Excerpt vs. Full Article in EMail Newsletters

Most newsletters use excerpt instead of a full article. The monthly frequency of newsletters forces publishers to include lot of information in one edition. Providing multiple links in your newsletter tend to decrease user engagement both while reading the newsletter and on visiting your product/service pages (from the newsletter). Although the click through rates will be higher with more links in your newsletter, you have to focus on ‘Effective Engagement'.

Effective Engagement Metrics are the following:

1) Open Rate
2) Number of Opens
3) Click through Rates
4) Time on Page
5) Scroll Rate
6) Visits to Important Pages
7) Conversion

Don't look at the above metrics in isolation. Look at the metrics as part of a user activity.

Open Email -> Click Links -> Visit Product/Service Pages -> Converts OR Bounces

Effective Click through Rate = Open Rate x Unique Click through Rate

A prospect can click your links multiple times. To avoid counting duplicate clicks, use Unique Click through Rate.

A 42-55% Effective Click through Rate shows that you have a good mailing list.

For individual visits from Newsletters: 

a) Track the time spent on each product/service page
b) Has the prospect visited important pages like pricing, features or contact us?
c) Have they performed important actions defined by your marketing team (Download whitepaper, register for your webinar?)
d) If they have bounced from important pages, monitor user trends (from Newsletter) on those pages. If you have a high bounce rate on those pages then create variations of the pages and the copy.
e) In your next Newsletter campaign, send different segment of users to different landing page variations
f)  Monitor user behavior and find the best performing pages.

Here are some industry standards for Newsletters in Education sector, collected from MailChimp.com:

1) Open Rate: 16.64%
2) Click Rate:   3.41%
3) Soft Bounce Rate: 1.42%
4) Hard Bounce: 2.09%
5) Abuse Complaint Rate: 0.06%
6) Unsubscribe Rate: 0.20%

Click through rates in B2C Email Newsletters typically range from 2% to 12%. Anything below 2% is a worrisome.

Always remember that prospects who have opted for your Newsletter have different attention span when compared to those who reach your product and services pages from Search Engines, Paid Links, Social Media or Partner Links. Creating landing page variations for each segment of users is the key to running an effective Internet Marketing campaign.

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