The best metric in email newsletters isn’t opens or clicks, but how many replies you received.
The reply is the greatest advantage the small-timer has.
It may also be the greatest fear of large organizations.
Building relationships is what it’s all about, no matter what the medium. When you’re small, you can engage with your audience and pivot on a dime. When you’re large, you can’t even read the replies. Or, worse, those replies may make your job unsafe in the eyes of your superiors.
So, large organizations often discourage replies with layers of bureaucracy. They publish newsletters to nameless, faceless audiences, who need to remain that way.
That is your advantage.
Since starting my daily posts up again, I’ve had messages from writers, publishers, and photographers I haven’t spoken to in years. This blog and my newsletter are serendipity engines. You can’t measure that on a spreadsheet, but I’ve never encountered a better metric for success.