In Classic Studio, engagement rate was calculated as activity divided by views. In the new Studio, engagement is now calculated as activity + email opens divided by views + email delivered.
Why the change? The change in the metric reflects the change in how email is presented - with the new Studio, we now deliver the “full” content in the user’s email, without requiring them to click to see it. The click to open the full view previously counted as the "activity" in the old equation. Let’s look at some visuals…
Classic Studio Email
In Classic Studio, the majority of the email templates actually presented a preview of the content, not the content itself. Seeing the preview was tallied as a "view". Users were forced to click on the email in order to open the full view of the post, and that click was tallied as "activity". As a reminder, here's a visual of the Classic Studio email flow:
Because email from Classic Studio had a multi-step process for users to get from an initial preview to a full view, we could calculate activity (i.e. click) divided by views - of the folks that saw the preview email, how many clicked it to open it fully?
The New Studio Email
In the new version of Studio, emails are a much more immediate experience. The moment someone opens an email, they see the full content. Our metrics here are collapsed - open, view, click (to see full content) all happen at the same time. Here's a visual:
Because email from the new Studio is a single-step process, we can no longer use activity divided by views, as this would always be 100% for every user. We need a new denominator. So instead of taking activity divided by views, we are now calculating email engagement as email opens divided by emails delivered - of the folks that received the email, how many clicked it to open it fully?
The New Studio - Newsletter Example
What if you create a campaign in the new Studio that has links to other content? How do we count views and engagement in this case?
First, let's establish the notion of parent and embedded content. When you click Create and you are now editing the "parent" campaign, as you add a link block and link to existing content, you are now creating "embedded" content. The parent campaign may have images, text, or nearly nothing at all - but it is the container within which you have the embedded content.
Once a campaign with embedded content (such as a newsletter) is delivered to your community as an email, opening the parent content counts as both a view and engagement for the parent content, because when the user clicked on the email they saw and engaged with the full version of the parent content.
Within the parent, the user sees a preview of the embedded content. Therefore, we get only a view of the embedded content until the user clicks on the embedded content to see the full version of that campaign.
Here is a visual:
Where to See the New Engagement Rate
The new way of calculating engagement rate (email opens divided by emails delivered, rather than activity divided by views) will simply come into play if you are looking at a report about a campaign created in the new Studio. In any report where engagement rate is calculated, such as Campaign Performance, this new way of measuring engagement will appear.
The campaigns created from Classic Studio will continue to rely on the clicks divided by views calculation.
Will This Change Engagement Rate Numbers?
The change we have outlined above should not change numbers dramatically. The engagement rate was always about whether users clicked to see the full view of the content - and the only change we've made is that it only takes one click to see the full view of the content.
Note: If the new Studio email campaigns still calculated engagement rate as "clicked to see the full view of the content" divided by "opened email to view the campaign", then the engagement rate would actually drop dramatically. As we are loading the full view of the content with the first click, there is no need to find the small hyperlink at the top of the campaign to open the content in the member experience.
However, this is a new calculation for us. If you see any potential issues with the numbers in your reports, please let the Support team know.