Use Metrics to Strengthen Your E-mail Campaigns
In today's integrated selling environment, having enough data isn't a concern for most marketers. In fact, often it's having too much data that derails even the most well-planned e-mail campaigns. With this in mind, I take a look back at a presentation by Al DiGuido, CEO of Zeta Interactive, an interactive marketing agency, at last November's All About eMail Virtual Conference & Expo, presented by eM+C magazine.
(To register for on-demand access to the conference, which is available until May 17, click here.)
This is the first of my two-part coverage of this session, "Making Sense of E-mail Metrics," with part two appearing in the April 17 issue of All About eMail. Part two will recap the presentation of Ernie Vickroy, marketing operations director at Time. Part three, which will run in our May 8 edition, will feature a recap of a presentation by Jeff Mills, director of sales and strategy at eROI, an interactive and e-mail marketing agency.
Start at the end
“Always start your planning process with the campaign's end goal in mind,” DiGuido said, advising the audience to identify three to five drivers of success for each e-mail campaign. Once that's decided, then you can begin to track the metrics that are important. DiGuido cited the following “core” metrics that should be tracked in every e-mail campaign:
- delivery: measures what percentage of your messages get through while providing a good indication of how clean your list is;
- opens: speaks to whether your message is relevant and if consumers view you as a spammer;
- bounces: how fresh and clean your list is;
- clickthroughs: an indication of the performance and quality of your message;
- clicks by URL: which URLs were clicked and how many times;
- unsubscribes: speaks to your compliance with CAN-SPAM regulations;
- spam/abuse complaints: high rates severely impact future deliverability; and
- conversions: this depends on the goal of the campaign, such as number of downloads, registrations, online sales, among others.
Translate into ROI
It's great to know open and clickthrough rates for e-mail campaigns, but their success is judged on the ROI they produce. And that ROI depends on the goal of the campaign and what metrics are most important to your business. These can include the following: leads generated, Web site registrations, contest entries, subscriber acquisitions, total revenue generated, ROI per e-mail, total orders per e-mail, order size per e-mail and others.
"Modifying your messaging to be more relevant to customers pays huge dividends from an ROI standpoint,” DiGuido said.
Integrate across all channels
When confronted with data overload, marketers should share their insights across entire organizations, including e-mail, DiGuido advised. This encompasses all the touchpoints in which you interact with customers ― Web, catalog and retail. He cited three ideas on how to use e-mail to optimize ROI in all channels:
1. Use view-through in e-mail campaigns to track post-campaign purchases.
2. Use pixels to allow for ad network remarketing.
3. Test print creative in a search environment.
"The challenge that most companies have today is that e-mail as a communications platform lives as one part of an integrated strategy,” DiGuido said. “It's one customer who touches your brand in a number of different ways. In order to optimize from an efficiency standpoint, there needs to be shared insights across all disciplines.”