M+R Research Labs recently conducted an interesting study on whether “failing to communicate with your [email] listmembers consistently might cause them to not respond to your organization’s emails as consistently as they might if you stayed in better touch.” M+R looked closely at the effect that gaps in email communications have on listmembers’ responsiveness. In other words: Do Email “Silences” Matter?
To find the answer they gathered data from four national nonprofit groups – The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region, American Rights at Work, and The Wilderness Society. They looked only at email advocacy messaging across all the groups, such as filling out an online petition. Here’s are the key results:
- Three of the four organizations experienced declines of at least 1% in click-through and response rates after gaps of one or more months in their email advocacy messaging. The other organization had only a one-month gap in its messaging and its click-through and response rates fell only slightly (less than 1%) the next month.
- An email silence of two to three months resulted in lower click-through and response rates to the next advocacy message. The gap in communications caused click-through rates to drop an average of 3.80% while response rates dropped an average of 3.03%. A one-month gap in advocacy messaging resulted in an average drop of 1.41% in click-through rates and a 1.06% drop in response rates to the first advocacy message after the gap.
We know that floodiing the inboxes of our members is a “no-no” — but now we know that regular, measured contact is key to keeping an active list.