Rescue Me, Can’t You See That I’m Lonely? Or, The Parallels between Online Dating and Marketing Analytics

by Jessie Hale

Published at 2013-02-28

Before meeting my current partner the traditional way, I spent several years, on and off, navigating the perilous world of online dating. I was reminded of this experience recently when I was given the task of reviving The Editing Company’s monthly eNewsletter (which you can sign up for on our home page).
How is creating an eNewsletter campaign similar to online dating? If you’ve done both, you probably already know. If not, let me explain.
You probably receive a handful of eNewsletters in your inbox every day — from a company you tried to get a job at once, an online clothing store you sometimes check out, a restaurant you can’t recall ever frequenting. I always know what’s going on at the Sony Centre because I saw Ani DiFranco play there once in 2007. If you’re like me, you probably delete most of them unread, except for a choice few that interest you enough to have a look.
What you may not know is that most of these eNewsletters come attached to analytics, allowing the sender to see who has received their email, who has opened it, which links they clicked on if any, and whether or not they were having a good hair day when they read it. (Okay, not that last one.) After sending my first eNewsletter last week, I spent most of the rest of the day feverishly refreshing the analytics page, feeling my heart lift at every open and click. After a week, a good percentage had opened my emails, but a larger percentage had not. This shouldn’t have been surprising. But why?
Why don’t they want me?
OkCupid, the most popular online dating site in the world with approximately four million members, and the one to which I posted my three most flattering-yet-natural photos, has a similar feature: if you choose, you can see who has viewed your profile. More importantly, you can see who has viewed your profile and decided not to contact you. And most importantly of all, you can see when no one has viewed your profile. Even when your number of pageviews is respectable — five views in one day! — it’s put into sobering context when one considers that means there are 3,999,995 OkCupid members who didn’t want to check you out.

Rejection is tough, but I don’t begrudge the people who didn’t open my eNewsletter. Maybe they’re just not at a place in their life where they need editorial services right now. Maybe they’ve been hurt by editorial services before and aren’t ready to trust again. Maybe they’re really focusing on work right now. Maybe they are looking for editorial services, but we just don’t seem like their type. All I can do is keep refreshing the page.
Because someday, I’ll find a perfect match. I just know it.