New for all current plans (Essential, Power and Enterprise), we've added Read Time features to Bananatag. Read Time helps you understand whether employees are reading your internal content, so you have better data on how to best communicate all of your important messages.
Bananatag customers love the insight our platform provides on how many employees are opening emails, and which content is most popular. However, we all know that although email data can tell you which portion of your audience opened or clicked your email, it won't tell you if they actually read your content.
With the new Read Time features available in Email Reports, you can see what portion of your audience glanced at, skimmed or read your internal newsletters and other emails.
Here's how Read Time look inside an employee email report:
How Read Time works for employee emails
How is Read Time measured and calculated in Bananatag?
With a bit of data science.
The difference between email glances, email skims, and email reads
Once Read Time data is captured for an email you've sent with Bananatag, it is immediately calculated and displayed on the email report, showing which portion of opens resulted in the email being glanced, skimmed, or read:
Email glances (<3 seconds)
Email opens that result in the message being viewed for at least one second, but not more than two seconds are counted as glances. Email glances will account for the majority of opens that are triggered by Outlook's preview pane while employees are tabbing through their inboxes.
Email skims (3-8 seconds)
Email skims are recorded when a message is viewed for at least three seconds, but not more than eight seconds. Email skims suggest that the email was held open long enough to be quickly scanned.
Email reads (8+ seconds)
Emails opens that result in the message being viewed for more than nine seconds are recorded as read.
Read Time measures how long recipients view each email, by consistently connecting to the tracking pixel added by Bananatag, as long as the email is being actively viewed.
Read Time uses the same tracking pixel that's already a part of every email sent with Bananatag, and the same technology that the platform already uses to measure how and when emails are being opened by employees.
Although Read Time data can't guarantee employees actually read the message, this metric provides a very helpful indication (without needing to prompt employees).
What is required to capture Read Time data on employee emails
Apart from a subscription to a plan that includes Read Time, communicators using Bananatag will need to be sure their organization's email clients can technically support capturing engagement data in this way.
Email sending environment and supported email clients
The primary factor for accurately measuring Read Time for employee emails is the email client that the majority of employees are using.
Outlook on Windows desktop
Our benchmark data has shown that for the majority of our customers, employees are primarily using Outlook on Windows desktops to view emails, and this environment has been tested and shown to be reliable for accurately reporting on Read Time with 20+ large organizations currently using Bananatag.
For accurate Read Time metrics a recipient audience that is primarily using Outlook on Windows to view emails is required.
Webmail and mobile email clients
Organizations with recipients primarily opening emails through Gmail, other webmail, and mobile email clients are not good candidates for collecting Read Time data, as some of these email clients are not reliable for reporting on engagement in this way.
A note on the limitations of Read Time when using a proxy server
A proxy server acts as an intermediary between the client and the server they are requesting resources from, and may prevent Read Time events from being captured.
Since Read Time works by holding the connection open and counting until the recipient leaves the email, when a recipient is directly connected to Bananatag's servers the system measures Read Time with the standard tracking pixel.
With a proxy in place, it is the proxy server that makes the request to Bananatag. When a recipient is connected via a proxy server, the recipient may leave the email and cancel the request to the proxy server for the tracking pixel. In this case, the proxy server may not pass that information along to the Bananatag servers and continue holding the connection open until the request times out.
Testing your organization's email sending environment
To ensure accurate metrics, Bananatag will perform a test of your organization's sending environment, measuring the resulting Read Time data, and evaluating its reliability. This process happens transparently as you send regular emails, and is managed by your Account Manager.
Once enabled in your account, Read Time data is automatically captured for all tracked emails.
Why Read Time is important for employee emails
We can use Read Time to determine if employees are spending enough time viewing an email’s content to suggest that they’re reading it. This metric provides additional context for better understanding how your employee emails are consumed, beyond opens and clicks.
Read Time is particularly helpful for diagnosing text-heavy emails or newsletters with many articles and links. By reporting on the portion of your audience that glanced or skimmed, it's easier to determine if specific emails are effectively communicating your message.
In the coming weeks, we'll be rolling out this feature to customers who are already subscribed to a current plan that includes Read Time.
Already using Bananatag on an Essential, Power or Enterprise Plan? Contact your Account Manager and try Read Time today!