SOC Activity Guide

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Introduction to SOC

As an Email Marketer, you spend the majority of your time honing the “perfect” message – choosing the most compelling subject line, carefully crafting your sales pitch with text and images, and creating a call to action for your subscribers.

How does one gauge a successful Email Marketing Campaign?

If your Autoresponder Letters are aimed at directly selling a product, the most obvious gauge of a successful Campaign would come from sales volume.

For example, you create an AutoResponder Letter announcing a sale on screwdrivers with a link to your online store, and broadcast that Letter to your list of one thousand subscribers. If this results in fifty screwdriver sales, you have a sales conversion rate of 5%. In marketing terms, this would be considered a successful result!

An example of a Campaign Broadcast with a 5% sales conversion rate.

But this is NOT a complete picture of how successful your AutoResponder Letter was to your audience. There are other factors to consider:

  • How many people actually opened your email? Sending an email message is one thing, but having the recipient click on the subject line and read the contents is another...
  • How many people clicked the links in your email, but didn't complete the sale? If your recipient was interested enough to click through to see more, why didn't they finish the transaction?

A more accurate picture of the potential effectiveness of your AutoResponder Letter would look more like this:

Same Campaign Broadcast showing a breakdown of Opens and Clicks.

Sent, Opened, and Clicked (SOC) Activity gives us a better picture of how effective this AutoResponder Broadcast was:

  • Of the 1000 Letters sent, 320 subscribers opened them - giving us Open Rate Percentage of 32%. As a reference, 2020 internet research indicates that an Email Open Rate Percentage of 18-21% is considered in the “Good” range.
  • Of the 320 Subscribers who opened the Letter, 85 clicked on a link inside the Letter - giving us a Click Rate Percentage of 26.5%. This is also a very good number!
  • Of the 85 that clicked, only 50 made a purchase. While this falls outside of the scope of the actual Broadcast itself, it is very useful knowing that there were 85 clicks when tuning the sales process after the subscriber clicks the link.

Using SOC Activity Statistics

Green dots appearing on lists of Campaign letters or Broadcasts indicate recent SOC activity for a given time period (default is last 30 days).

To help you achieve the best results possible for your Email Marketing Campaigns, now monitors and records these SOC Activity statistics in real time for your Autoresponder Letters.

Because of the nature of how they function, these SOC statistics are separated into Broadcast Activity, and Automated Letter Series Activity. These appear as graphs in your AutoResponder's Subscriber Overview. Clicking on one of these graphs (or using the links under the “Statistics” tab) will show you a table of all SOC Activity for any Letters over a given time period. The default is to show SOC activity for the last 30 days.

There is also a Campaign-Wide SOC Activity window, for a very broad view of your Subscriber interaction with your Campaign.

Viewing Detailed SOC Stats

You can view Detailed SOC statistics for a given Broadcast or Automated Series Letter by clicking on the graph icon in the SOC table corresponding to that letter, or by clicking on View SOC Letter Activity link located in your list of Letters.

Directly view a Campaign Letter's SOC Activity using the link found in the Letter list.
View a table of all Campaign letters or broadcasts with recent SOC activity

Here we can view overall SOC activity, Open Rate and Click Rate Percentages, a breakdown of link URLs that appear in the Letter, and even a breakdown of which links were clicked.

You can also view archived copy of the letter, called a “HeatMap”. Guiding your mouse over the links contained in the letter will show you which links were clicked – providing some insight into how your subscribers are interacting with your Letter.

Be aware of how time frames will affect your SOC Activity Results

An illustration of a Broadcast sent fourteen days ago with a high Open Rate Percentage. Note the time differences in Opens, and Clicks...
An illustration of a Broadcast sent fourteen days ago, but only viewing the last ten days of activity. This shows an incomplete accounting of actual results.

Tracking accurate SOC statistics for email is not an exact science. Once an email has been sent, the amount of time each subscriber takes to open a Letter and/or click a link inside that Letter varies from a few moments to a few days (or even weeks)!

As an example, we will observe SOC activity for the same Broadcast in two different time periods. Refer to the illustrations on the right:

This broadcast was sent fourteen days ago.
If we look at the SOC Activity for the last fourteen days, we see:
* 6 Sent
* 5 Opens -- an Open Rate Percentage of 83%
* 3 Clicks -- a Click-Thru Percentage of 50%
If we only look at the last ten days, we see:
* 0 Sent,
* 2 Opens -- an Open Rate Percentage of 0%
* 2 Clicks -- a Click-Thru Percentage of 100%

As you can see from these illustrations, changing the time frame that we are viewing SOC activity can drastically change expected results. This is a simple example using a Broadcast, where all subscribers are Sent a Letter at basically the same time. In the case of an Automated Series, where Letters are sent at different starting times, gauging an actual Open Rate Percentage, or Click-Thru Percentage can be quite a challenge!

As a general rule, using a larger time frame allows a more accurate representation of subscriber responsiveness. However, if you are interested in viewing more immediate response times from your subscribers, then you will want to use smaller time frames.

How can I use these SOC Activity Statistics?

Sample "open rate" graph from SOC statistics area.

In the most general terms, SOC Statistics are used to help identify and improve the responsiveness of your Subscribers. For example:

My Open Rate Percentage is low. Remember, a good target rate for Open Percentages is about 20%. If yours is low, consider the following:
  • Is my subject line weak or unappealing? Changing your subject line may improve your results. Avoid “yelling” at your subscribers with all-caps. Also avoid misleading or outrageous statements about your Letter's content.
  • Is this subject right for my Subscribers? A low open percentage may simply indicate that your Subscribers (or “Target Audience”) is not interested. Segmenting your Subscriber list with tags, or running multiple Campaigns based on subscriber interests, can keep your “target audience” in focus and responsive to your AutoResponder Letters.

My Click Rate Percentage is low. If Subscribers are opening your Letter, but are not clicking on any links in the message, consider the following:
  • Is there a clear “Call-to-Action”? How can the message content be improved to focus a subscriber into clicking on a link in the AutoResponder Letter?
  • Is the message content confusing or too long? Even your most responsive Subscriber has an attention span limit. Strike a balance between compelling and consise.
  • Is the message content misleading? Using a subject line to mislead your Subscriber into opening your Letter is a sure-fire method for no further action, or even an unsubscribe request.

I have a high number of Removal requests. A disconnected audience is never a good thing. If Subscribers appear to be requesting removals, review the considerations listed under “My Click Rate Percentage is Low”.

Managing Subscribers based on SOC Activity

You can segment your Subscriber Lists based on SOC Activity in nearly any way you see fit. Some examples include:

  • All subscribers who opened this Broadcast in the last 60 days.
  • All subscribers who opened, but did not click any links for this Automated Letter in the last 14 days.
  • All subscribers who clicked any link in this Broadcast in the last 45 days.
  • All subscribers who clicked a specific link in this Broadcast in the last 14 days.

Next to most SOC statistic values, you will find two buttons:

Example of SOC Window showing management buttons.

Add/Remove Tag Buttons

Tagging your subscribers provides a very flexible way of identifying smaller groups within your subscriber list.

As an example, you want to create a segmented list of subscribers that contain anyone who has clicked on a link in your Broadcasts over the next year.

First, we create a tag called Interested using the Subscriber Tag Manager link under the main AutoResponder tab.

After each Broadcast completes, we can visit the SOC Activity screen and add the Interested tag to anyone who has clicked on a link.

By using Tags in this way, at any time in the future, you can then manage this collected group of subscribers containing this specific tag or combination of tags.

For more information on Tagging Subscribers, see this wiki page.

Manage Buttons

Clicking the “Manage” button will redirect you to the Subscriber Management section where you immediately can perform other actions on this Subscriber subset like broadcasting, transferring/copying to a new campaign, etc...

Detailed information on Subscriber Management is available on this wiki page.

See Also

Tagging Subscribers

Managing Your Subscriber List