Aweber Stats explained

17 replies
Anyone realizing this too?

I've never had any problems with any of my stats before, but I got a bit depressed lately when looking over my stats over the past couple of months.

I checked on the status of all my lists and found that virtually NO ONE was opening the emails, maybe 1 or 2 here or there, and the click thru ratio was near 0.

And yes, I'm tracking clicks through AW and all of that.

In the beginning of last week, I sent out an email to what I believed to be my most inactive lists, informing my subscribers that I would be purging those who didn't open emails, as it costs A LOT of money to maintain a list and each person costs me. There's no sense keeping people on if I need they don't open emails.

Keep in mind, this is all just a test -- none of the above is actually literally true, just wanted to get a response.

With one of my lists, not giving the niche out, but its not IM, I hate it and I think I will delete it anyway. They're just a bunch of xxxxx who want everything for free and don't want to buy.

I sent a subject to that list, "Why are you even on this list?"

I was for the most part nice about it, but the gist was, "why would you sign up for free xxxxxxx if you aren't going to open the emails?"

I invited them to unsubscribe as well, if they no longer wanted to be on.

Well here are the results, according to AW.

0 people opened THAT email, and 0 people have unsubscribed -- even though i have had 10 personal replies begging me to keep them on and telling me that they open EVERY email.

These replies were the direct result of hitting reply to the email, as "RE: [Why Are You Even On This List]" was the reply subject.

To make matters worse, I check the stats on the links I send them to, and I see a good number of visitors where AW is the referrer(and not the AW link verification).

Keep in mind, those are the people that chose to respond, what about the ones that opened the email and didn't!

What the hell is the deal here?

Those were broadcast stats -- and the follow-up stats are just as sketchy.

If anything, now I know not to get discouraged and believe that no one is opening my mails, as they are, and Aweber is not saying so.

So if your opening rate is low and your CTR is low, it doesn't mean no one is opening their emails -- it just means that AW doesn't have their s*** together.

Just keep that in mind for the future . . .

Anyone else see the same thing?
#aweber #extremely #stats #unreliable
  • A lot of people don't open e-mails, but just read them in the 'Preview Pane' in Microsoft Outlook or similar. So there always will be more people who read (or at least get the gist of) e-mail content than would be reported by Aweber.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    ...except the preview pane should trigger the "open".

    Cheers,

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author rondo
    Open rates only apply to html emails, not text emails. And even html open rates are unreliable because people block the image in the emails which used to track the open rates.

    So if you use text emails all you can really do is track clickthrus to get an idea of what is happening.

    Also get a good traffic stats program like Statcounter or Google Analytics to monitor traffic from your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryangb74
    Well I guess that all makes sense, as I stopped doing HTML emails and was only doing TXT emails out of laziness. Thanks, why i never thought of all that i don't know -- brain is fried
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    It might be worth changing the title of this thread because it's now alarmist for no reason.

    Cheers,

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author HostingBurst
    Had problems like this its rather annoying.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryangb74
    Actually it still doesn't answer the question because I never use html and some are still counted as open
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinPremick
    Thought I'd step in here and share the deal with open rates.
    These comments aren't directed at anyone in particular; it's
    just that I see this sort of question a lot and it's clear that
    opens are not universally understood.

    OK, here goes...

    Email opens are traditionally tracked using a 1x1 image. This
    is the case at AWeber and everywhere else.

    This carries several consequences:

    1. Opens can be tracked for HTML, but not plain text (can't
    embed an image in plain text because it's, well... plain. text. )

    2. If subscribers don't enable images, they may be reading
    your emails without "opening" them in the sense that they
    won't register an open in your stats.

    3. If subscribers click on (or scroll through) your email in
    Outlook/Thunderbird/wherever so that it loads in the
    preview pane, they may record an open but may not actually
    read your email.

    So opens are an imperfect metric. Useful (moreso if you keep
    how they work in mind while drawing your conclusions about
    them), but imperfect.

    One thing we do at AWeber to try to address consequences
    #1 and #2 above is infer opens.

    This means if you have click tracking turned on, and a
    subscriber clicks a link but did not register an open (either
    because the email was plain text, or because s/he did not
    enable images), we will record an open anyway, since how
    can you click a link but not open the email?

    This obviously doesn't mean you'll get to see all of
    your opens if sending only plain text; you'll only get to see
    the folks who clicked. What it does do is give you a
    way to account for some of the people who view the plain
    text version of your email when you're sending that email
    in both plain text and HTML.

    Bottom line/s:

    1. Some people read your emails but don't register opens.
    2. Some people don't read your emails but do register opens.
    3. If you want to track opens, don't send plain text. Send HTML.
    4. At AWeber, if someone does not register an open but does
    click a link, we will infer an open for that person.
    5. Opens are useful mostly as a relative measure of success, not
    as an absolute one. If you send 2 emails to the same list with a
    reasonably short time period between them, the one with more opens
    probably was more compelling.
    6. Track clicks and conversions for more concrete measures of success.

    Hope this helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author cityofangels
    This is good to know. I exclusively use text emails so people will actually read them and receive them, but it seems like it's more to it than that.
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    • Profile picture of the author cbright
      suggestion that might help

      In the top of the 'html' email. In the actual body text of the email put somewhere in there "enable html or images or you're missing the offer" or something to that degree

      That would help with your tracking maybe especially for people who might be interested

      But could also turn some people off, going to have to find a balance I guess or just stick with what you got.
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  • Profile picture of the author csc4u
    I'm glad I found this thread. I was searching how to find inactive subscribers so I could delete them. A little spring cleaning

    Since there doesn't seem to be a reliable way to find those that are not actually opening the emails I guess I'll have to think of something else. Perhaps ask them to click a response link or something.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Roy
    You should call Aweber and get some support for that.

    Sounds like a problem with Aweber that I'm sure they would appreciate if you addressed with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    a source inside aweber (not a normal chat rep.) told me that they are seeing the isps filter the html version of emails lately and so now more of most peoples subscribers are receiving the text versions of your emails.

    thus no tracking on open rates and such.

    i am certain this is part of the problem, but just one piece of the problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Despite the stats issue, are you seeing that people are buying your products? When you get sales, do you take the email address and see if it's from someone on your list? This would let you know if Aweber is working correctly, or if you have a real problem somewhere in the marketing process.
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  • Profile picture of the author Benolge
    Thanks for the post this helps alot, have had no idea how to really interpret all my stats
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