About The Author

David Grabitske

David Grabitske is the manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota.

In June 2009 Local History News switched to Informz, which enables Minnesota Historical Society to monitor how well this service is used. Prior to the switch it was not possible to tell beyond anecdotal evidence how well Local History News was read. Just looking at the last two months of issues, Local History News has:

  • a net gain of 82 new subscribers (currently 1,843),
  • an average delivery rate of 99.05%,
  • an average unique subscriber open rate of 43.41%,
  • an average unique subscriber click-through rate of 29.99%, and
  • an average unique subscriber forwarding rate of 12.13%.

Of course, it would be ideal if the open rate were much higher. Still, these statistics show that Local History News exceeds industry benchmarks for direct email. The Minnesota Historical Society’s information technology staff report that industry standard benchmarks are currently at:

  • 92% delivery rate,
  • 40% unique subscriber open rate, and
  • 20% unique subscriber click-through rate.

EmailStatCenter shows these benchmarks:

  • 79.3% open rate,
  • 22.2% unique subscriber open rate, and
  • 5.9% unique subscriber click-through rate.

Mailer Mailer’s report on email marketing for the first half of 2008(latest available) shows standards for a number of industries. Although history is not listed separately, and could fit a couple categories, for simplicity the numbers listed for nonprofit trade associations are:

  • 98.07% delivery rate,
  • 13.80% unique subscriber open rate, and
  • 1.72% unique subscriber click-through rate.

Similarly, Mail Chimp’s online statistics for nonprofit e-newsletters show:

  • 27.66% unique subscriber open rate, and
  • 4.06% unique subscriber click-through rate.

Any way the numbers are cut, users of Local History News from the Minnesota Historical Society are an engaged audience. Please take a collective pat on the back and keep up the good work for 2010.

What prompts you to read Local History News each week? What is useful? What could be eliminated? All advice would welcome.

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