Email newsletter reporting explained

I've spoken with a few clients about the reporting we provide after you have sent an email newsletter, so I thought it would be a good idea to share that information with you all.


A few days after you have sent your email newsletter, log back into your account, go to VerticalResponse, hover over Emails, then click on Sent Emails. Then click on the name of the email you have sent. You will then see an overview of the stats relating to that newsletter.

Open rate

This is the number of people who have opened your newsletter. NOTE: This does not count everyone who has opened your newsletter; it only counts those who have opened it and who are displaying images. The actual number is higher than the number reported.

Here are average open found by VerticalResponse from all their clients:

  • Prospect mailings 11% to 13%
  • B2B client mailings opens average around 22%
  • B2C client mailings opens average between 15% - 20%
  • Non-profit opens average around 15%

We find that most of our clients are within these ranges. However, your actual open rate will depend on the quality of your list. If it's a list of people who do not know you well, the rate will be lower. If it is a list of people who know you very well, the rate will be higher.

We always tell people not to be discouraged if these numbers seem lower than you were hoping. The figure you should care about is the impact on your business over the long term. (As an example, my own rate for prospects is 15%, but I am happy with that, as I always get new clients when I sent out a newsletter to them.)

Click rate

This is the number of people who have clicked on a link in their newsletter. We often find this number is quite low because not many people put many links back to their website.

You can raise your click rate by putting more links in your newsletter back to relevant parts of your website. We can keep some links permanently in your newsletter, in certain places. Contact Mayna for information on how we can help you.

Bounce rate

This is the number of emails that bounced, mainly because the address is bad. We find that people who mail for the first time after not mailing their clients for a long period get a high bounce rate - over 10%. If you have a high bounce rate, it will negatively affect your open rate and click rate. From time to time, there are emails that bounced temporarily. If you see an email that has bounced but you believe it to be a good address, it can be marked as mailable again.

Unsubscribe rate

This is the number of people who have unsubscribed from your newsletter. This number should be quite low, but if you are mailing for the first time to people who do not know you well, this number will be higher.

For more explanation on this data, click here to download this report from VerticalResponse.

Who did what?

You are able to download the list of people who received your newsletter to see what each of them did or didn't do. Go to the Download Lists link and save the file to your computer. When you open it, you can see what each person did, including which links they clicked on. This will help you see which are your most active clients and prospects.

If you need help with any of this, please contact Mayna at 877-976-6368, then press 2. She will be glad to help you. She can also be reached at

How to benefit from your happy clients

Yesterday, we had a very happy client. (Although we are not perfect, we do get a lot of nice comments from clients - which makes the days of all of us who work here that much more sunny!). This client was so happy that he promised to post a positive review on the internet.

So that got me thinking of something you can put into your newsletter that will make it much more effective.

It's called Social Proof.

Here's the thing: people are much more likely to believe what other people say about you than anything you say about yourself.

That's obvious, really.

So that's why I encourage you to include testimonials from happy clients in your newsletter.

Of course, in order to include those testimonials, you need to collect them in the first place!

So if you don't have a bunch of testimonials, consider making it a priority to collect positive comments from your clients. For example, whenever someone says something nice, ask them if you can use their words as a testimonial, ideally with their full name. And think about ways you can create a system to collect testimonials from clients - perhaps by asking them to complete a survey about your service.

The best testimonials are in your clients' own words so that they sound natural. They also include concrete details of how your service has benefited them. The more real they are, the better.

When you've got some testimonials, edit your newsletter and put them in.

It's a very simple way to add social proof to your business.

(This should go without saying, but don't even think about making up testimonials!)

The biggest, best-est business the world!

Who says business cards have to be little, credit card-sized scraps of paper?

While these teeny-tiny cards might fit nicely into a pocket or wallet - and so spill embarrassingly all over the grocery store checkout - they do little to make you stand out among your competitors.

That's why some Ready to Go Newsletters members are using their print newsletters as business cards!

Just think about it. Handing out a 2-page, double-sided newsletter allows you to say much more about yourself than any business card could. And you'll certainly stand out.

So, even if you just send email newsletter with us, consider printing out a few of your print newsletters and carrying them around with you.

It's easy as they are already set up for you with your contact info and logo.

Just download, print...and hand out!

Ways to use direct mail newsletters

To misuse a famous Mark Twain quote, reports of direct mail's death have been greatly exaggerated.

While bright young things are dashing around in a frenzy over social media (because it'!), many experienced and successful business owners are continuing to use direct mail.

Indeed, in our business we have seen an increase in requests for help with mailings. Some clients are saying forget email, just make me a newsletter for printing.

Here are some ways to use direct mail newsletters.

Send your newsletter to your client list

Sending newsletters to your client list is the cheapest, easiest and probably the most effective way to use direct mail.

It's cheap because you are probably not mailing thousands of copies, and yet it's effective because you are sending to people who are already proven buyers.

If you have anything - anything at all - extra to sell to your clients, then it makes sense to keep in touch with them.

For example, if you are a real estate agent who would like a second listing from a client, or an insurance agent who would like to write a second policy (or continue to collect residuals on your existing policies), then it's a no brainer to mail to your client list.

And because (generally) printed newsletters have a better return on investment than email, it makes sense to send your clients something in the mail.

What to do: mail to your clients every month, using bulk mail (if you have more than 250) or first class mail. If you have a small number (around 100), mail them from your office in an envelope. Ask us for a printing and mailing quote.

Send newsletters to leads

If you're always collecting leads (which you should!), it is usually worth sending a printed newsletter to them. However, I always advise people to qualify leads and spend the most on those who are most qualified. Be very aware of the characteristics and behaviors of your ideal clients and spend the most marketing to those people.

Your most recent leads are also worth investing in. People are "hottest" when they first contact you; a cold lead who has taken no action over the months is less worth investing in.

What to do: mail to your leads every month using direct mail, but be very aware of lead quality and behavior and adjust your mailings accordingly. Ask us for a printing and mailing quote.

Send newsletters to potential leads

Until now, I have been skeptical about using newsletters to send to cold prospects. Unless you have a very well targeted database of mailing addresses, you can end up spending a lot of money on printing and mailing without having the results to justify that expense.

However, new products from the post office have made the cost of mailing more affordable.

In the US, the USPS recently launched Every Door Direct Mail, which is a way to send to a group of addresses for a very low price. You can find out more about that and similar products at In Canada, look into Unaddressed Admail:

What to do: if your potential clients live in certain geographical areas, consider using these methods of mailing newsletters. Customize your newsletter to include information that is relevant to these areas and to the needs of clients who live in these areas.

Send custom and unusual newsletters

While it's true that printed newsletters can attract attention (and thereby clients) better than other methods, you can go further and really stand out.

We've recently been working with clients to produce truly custom newsletters, either in format or in content. For example, we've helped a real estate agent produce a newsletter for a particular condo in her city in order to attract listings from just that building; we are helping another agent become an expert in his neighborhood by producing a newsletter with market stats and listings. We are also working with clients in a variety of industries to make newsletters about their industry - positioning these clients as true experts.

And newsletters needn't be your standard 8.5" x 11" size. We've recently quoted on producing a newspaper for a client (we'd be perfect to make this, with my background in newspapers and my access to newspaper designers and printers). What better way to stand out?

Basically, we can do whatever you imagine.

What to do: consider how you can make the most of direct mail newsletter. Talk to us to see how we can help you. Contact Frank Barbieri at or at 877-976-6368.

How to use your newsletter to make your website better

Most websites I visit (and that includes the websites of many of our members) don't function as well as they could do.

The fact is, most websites look the same as every other website. They don't do anything to give people a reason to choose that person or company over any other option.

So it's no wonder that many people simply shop by price, choosing direct-sellers (in the case of the insurance industry, for example) or simply the nearest agent (in the case of real estate).

The result is that you are missing out on a lot of business - and your clients are missing out on the remarkable service you offer.

The good news is, you can use your newsletter to make your website work better for you in two ways.

A. Make your website into a demonstration of your expertise.

Here's the thing: You know a lot about what you do - you're an expert. But most websites don't demonstrate that expertise.

An easy way to fix that problem is to add relevant content to your website. Doing so will give you an edge over your competitors because you will be seen as someone who is able to provide useful information instead of someone just selling something.

As you're a member of our newsletter service, you have all the content ready-made for you. You can use it in several ways:

Simply paste articles onto your website. You are welcome to use our content for this. Indeed, you can use our entire library, for as long as you are a member. This way is best for someone who wants to build up an archive of valuable content on their website.

Most of our products offer an automatic way to put headlines from our newsletters onto your website. You just paste code onto your website, then article headlines (and links to the articles) are updated automatically every month. This way is best for someone who doesn't want to add articles themselves each month.

B. Make your website into a lead-capturing machine.

Most websites waste the majority of potential clients that visit them because they fail to attract people to sign up to receive their newsletter and other valuable information. The fact is, if you aren't able to attract someone on the first visit so that you can keep in touch, they will likely forget about you when they need what you have to offer.

The way to fix this is to have an easy (and attractive) way to encourage people to give you their contact information. This "magnet" should be on every page of your website - don't hide it away!

Members of our newsletter service can easily create a sign-up box through their email newsletters website. You just follow the instructions and the system spits out some code you can put on your website.

We then advise you to mention one of the special reports we give you as part of your subscription. Doing this - instead of just promoting your newsletter - makes it more likely that people will sign up.

These are two easy ways that you can make your website work better for you.

We can help you implement these ideas. Just give Mayna a call - 877-976-6368, then press 2.

This is Just for Me! A Secret to Higher Response

One of the ways to get a better response to your newsletter is by making the content directly relevant to your readers. Ideally, you would like them to consider that your newsletter "is for me".

You can, of course, do that to some extent when contacting your entire database. You have a feel for what your clients are interested in - in general.

But if you want to make your newsletter even more relevant, it pays to segment that database and send variations of your newsletter to different types of clients. By doing that, you can provide content that is more likely to be relevant to your readers, making it more likely that they will consider the newsletter to be "for me".

Ways to segment your database

You know your business better than I do, but here are some suggestions for ways to segment your database.

  • By demographics: age, whether they have a family, life stage.
  • By location: by town or type of home (for real estate agents).
  • By product or service bought.
  • By recency (how recently they joined your database or bought a product or service from you.)

(Segmenting by recency is worth considering because new names in your database or recent buyers are more likely to be responsive than older names.)

How to use your segments

You can use this new information either to send a more relevant newsletter to each list of clients or to send a newsletter just to one list of clients. The latter strategy can help you save money by avoiding the cost of sending information to your entire database that only a proportion will be interested in.

As you can customize our newsletters as much as you wish, you can tweak the content to match a segment of your database. This might require only a few minor changes, or you might want to replace one article (dip into our library for lots of choices).

With our email newsletters, you can make a copy of a newsletter in your VerticalResponse account, then edit the copy to make it more relevant to your segment. Then, you can either upload a separate list of clients or you can use VerticalResponse's segmenting tool to divide up an existing list (let us know if you need help with this).

With our print newsletters, you can simply make a copy of the newsletter and make edits to the copy. Because you can print the newsletters in your office, it's easy to just run off a new copies to each segment - you're not committed to a large print run.

Alternatively, you could on one month just send print newsletters to one segment of your databases. The newsletters would contain content and offers particularly relevant to that segment of people.

I do this myself, although I know I should do a lot more. For example, I send my print newsletter just to my existing clients and to people who have joined my database in the past few months. This helps me save printing and mailing costs because I am only marketing to those people who are most likely to respond.

If you would like to talk about how to segment your database, please let us know.

Prove You Are an Expert and Win More Clients

Who would you buy from? The person who says he has the experience and knowledge to help you, or the person who proves she has?

The world is awash with advertising. There's so much of it that we've become quite used to tuning it out. We switch channels on TV during the ads or we block banners on the web.

That means it's getting increasingly difficult to get through to potential clients.

The fact is, it's simply not enough to make idle boasts without backing up those claims with some kind of proof. Boasting without proof makes clients say "yeah, right" before moving on. That's the worst kind of response you can get.

On the other hand, if you can back up your claims with proof that you actually have the chops, then you can cut through the clutter.

I think there is a three-step process for doing that.

Decide what you are an expert at

It's probably not enough to say you are an expert at real estate or insurance or whatever else you do. Lots of people say that. Instead, think hard about what you do that sets you apart from others. If you are in real estate, it might simply be that you are expert at real estate in a particular neighborhood, or you understand the needs of seniors or first-time buyers. By carving out a smaller slice of the world, it's easier to become the number one expert in that niche.

Share your expertise

It's one thing to claim you are an expert at, for example, financial planning for boomers. It's another to prove you are. I think that one of the best ways of offering proof is to share your expertise with others. It puts that proof in black and white, right there on the page or on the screen. So get your knowledge down on paper. Don't worry if your articles aren't New York Times standard; just commit what you know to the page. Imagine you are talking with a client; simply write down what you would say. By creating a series of articles or reports or blog posts you are providing proof that you really are the expert you say you are.

Show what you have done for others

The final stage is to show that your expertise works in the real world. To do that, gather case studies or testimonials from happy clients and share them with the world on your website or in print. If you have clients who have done what you said (or used your services) and got a good result , you owe it to yourself and to others to share that.

This is the system I use myself. I decided that I am an expert in using newsletters to build real, long-term relationships with clients (rather than as just another keep-in-touch tool); I share my expertise in this newsletter and on my blog, in articles and videos; and I prove my success with testimonials and case studies on my website.

Now, I realize that all this takes a bit of work. But frankly, the days of money coming in the door automatically are over. It's those who make the effort who are surviving and thriving.

Article Ideas to Help You Connect with Clients at a Deeper Level

I was talking with a potential client this morning. He's someone who really "gets" the value of newsletters when you personalize them a little and use them to really connect with clients.

So I got to thinking...what concrete article ideas would be helpful? Here's a list. (Don't just read the one from your profession - they all contain great ideas!)

For real estate agents

How I got into the business: Why did you become a real estate agent? Was it because you love houses? Or was it because you have experience from a previous job that you think can make you a great agent (and what was that experience?). Or did you see what other agents were doing and think that you could do better?!

My best real estate experience: Can you tell the story of a transaction that went really well, where you solved a client's problem and they were super-happy? What about it was so great? Why did it make you so happy?

My worst real estate experience: Try telling (with humor!) a horror story. Maybe you were trying to show a home that had a giant, hungry dog. (Good lesson, there!).

What I am doing when I'm not selling real estate: OK, so you answer the phone at 7pm on a Saturday. But you have a life, right? How about you share it? From golf to baking cupcakes...share your passions with your clients.

What you love about your town: Share your passion for the place where you live. But don't just write about the usual stuff...share your thoughts from the heart about why you love living where you do. Maybe your passion will spread to your clients!

For insurance professionals

Why I love insurance: Most people think insurance is boring, but I don't! Why insurance is so important and how it makes lives better...and why I love working in this industry.

What I think about the direct sellers: Why I believe that clients aren't being served by the direct sellers, and how I (truthfully) can make you happy with my personal service.

How I saved someone's life with insurance: A true story about how you sold a policy, someone had to claim on it and how they had a great experience (and how it would have been a nightmare without that insurance.)

For mortgage professionals

Why I got into this business: Do you have a genuine desire to help people into new homes? If so, tell your clients about it! Or did you look at the mortgage industry and think that you could be of better service that anyone else? How do you offer better service? Why is it important?

My best closing ever: Tell the story of a client you got financing for, and how they were so happy and how you felt on the day the transaction closed. How has that client's life changed since?

What you really think about the housing crisis: Lenders have got a lot of bad press recently. Is it justified? Maybe you truly believe that the image of mortgage financing needs to be lifted up because, after all, you provide a really valuable service that makes people's lives better. Share that!

For accountants

Why I'm not just here at tax time: Tell a story of how you helped a client one October by looking at their P&L or balance sheet and giving them some really get advice that made their business more healthy.

Why you love accounting: A lot of people might think you're crazy to be an accountant. But you know better! You know how important numbers are to a business...and how understanding the numbers will make a business run better and make that business owner happier.

The secret life of an accountant: So you're not just the guy with the Excel have a life too. How do you fill your weekends? Maybe you're a secret sky-diver! Share your passions and connect with your clients at a deeper level.

For everyone else

Why I do what I do: Describe what gets you up in the morning. Reveal your hidden passion for your job - and why you think what you do is so important to society.

My best experience in my business: Share a success story. Tell that story from a position of passion. Describe how you helped someone and how happy they were with the results.

My worst nightmare: Tell the honest story of something that went horribly wrong, but how you fixed it in the end. People know you're not perfect, so tell a story with humor that reveals how you can make things right.

Your duty as a business owner!

By Simon Payn

If you don't know me well, you might not realize that I am the shy, retiring type.

I would prefer to sit in front of my computer all day rather than go and make presentations to clients…or even go to a party.

I was talking to one of my mentors about this the other week.

I told him that I didn't want to go speak at seminars, for example - putting myself out there on the stage.

This is what he said to me:

If you believe in what you are doing and if you know that the information you provide will benefit people, then it is your DUTY to go out there and promote it.

That really got me thinking. And right there and then on the phone, I started a rant about how important I believe newsletters are to a business and how I wished that more people would understand this…and that more people would keep in touch with their clients.

I ranted about how many businesses were leaving thousands of dollars on the table - and the owners of those businesses were not getting enough satisfaction from their enterprises - because they were not keeping in touch with clients.

I can tell you, I became quite passionate about it. It was a real rant rant.

Indeed, it was this conversation that kicked off the series of articles I have written about finding your “why” - your motivation for being in business.

So here's the thing:

If you really believe in what you do, and if you know that people will benefit from hearing your advice and buying your product or service, then it is YOUR DUTY to go out there and tell people about it.

Because if you don't, you are failing to be as much service to your clients as you could be.

This isn't about self-promotion, it's about sharing what you know so that you can help others.

Ways to spread the word

1. Your newsletter, of course! It comes with ready-made content, but you can also edit it to add your own material.

2. Your blog and website. You can use your articles from your newsletter on your website. It's a waste not to, really!

3. Seminars and talks. Think of it as spreading useful information rather than just as a vehicle for self-promotion.

4. In information booklets that you provide to clients and potential clients. For example, a buyer's guide that shows them what to look for when they buy a product or a service.

5. In videos. I've found video to be a very effective way to connect with clients - it's a lot more personal than text. I often get comments from clients who have called me after watching the YouTube videos on my websites.

Ikea's Basement and Your Attitude of Service

Reading business books or getting a business education can seem a bit like browsing through the downstairs part of Ikea.

Your senses are overloaded by all that interesting stuff. So you end up filling your cart with rugs and glasses and can openers - when all you came in for was a Poang chair.
Big shock at the checkout.

In the same way, there are lots of ways to grow your business. But if you fill your cart with all the Twitters and referral strategies and online advertising programs on offer, you're likely to get confused, choke on the variety and end up doing nothing.

So that's why it's important to think about your 'Why'. If you didn't read my previous article - What is your 'why' - then go back now and do the exercise at the end. It's super-valuable (I got some great "whys" from some people who took the time to do their homework. These people felt newly energized and excited about their businesses.)

When you know your "why" - the reason you are in business in the first place - it's much easier to focus on what you need to do to grow your business. You don't end up with a cartful of junk.

Imagine, for example, that you are a real estate agent. After figuring out your "whys" you came to the conclusion that you believe that home ownership is one of the joys and rights of life today, and that it is your duty as a real estate agent to make sure that as many people as possible can enjoy owning a home, without the stress that can accompany the purchase process.

In this example, the real estate agent has figured out that she is there to serve people (rather than serve herself). She then will work out ways in which she can serve. Which might be:

  • Providing educational material on buying a home.
  • Making sure that her focus is on the client relationship - removing the stress and uncertainties of the home purchase.
  • Finding ways to open up home ownership to as many people as possible by working with financing experts and by finding ways to reach people who are renting a home but could benefit from owning a home.

So, to accomplish all that, she might:

  • Fill her website with useful articles that educate her clients.
  • Send out her newsletter on a regular basis. The newsletter would contain articles that educate her clients and assure them of her attention to their needs.
  • Consider where the main "stress points" are for her clients in a real estate transaction and work out ways to minimize them, either by the retooling her work processes and/or by finding partners who can help. Then she would make sure she communicates all this to her clients - perhaps by providing a "stress-proof guarantee" that shows all the ways she will make her clients' lives easier.
  • Finding financing experts and asking them to provide articles for her newsletter and website that educate clients about financing options.
  • Using newsletters and social media to reach out to renters and other people who might benefit from owning a home.

You see how she has moved from a self-centered way of marketing herself to one that focuses on the needs of her clients?

And can you see how much more attractive she becomes to her clients now that she has positioned herself like this.

So here's an exercise for you: How can you better serve people to bring your "why" to life?