Show your newsletter stats! (End of July 2020)

Originally posted on Mailing List Hackers

Every newsletter has the same basic stats: open rate, click rate, and number of subscribers.

Without context, these numbers are pretty meaningless. An email goes out and 30% of the people who receive it end up opening it. Is that above average? Below average?

Factoring in the kind of newsletter - a weekly resource roundup, or an infrequent blog-post-as-email - your numbers might feel low, but if you were able to see stats from other newsletters, you could get a better sense of how your newsletter is doing and what to focus on.

So, show your stats! Every month, I'm going to share the stats for Bytesized Weekly, as well as what I'm doing to improve things like open rate, click rate, and number of subscribers.

If you're interested in joining the trend, comment on this post, or tweet at @MListHackers (#showyourstats)! Make sure to join us in the Mailing List Hackers Discord and let us know what your newsletter is and how it's doing!

Newsletter: Bytesized Weekly
What is it: a weekly newsletter rounding up new and interesting things in software development
Number of subscribers: 4391
Average open rate: 47.23%
Average click rate: 9.79%
Number of emails sent: 128k

What I'm doing this month (August 2020):

Preparing for Byteconf Flutter, a free remote Flutter conference. A lot of the subscribers to Bytesized Weekly come from these recurring events (~4 a year), so my growth rate in terms of number of subscribers is probably going to reach a high point in the next few weeks.

Thinking about unsubscribes. ~20 people are unsubscribing per weekly email. A ton of people are subscribing to stay up-to-date with our conferences, and it's very likely that they just aren't getting value from the weekly emails. I'd like to spend some time this month digging into how I can provide more value to those people!

Purging inactive readers. From a practical level, I'm in a ConvertKit tier paying more than I need to, considering that my actual # of reading or active subscribers is probably closer to 2000 (47% opens for 4400 subscribers). I'll likely follow Brennan Dunn's strategies for list purging in Mastering ConvertKit, and I'd like to do a write-up for Mailing List Hackers as I walk through the process.

I'm personally super interested in learning about everyone else's newsletter stats, and in particular, if you're building a weekly roundup (especially around software dev) I'm excited to hear about how your newsletter is doing!

  1. 3

    Zero to Marketing
    Subscribers: 1200
    Open Rate: 55%

    I wrote more about how I handle my list in this milestone.

    1. 1

      super interesting post!

      thanks for the thoughts in there re: open rate tracking – i think open rates are going to be a really hard signal to track as more companies do things like hey.com and block email pixels. click rate may end up being the only great signal we have!

      1. 1

        Yeah we will have to use re-engagement emails to keep our lists clean!

  2. 2

    I do a free weekly round up, then actual articles are paid.

    Subscribers: 668
    Open rate: 50%
    Click rate: 20-40%

    1. 2

      Wow, a list on how to build communities!

      Very interested. I just signed up.

      1. 1

        same, super excited to see this :)

  3. 2

    hi! I write roooted, a weekly financial wellness newsletter for young people

    Subscribers: 1,100
    Open Rate: 47%
    Click Rate: 4.5%
    Total Sent: 2,167

    would love any advice/suggestions :)

    1. 1

      Very cool @ilana !

      Out of curiosity, how did you get your subs and over what period of time?

      1. 1

        Hi @stusim! I started roooted almost a year ago right before my senior year of college— a great network to get the word out. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m working on spreading the word in other ways.

        Do you write a newsletter?

        1. 1

          Very cool! Just started one a month ago. Very similar audience. Writing about Tech ETFs at https://finlister.substack.com/

          Would love to stay in touch, is Instagram the best way?

    2. 1

      love the simplicity of the landing page! nice stats, too :) congrats, i signed up!

      1. 1

        Hi! Thanks so much for signing up. I’ll definitely be looking out for yours as well :)

  4. 2

    Here are the stats for VimTricks, which serves up tips and tricks about the Vim text editor twice a week:

    • Subscribers: 1,877
    • Open Rate: 49%
    • Click Rate: 5.5%
    • Total Sent: 48,591
    1. 1

      I'm in a similar space (programmer education - though target group is indie-hackers instead of vim).

      I wonder if it's possible if the click rates with programmer types is under-reported due to the higher likelihoods that programmers use u-block origin etc.? What are your thoughts?

  5. 1

    Virtual Mojito Live

    Subscribers: 109
    Open Rate: 54-71%
    Click Rate: 22-35%

    Pace: Bi-weekly newsletter
    1st email: 16 Jun 2020

    Keen to hear your feedback @signalnerve

  6. 1

    I send out episode alerts via my email list for Semicolon&Sons — Screencasts for Indie Hackers. Started about 3 months ago.

    These are my results from my last email blast.

    Subscribers: 1,072
    Opens: 35.14%
    Clicks: 10.45%
    Unsubscribes: 1.33%

    1. 1

      hey!! i've watched your videos, they're awesome! didn't know you had a newsletter, subscribing now :)

  7. 1

    FinLister Weekly - Data tracking 114 Tech ETFs in the stock market
    79 subs
    48% open rate.
    1 month in

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