by Jayson Schmidt, Preseason
It’s one thing for your team’s brand to be more human, which is important as we talked about last week.
It’s another thing to parlay that humanity into brand strength. And it’s another thing completely beyond that to be unaware of that strength (or lack thereof). And if you don’t know, you need to know. If you don’t, how will you know if what you’re doing is actually working?
Well, you’ve got to measure it.
#ProTip: As a quick refresh––
– Quantitative data is information that can be counted, measured, and given a numerical value.
– Qualitative data is descriptive and expressed in terms of language rather than numerical values.
The quantitative approach gives us license to dive into the numbers, allowing us to measure brand strength through three primary areas: email marketing, social media, and web traffic. For today, we’ll mainly focus on email marketing.
If you’re sending out bulk recruit emails or communicating with your community via email marketing, you have data to pull. (If you’re not utilizing email marketing, you should. See how-to resources here and here.)
The two most important numbers are your open rate and click-through rate.
Your open rate is exactly as it sounds. It’s the percentage of users who opened the email. My recruiting campaigns with Palm Beach Atlantic have never been opened less than 28.8% of the time, with an average open rate of 44.7%.
Our best email sent has an open rate of 63.74% on 3,516 recipients (meaning 2,241 recruits opened the email). Other great open rates include a 56.95% open rate on 6,974 recipients (3,972 recruit opens) and a relatively pedestrian 34.09% open rate on 9,249 recipients (3,153 recruit opens).
Your click-through rate is the percentage of recipients that click-through to a link in your email. For the campaigns listed above, we had an average CTR between 2-12%, depending on the content.
Say an average campaign has 5,000 recipients. With a CTR range like the one above, a coach would see anywhere between 100-600 recruits taking action on an email.
We also had a community newsletter style campaign that averaged 59% open rate (within one percent each time) and CTRs varying from 12-22%. Typically your community opens links at a higher clip than recruits.
The numbers matter when you can quantify how many eyeballs are seeing your content.
Engagement is the name of the game and it can typically be measured by followers, likes, retweets, and comments, among other things. These numbers are a direct reflection of your brand and your content.
If you’re looking for information on your Facebook and Instagram accounts, you can see generic analytics if your accounts are set as a business. If you want more analytics (or want to compare your brand to others), consider pulling data from a third-party website. SkullSparks pulls data from CrowdTangle and even publishes their results for Division 1 institutions.
If you want a deeper dive into your analytics, consider a solution like OpenDorse.
If you have a recruiting site (and you should), analytics give you even greater insight into your audiences.
Click this link for a deeper dive into harnessing your web traffic data that we wrote in November.
This article is the seventeenth in a series on athletics branding. Jayson Schmidt is a former NCAA Division II head coach and managing partner of Preseason, a creative agency that helps colleges win.
Struggling with your brand or just simply want an edge on the competition? Preseason can elevate your story and deliver it to recruits, fans, and donors.