When you send an email to your physician audience, the goal is not only for them to open it, but also to read it. You’ve spent the time and money to craft those emails and want that effort to be recognized.
Paying heed to your deployments’ read rate is imperative for ensuring you’re capturing the attention of physician recipients.
What is Read Rate?
When defining read rate, three categories come into play
When defining read rate, three categories come into play:
The “glance.” This designation occurs when recipients spend less than two seconds attending to your email. Typically, that means they open it and quickly exit or they delete it completely.
The “skim.” Recipients who spend between two and eight seconds with your email fall into this category. It can be slightly deceiving in terms of effectiveness, because physicians may click on the CTA almost immediately. They did, in fact, engage—just in a more “active” way.
The “read.” Any amount of engagement over eight seconds is considered a read. While the ultimate goal of many emails is to get physicians to click through to your landing page, a lengthy period of engagement without that step is still a victory. Such investment means they are interested in the message being communicated and find it deserving of their time and attention.
If your goal isn’t to get a click-through, you’ve won outright with an eight-second or greater read. If it is your goal, the next step would be to follow up with a subsequent send—providing additional relevant information and a stronger CTA.
Read Rate’s Correlation to Engagement
A lengthy period of engagement without a click-through is still a victory
The research we’ve done on our own deployments has revealed some insightful trends. For example, a physician who skims an email is two times more likely to click through than one who only glances. As you might expect, click-through probability increases with a read over a glance or skim. Physicians who read an email are 56 times more likely to click through than those who glance and 24 times more likely to click than those who skim.
That research—and the resulting adjustments to deployment strategy—has paid off, with 49 percent of our recipients spending more than eight seconds with our emails.
How Read Rate Informs Strategy
Additional data, such as which email platform or internet browser physicians use to open emails, also informs future deployments—as do day of week and time of day. Perhaps engagement is lacking because you’re deploying at an inopportune time or your emails are rendering poorly, creating an undesirable user experience.
With nearly 75 percent of individuals across all industries and age groups citing email as their preferred communication channel, physicians want to hear from you via this digital channel. The challenge is to identify what types of content and which deployment schedule grabs their interest the most. Read rate is one way to assess those variables and use the resulting data to continually optimize future deployments.