Why You Should Focus on Conversations, Not Clicks

Author Avatar Matt Barnett wrote this on Feb 12, 2018

Opens and views matter, but not nearly as much as you think.

Sometimes when we check in with customers after they have been with Bonjoro for a while, they’ll respond that their view rates aren't high enough.

Enough….for what?

Bonjoro average open rates are pretty high, at 80% - in an industry where 60% is seen as a good first email open rate. Bonjoro view rates are steady at around 47% - and while we have users who smash it getting over 90% (yes, and users who just can’t cut through below 20%) most users sit around this mark.

The majority of Bonjoro users are sending Bonjoros at signup, conversion, or to try to tip a customer over the edge into making a purchase decision. So our question to anyone looking to boost their open or view rates is a simple one: what is the real result you are after?

Opens vs views for getting your message across

Open rates can be skewed by all kinds of things. Some mail programs download and 'open' emails automatically. Some recipients will have turned off images in their email client, meaning the tracking ‘pixel’ used to track opens won't load and your email won’t register as opened. But debates about technical problems distract from a much bigger discussion that we should be having: how much does an email open count for?

If an email is tracked as opened, this does not mean a customer has read it. It does not mean that they have understood your message. It does not mean that they are planning to take the action you want them to. It does not mean that they like you, your company or your emails.

How many times do you scan past the welcome message on your way to pressing delete? How many times have you been lured in with a tempting subject line only to find no use for the email underneath? We’ve set out to reinvent this model at Bonjoro. Views on a Bonjoro only count when a user has watched a minimum 3 seconds or 25% of the message. In fact 87% of Bonjoros are played in their entirety. What does this mean? If someone views your Bonjoro, not only have they received it, they have actively engaged with it.

Why is this important? Because it shows real engagement, and puts you in the best position possible to start a meaningful relationship with your customer.

Replies are what matter (closely followed by word of mouth)

If you’ve tested Bonjoro against pretty much any other onboarding technique, you’ll probably have noticed by now that your response rates not only increase, usually by a factor of 2-3, but that the quality of responses you receive tend to be, in the words of one customer, “off the chart”. When was the last time you saw a sign up email elicit a reaction like that?

If you were to interact with a person in a real life, personal situation (like buying a coffee, check out stand at the grocery store, asking a stranger for the time etc.) and they looked at you, acknowledged your presence, but didn’t respond or interact verbally, wouldn’t that be strange? Yes.

So then why do we accept opens and views as a satisfactory result in a digital interaction. Isn’t the intention to start a conversation, or at least begin some sort of two-way communication? It is these conversations that lead to referrals, lifelong advocates, and delighted customers.

How much is a customer worth to you?

When a Bonjoro user asks about their view rates, in addition to giving advice on how to improve, we always ask if they have managed to generate business from the replies they have received. Most of the time the answer is yes, followed by something like “hmm if you think about it that way, it's pretty good actually…”

Do the maths. If it takes you 1 minute to send each Bonjoro and for every 10 you send you convert an extra customer, worth $50, is your time worth $300 an hour?

If you’re converting a $20 a month SAAS customer, with an average lifetime of 12 months, is your time worth $1190 an hour?

If you create a loyal customer, who by your actions not only pays the $20, but brings you 5 more customers, is your time worth $6950?

These sums can be hard to measure – although you can actually track the impact of viewed bonjoros in your CRM with a handy integration – but the best Bonjoro users don’t actually focus too much on tracking, as they tend to see the results quickly. When it comes to what Gary Vaynerchuk calls “the Rickey Henderson effect” these people understand that if you make enough personal connections over time, the word of mouth amplification effect always comes into play.

Measuring effectiveness of your actions in business is crucial, we totally get that. We fall into the metrics mindset ourselves sometimes (just ask Oli, our head of marketing, when I’m chasing signup numbers). But we return every time to the idea of quality over quantity. 2x the signups is useless if we only convert 1/3rd of them to paying users and don’t succeed in making every one of them feel like an individual.

Remember: you’re in business to do business. It's not about opens, clicks and likes. It’s about what your efforts actually equate to in terms of the bottom line and vision for your company.

I’d always ask yourself, what could you be doing better with that spare 10 minutes each day. If you currently spend it answering a few emails or having a cuppa, consider putting that time aside to send a few Bonjoros instead. It will probably be one of the best ROI’s on your time each and every day.

Have you had any particularly great responses to your Bonjoros? Do you think we are underrating the power of traditional email? Let us know either way on our Twitter: @bonjorapp.

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