but could we prove it?

Now that’s the kind of challenge we like!

To test our hypothesis, we created a “universe” of constituents who had been on file for at least six months of the past fiscal year. We then divided that universe into groups by the number of eNews clicks over the most recent six months and compared each group in terms of the percentage of constituents who gave during the fiscal year (likelihood of giving) and total revenue those gifts represented (value of by level of engagement).

We found the constituents with one or two clicks were 20% more likely to give and delivered about 30% more revenue per constituent (than the group with no eNews clicks). Constituents with three or more eNews clicks were more than 1.5 times as likely to give and revenue per constituent was almost 2.5 times higher.

Out of curiosity, we ran a similar test on another client’s file. It showed similar results.

Is an eNewsletter worth the investment? These clients are convinced! And they're committed to continue using the eNewsletter to provide content relevant and interesting enough to earn those clicks.

Maybe you should look at your own return?