Blog - Improve your Current Awareness Strategy

Information Specialists’ biggest blunder with paid content

We all know that in today’s society you get what you pay for. The more you pay, the better quality of product you tend to get, or at least one would expect so. Paying for content provides your end users with information and intelligence that free resources quite simply don’t cover - predictive intelligence, up to the minute legal developments, and high quality insights to name but a few. This we know.

So what about when you’re paying for content that might not be entirely relevant to your end users? This can be hard to assess but with one simple change it suddenly gets a whole lot easier.

information specialists paid content

As an Information Specialist relevancy and efficiency are key. Your end users are demanding the most up-to-date relevant content, whilst you are facing constant time and budget pressures to deliver this in the most efficient manner possible. Enter analytics.

Analytics can be incredibly intimidating to use and interpret but by making the leap you can up your end users’ productivity through sending them only the most relevant content whilst also saving you a good fraction of your budget at the same time. How so? It’s really quite simple.

Hard and Soft Bounces

The first thing to check is whether your end users are actually receiving your newsletters through their bounce rate. It is not uncommon for people to confuse hard and soft bounces but it’s quite simple once you grasp the basic concepts.

A hard bounce means that the receiver's email address is wrong, the message will never get through. When this happens it is imperative that you update your subscriber list to make sure that nobody is missing out on your content. Perhaps they have left the firm and you need to edit your list to add their replacement, or maybe there’s a typo in their email address. It should be relatively easy to fix.

A soft bounce, on the other hand, provides a slightly greater challenge. A soft bounce occurs when your message has a high spam rate, this means that something in the coding of the message wasn’t done properly. If you’re lucky enough to be a HTML pro then a scan through the coding yourself should solve this issue. If, like the vast majority of us, you haven’t quite reached such tecchie heights then there are plenty of tools out there to help you. Tools such as Litmus can provide you with easy to understand actionable feedback to make some quick changes to your messages to ensure that they are always delivered in the future.


Example from Litmus’ reporting software 

Open and Click Rates

Open and click rates are two other statistics that are incredibly useful to assess. These can show you the relevance of your content to the end user once they receive it. A good open rate shows you that your message subject title is of interest and applicable to the receiver. A good click rate, on the other hand, proves that the content you are sending is being clicked on and thus is of relevance to the receiver. As such, a good open rate but a bad click rate would show that whilst your message subject title is of relevance to the end user, the content you are sending is not. This can then provide you with incentive to review your external content strategy to ensure that you are sending only the most useful content.

So now you know how to interpret your open and click rates, what figures should you be aiming for? Since you are sending your newsletters to end users who already know who you are and are expecting your mail, we recommend trying for an open rate of at least 20% and a click rate of 3% and upwards. These are good benchmarks to start with, and you can then adjust accordingly for your organisation’s specific objectives.

Justifying Your Paid Content

By tracking how many of your end users are opening their paid content and then clicking through to the links you will be able to see what sources are of direct relevance to your readers. If your end users aren’t engaging with a subscription content service then this gives incentive to move away from this option, perhaps looking for more suitable content elsewhere. On the other hand, if your budget is getting tighter and you’re needing to justify certain high priced subscription content then you can easily show how relevant it is to your organisation.

linex_analytics.pngData extracted from Linex’s platform

Aggregated Analytics

By now it should be pretty clear how useful analytics can be in strengthening the relevancy and efficiency of content strategies but how easy are they to implement? With a content aggregation automation system it’s simple. Whilst most paid content services will offer their own statistics for you these are typically in varying formats and tricky to compare. A content aggregation automation system will provide you with the same analytics for all your services making them far easier to compare and assess. What’s more, you can even edit and update access rights centrally through the aggregator itself, instead of heading to each subscription service individually. How’s that for straightforward?

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Topics: Technology Productivity Current awareness Content management