To Improve E-mail Campaigns, Try Integrating Web Analytics Data
Consumers are tightening their belts, and it doesn't look like they'll loosen them any time soon. The current economy presents a challenge for e-mail marketers, who should expect to see a dip in conversion rates across channels as they try to reach consumer inboxes with their important company and product messages.
As a result, e-mail messages must be spot-on in terms of relevancy to gain traction with budget-sensitive consumers. According to JupiterResearch, as many as 53 percent of e-mail recipients unsubscribe from e-mail messages because the offers or content within the e-mails don't interest them.
However, relevancy based on stated preferences or past purchase behavior is only one part of the equation. To be truly relevant, content and information must address what a customer is looking for or interested in right now. Web analytics data offers an excellent opportunity to do just that.
The following are just some of the core types of Web analytics data that should be considered and incorporated within an e-mail strategy:
• shopping cart abandonment data — this data can be used to remind customers of items left in their carts, offer specials and suggest alternatives;
• purchases — this data can be used to initiate cross-sell promotions; and
• Web site visits — this data can be used to tailor promotions or messages based on consumer interest gauged by the number of Web site visits.
If we look at ways Web analytics can be applied in an incredibly competitive environment, such as financial services, it's easy to see a significant uptick in driving customer response. For example, a customer who's signed up for online billing but hasn't initiated any transactions, or has started a few applications but hasn't completed the final steps. An e-mail can guide the customer back to the site and provide incentives to move the process forward. This puts the institution in a position to build customer loyalty and lets customers know that they're well-supported.
The travel and leisure industry presents another good example of how Web analytics can be used effectively. Often consumers chart out itineraries when making travel plans, but don't follow through with purchases. They also may shop around for deals or review properties online, but don't actually book anything. In this scenario, Web analytics data provides an opportunity to prompt potential buyers with e-mail messages when similar itineraries or properties with similar attributes are promoted.
Integrating data derived from e-mail and Web analytics enables marketers to respond more strategically to customer needs, measure e-mail campaign ROI, improve overall campaign relevance and, ultimately, deliver superior customer experiences. And it streamlines operations, as the time to manually combine analytics and e-mail parameters is reduced.
Next week in Part 2, I'll discuss a few points to consider if you're still undecided about whether integrating Web analytics data into your e-mail marketing programs will benefit your bottom line.