An article in the Aug. 16 issue of MediaPost's Email Insider gives us a tantalizing new metric to consider: the Disaffection Index.
The article's author, Melinda Krueger of Krueger Direct/Interactive, discusses how the traditional way of measuring unsubscribes (total emails received divided by total unsubscribed) as a measure of recipient satisfaction is no longer appropriate because the average email recipient simply doesn't unsubscribe anymore.
The old way, which doesn't account for people who never open their messages, can fool senders into believing their email is more successful than it actually is.
Instead, Ms. Krueger proposes a more telling "Disaffection Index"--unique clicks divided by unsubscribes. This calculation tells you how many people either clicked on your email for the sole purpose of getting off your list, or who were so dissatisfied with the payoff (promise vs. delivery) that they chose to unsubscribe.
Measuring them against historical activity levels can produce solid insights into how dissatisfied your otherwise-engaged recipients are.
I'd love to hear what readers think about this idea. Is the DI a new staple for email marketers? Or is there a better or more direct way to measure dissatisfaction among your recipient base?