Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Gets Measured Gets Managed

A phone conversation with a new DocMonk client today reminded me of a quote by the business guru Peter Drucker:
What gets measured gets managed.
The client I was speaking with had just sent his weekly newsletter through DocMonk for the third time. We were discussing the download rates for the issues he's sent. Currently, only about 40% of the newsletters to paid subscribers are being downloaded. Downloading the issue is the only way to read it (DocMonk is the only form of fulfillment offered), so it's puzzling that so many people who had paid a lot of money to receive a newsletter aren't even reading it.

Then, we started thinking of ideas to increase the download-rate. Maybe he should send a mid-week reminder (this newsletter arrives on Monday morning). Maybe he needs to include a more-detailed summary of that week's content in the email body. Certainly, there are many other things to be tried!

This is what made me think Drucker's quote. Before he started using DocMonk, this client had not been measuring the percentage of his subscribers that were actually reading the newsletter. The reason for this is simple enough: it wasn't possible. Previously, he would email the PDF out to the subscribers as an attachment, and assume that they were reading it.

DocMonk provides detailed reports of exactly who is and who is not opening the documents that are sent. This gives publishers the opportunity to test strategies for improving the "read-rate" of their newsletters. I have no doubt that this client will be driving his download rate higher in the coming weeks. Ultimately, he will see all the benefits of higher readership including increased word of mouth, more responses to the content; and most importantly, more renewals.

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