Chris Worfolk's Blog


The Lens of Life

October 1st, 2017 | Public Speaking

This is a speech I have at Leeds City Toastmasters last month, advocating that we use our camera phones a little bit less and live a little bit more.

How reliable is MailChimp tracking?

September 30th, 2017 | Business & Marketing

When you send an email newsletter with a provider such as MailChimp, Aweber, etc, they give you a report on who opens your emails. But how accurate are these numbers?

I had the opportunity to test this recently.

It’s good practice to clear your email list periodically because email providers use open rates to access whether your email is spam or not. So, if you have a lot of old, inactive addresses on your list, or it’s going into people’s spam box and they’re not seeing it, it is a good idea to remove them so that it does not affect email delivery to the people who are reading your emails.

How I tested it

For two lists I had, I created a segment who had not opened the last five emails we sent them.

I then sent these people an email saying “are you receiving this?”, inviting people who still wanted to receive the email me back. Anyone who did this would indicate that the numbers are not accurate.

Here are the results…

West Yorkshire Humanists

We had 120 people on the list. 36 had not interacted with the last five campaigns.

Of those, 11% read and 6% clicked the email. This suggests that people are receiving my regular emails but choosing not to read them.

An additional four people emailed me to say they wanted to continue to receive the email. This suggests that the tracking statistics are out by a significant amount. This is because this is just the people who were bothered to email me back; how many were in the same situation but didn’t bother to?

Anxiety Leeds

We had 256 people on the list. 100 had not interacted with the last five campaigns.

7 people emailed me to say they would like to continue receiving the emails.

Again, this is probably only a selection of the people who are receiving the emails and not being tracked.

Conclusion

The open rate tracking provided by MailChimp, and likely other email providers, is a useful guide to see campaign to campaign. However, it does not seem to be an accurate measure of who exactly is reading your email because many people are reading them but not reporting as having done so in the reports.

Unmissable podcast episodes for entrepreneurs and marketers

September 29th, 2017 | Business & Marketing

There are a lot of excellent podcasts out there. I could do a whole blog post on my favourites. But, in particular, there are a few episodes that really stand out as useful for entrepreneurs and marketers.

I’m only listing a few here, with a plan to expand this list over time.

How to Get 100,000 YouTube Subscribers

Noah Kagan is the founder of Sumo.com. In this episode, he interviews Tim Schmoyer, an expert on YouTube marketing.

Click here to listen.

Getting Inside Your Prospect’s Head

David Garfinkel is the star of the show in the Copywriters Podcast. Getting inside your prospect’s head is difficult and few people explain it well. I think Garfinkel has come the closest.

Click here to listen.

How To Build A Fanatical Tribe of Customers

Mike Dillard runs Self Made Man. In this episode, he interviews Russell Brunson, founder of Clickfunnels, and author of Dot Com Secrets.

Click here to listen.

Back at university

September 28th, 2017 | Life

I’m back at university, studying. Like a geek.

Why? Because learning is fun.

Nobody believes me when I say that. It is perhaps because the course is geared to people who want to use it as a step towards their future career. But even people not on the course seem to be suspicious of such a concept. How did I end up with this friendship circle?

So far it has been pretty standard. Not much has changed since my undergraduate degree.

There are some nice benefits of being a postgrad, however. I get to experiment on undergraduates, for one. That’s not a joke: I literally have access to a pool undergraduates to experiment on.

Of course, my updated take on Milgrim will have to pass an ethics committee first.

I can also take out up to 25 books from the library. Not that anyone would ever need to do that.

Shustoke Reservoir

September 27th, 2017 | Photos

After Hugh & Anna’s wedding, I noticed the Shustoke Reservoir was a convenient distance from Coleshill for a Sunday morning run. THe route round has a little variety: there is a wooden section before taking in the banks for the remaining three sides.

Click the image for a larger panorama.

How to write a Cochrane Review

September 26th, 2017 | Science

Writing a Systematic Review for Cochrane is not difficult. Simply take a large amount of studies, explain why most of them are rubbish, point out that those that remain don’t provide enough evidence it works and finish by saying more research is needed to understand the impact on anyone who isn’t a young white undergraduate.

In fact, it’s so straightforward I have written a template…

Simply insert your variables you are away. Happy meta-analysising!

City Ride

September 25th, 2017 | Life

City Ride, previously known as Sky Ride, is where Leeds city centre gets closed down for a Sunday to create a car-free cycle track around the city centre. Having bought bikes recently, we decided to go for a family cycle.

It was a fun event. There was lots going on at Millennium Square, we got a free bib each and it was lovely to cycle around without any cars. There were some bottlenecks due to a number of cyclists, and because there were traffic lights when our track crossed one of the roads that were still open. But, for the most part, you were able to weave through the traffic.

Venla definitely had a lot of fun, waving at everyone as we cycled around.

Kirkstall Abbey 7

September 24th, 2017 | Sport

Kirkstall Abbey 7 is a trail race staged by Kirkstall Harriers. It starts and ends at Kirstall Abbey, taking in some of the canal towpath, River Aire and surrounding countryside.

Despite the rain, I was reasonably cheery as I went over the start line. I tried to take it easy as I was still recovering from food poisoning, and had already done a hard weekend at Parkrun, but still managed to bring it home in 1:04:55, five minutes ahead of schedule.

The scenery was really nice. Some parts of the race could have done with trail shoes. However, given how much was on hard surfaces, I’m not sure they would have been pleasant to run in for most of the race.

Kirkstall Harriers did an excellent job of organising it with plenty of marshalls, a water station, chip timings and a goodie bag with a much-needed chocolate biscuit in. Plus a bottle of beer.

NHS Beta homepage

September 23rd, 2017 | Tech

I’ve been working with the NHS to deliver a new homepage for the site that will replace NHS Choices. At the Health Expo this month, we launched the new homepage on the NHS’s beta platform. You can check it out here.

Whitby

September 22nd, 2017 | Life

In August, Elina’s mum flew in for a visit. Venla definitely enjoyed her visit.

With only one spare day, we decided to head out to Whitby. This was a mixed bag. Due to the traffic, it took us nearly three hours to get there. And, when we did, it rained and there was nowhere to sit down. But, counting our blessings, we did at least avoid a parking fine despite forgetting to buy a ticket.

I was exhausted by the end of the day. So, we decided to let Venla drive home.