Send, Analyze, Target, Resend: The Art And Science of Successful Integrated Email Campaigns

Email marketing campaigns continue to prove their value, even as new media channels emerge to pull marketing dollars in different directions. But today's email marketing strategies and tactics are different than they were even five years ago, and there's a lot more to a successful campaign than just looking at open and click-through rates. In today's digital world, it has become imperative for marketers to employ a well-rounded online marketing toolset, that includes everything from Web analytics to behavioral analysis of respondents to gain valuable insight into just how effective their email campaign is -- or isn't.

Send. Many marketers consider conversion the Holy Grail. If the email generates a lead or a sale, it's considered successful -- if it doesn't, it's considered a bust. But a lack of conversion doesn't necessarily constitute a failure. By using Web analytics tools that are tightly integrated with online marketing campaigns, users can examine key metrics such as visitors' average time on-site and campaign exit rates to understand where the conversion process needs improvement, and use those valuable insights in their follow-up campaigns. The first step in getting to marketing nirvana is to send, so marketers need to press the button, and then be prepared to refine their campaigns as they go.

Analyze. Analyzing data from email campaigns is the most important strategy for successfully improving email marketing. By taking a look at many metrics together, marketers will gain greater insight into the bigger picture of user behavior.

"Time on-site" measures the ability of a company's Web site to maintain visitor interest. It also indicates how well the site is meeting visitor expectations. If visitors are spending a reasonable amount of time on the site after clicking through, they've generally found -- and engaged with -- what they sought. Using average time on-site for "all visitors" as a benchmark, marketers can analyze the average time on-site for visitors that came in from an email campaign and can compare the two.

The Web can be a very transient experience. We may start in one place to purchase something but, as we all want to get the most for our money, it only takes a few clicks to move from store to store or to a review site to validate (or decide to rethink) our choice. That's why a higher than average time on-site is a pretty good indicator of interest.

If companies have large groups of visitors with high average time on-site but few conversions, they can examine their campaign and look for ways to create a sense of urgency and reason for quick action in a follow-up campaign - such as a 25% off coupon. Giving those lingering window-shoppers a catalyst to convert is key.

A campaign exit rate is a second effective way to gauge whether visitors' expectations have been met. For example, if an email message is sent out with a free shipping offer, the company's landing page should clearly restate the offer that got the recipient to click through in the first place.

If dealing with high exit rates, a first course of action should be to see how well the landing page reflects the promise made in your campaign. Using the same (or at least similar) graphics and promotion wording is a good start.

By analyzing average time on-site and campaign exit rate data, along with other metrics, marketers will be well on their way to adjusting and improving their marketing efforts.

Target. Segmentation is the key to gaining useful insight into any marketing activity, including email campaigns. However, segmentation can only happen if data is available to analyze for insights and trends in user behavior, which can then be grouped according to similar habits. Marketers need to focus on visitors who share common behavior when responding to a particular campaign, and in targeting future campaigns. Using Web analytics to segment campaign respondents will provide valuable information in formulating targeted follow-up campaigns.

Resend. The best advice to marketers is: Don't look at any one metric in a vacuum. Instead, take a holistic look at metrics -- including average time on-site, campaign exit rates, ROI, conversion, and visitor volume/response rate. Viewing key metrics together with the proper analysis will ensure an accurate picture of the value of each campaign and will enable marketers to achieve the best results when they refine and resend (but don't abuse your list).

Combining strategic email campaigns and utilizing Web analytics to analyze campaign metrics, marketers can better target and improve the experience for customers both in their inboxes and on their site. It's an important step, as the world continues its journey toward integrated online marketing



Next story loading loading..