Every year, we eagerly await the updated M+R Benchmark Report, an in-depth look at digital performance metrics for non-profits, advocacy organizations and fundraisers of all types. The 2013 report reflects analysis for the year 2012.
What does it say about Beekeeper Group that this kind of thing excites us? For many of our clients, we focus tremendous energy on developing and analyzing the online landscape in their industry or issue area. The M+R data is invaluable when comparing our clients against industry benchmarks.
We view the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study from M+R as a comprehensive way to provide context to an organization’s outgoing email message performance, social media analytics and overall digital communications. After some light reading, we’re sharing our top three takeaways, challenges and recommended solutions to follow:
1) Click-through rates for 2012 dropped.
The 2013 report shows a drop in email click-through rates for advocacy messaging by 14% over the previous year to just 3.7% in 2012.
Challenge: Just like us, message recipients are inundated by email every day.
Solution: Organizations should view digital communications as part of a comprehensive strategy and work to create inspiring messaging and calls to action.
2) Open rates fell slightly for advocacy messaging.
Overall, advocacy messaging saw a 14% open rate in 2012, also dropping from a 17% open rate in 2011.
Challenge: Recipients are not opening as much email as they used to. They’re savvier at using the Web and want bite-size messages.
Solution: Rather than sending a message to an entire distribution list, organizations should focus their messaging on small, well-targeted and -segmented groups of highly interested parties to increase their open rates. (This should encourage a higher click-rate, too.)
3) Social media audiences are growing faster than email lists.
In 2012, the average organization saw a 46% median increase in Facebook fans, while Twitter followers increased on average by 264%. The average email list size grew by just 15%.
Challenge: If organizations do not leverage messaging through their social web presence, then they are at risk of not reaching their audiences.
Solution: As users migrate toward the multitude of social platforms on the web, organizations should be careful not to be over-reliant on e-mail to drive their advocacy. They should instead focus on integrating and coordinating calls-to-action across platforms.
For full analysis and 44 pages of data, download the full M+R report here.
Additionally, you can add your own comments about the report on Twitter by using the #2013Bench hashtag, or see what others are saying here.