Data Driven: Online 'Cousin' Metrics
E-mail Address Penetration
You have a zero- to 12- and a 13- to 24-month buyer file, and ideally you have e-mail addresses associated with each segment. Response by each segment represents e-mail penetration, and it is a number that needs to be carefully tracked to ascertain its effectiveness.
It's Not Circulation Planning Anymore,
It's Contact Planning
For many, direct mail is the driver of sales. For years, testing has guided you to the optimal number of contacts for each of your buyer segments. Today, we need to do more. If you are not supplementing your existing circulation plan with newer "contact planning" by incorporating/replacing e-mail contacts, you may be spending more on marketing than you need to. You should be leveraging lower-cost contacts where you can and investing wisely in direct mail where the ROI has been verified.
Don't Forget Your Roots
For those who marketed in a world before the Internet, every variable was tested "real time" before rolling out in quantity. Perhaps we are forgetting our direct response roots! Recognize the e-mail marketing variables such as:
• Best day of week for e-mail blasts.
• Business vs. consumer segment—Recognize that you may have a business-to-consumer customer who receives her e-mails at her place of business.
• Open/click/buy rates will be different and can be managed for better performance.
• What is the trend for your bounce and unsubscribe rates? How clean is your e-mail database, and are you in danger of spamming your own file?
• Average order, revenue/contribution per thousand e-mails circulated, gross margin return on investment—how do these vary by segment and by time of year?
• Measure and manage your key metrics for social media sources and live chats, and you may be surprised.
Today most marketers do a terrific job understanding where the sales credit for miskeyed/non-keyed list sources truly goes via their existing in-house, agency or service bureau matchback processes. Are you tracking Web orders with the same diligence? Just because the order was placed through the Web site doesn't guarantee that the Web site drove the customer to action.