The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

How to Measure Your Email Marketing Performance

The Rainmaker Institute

Email newsletters have proven to be one of the most effective methods for attorneys to market themselves to prospects, clients and referral sources.  Every year, email marketing service provider MailerMailer provides a report on email marketing metrics across 34 different industries, including Legal.

They have just issued their 2014 report, based on data gathered from 62,000 newsletter campaigns totaling 1.18 billion emails sent between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013.  Here are the results — and what should be your new benchmarks — for your law firm newsletter:

Open rate (what percentage of your recipients opened your email):  13.5%

Click rate (what percentage of your recipients clicked on a link in your email)::  1.6%

Click-to-open rate (of the recipients who opened your email, what percentage of them clicked on a link):  11.8%

Bounce rate (the percentage of emails that cannot be delivered):  2.4%

Every email service (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, iContact, etc.) provides these statistics for each newsletter you send out.  If your newsletters are not delivering at rates that meet or exceed the benchmarks above, you have a problem.

Here’s what you should consider to improve your click, open and bounce rates:

Are your subject lines engaging to entice people to open your email?  Short subject lines — 4 to 15 characters — generate the highest open and click rates.

Are you sending emails on the right day and at the right time?  The highest open rates occur on Mondays and the highest click rates occur on Sundays.  Open rates peak during the early part of the day, between 8 a.m. and noon.

Is your email list updated regularly and cleaned of old, undeliverable email addresses?  Bounce rates are inescapable but can be improved if you send out emails on a regular basis.

Have you segmented your email list so you can tailor your content to your different audiences?  Targeted emails deliver 18 times more revenue than general blast emails.

Are your emails personalized? Personalizing the message content can boost open rates significantly.

Do you use a responsive design template so your emails are displayed properly for every screen size?  More than half of emails are now opened on mobile devices.

If your newsletters are performing at or above these benchmarks, you may still have some work to do: if you don’t know the source of your success, you can’t repeat it.

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EEOC Loses on Procedural Grounds in Hotly Contested Case Challenging CVS Pharmacy Separation Agreement

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Employers should continue to proceed with caution despite the recent pro-employer decision in EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., a closely-watched case in which the EEOC alleged that CVS’ standard separation agreement interfered with the rights of former employees to file an EEOC charge or participate in an EEOC investigation. Although summary judgment was granted in favor of CVS by Judge John W. Darrah of the Northern District of Illinois, the court chose not to address the merits of the case, and instead dismissed the lawsuit on procedural grounds based on the EEOC’s failure to conciliate the case prior to filing its lawsuit.

This lawsuit was unique because there was no allegation that CVS had engaged in discrimination or retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Rather, the EEOC alleged that CVS’ mere use of its standard separation agreement constituted a “pattern or practice” of resistance under Section 707 of Title VII. Among several challenged provisions, the separation agreement required former employees to release all waivable claims against CVS, prohibited them from filing any lawsuits or claims against CVS, and required former employees to notify CVS if they participated in an agency investigation. A disclaimer expressly stated that execution of the separation agreement was not intended to interfere with the right to participate in an agency proceeding or from cooperating with such agency.

The court granted summary judgment to CVS due to the EEOC’s failure to conciliate prior to filing suit. Yet, this decision provides little comfort for employers that utilize separation agreements with similar terms. Although the issue of whether the agreement constitutes a “pattern or practice” violation of Title VII remains unsettled, a resolution may be forthcoming as the EEOC is currently pursuing a similar theory in a case pending in the District of Colorado.

The court’s opinion includes a footnote that may prove helpful to employers. Judge Darrah noted that it was unreasonable to interpret CVS’ separation agreement as prohibiting employees from filing an EEOC charge and that, even if the agreement did prohibit the filing of a charge, that provision would simply be unenforceable and “could not constitute resistance to [Title VII]” such that the agreement would violate Title VII. However, this comment is non-binding dicta and not precedential.

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