Email Measurement, Part 2: Advanced Email Analysis Tutorial

2.2 Introduction

This is Matt Bailey. In this chapter, we'll be looking at email analytics and measurement. Measurement and analytics are the keys to knowing what works, why, and what you should do. It provides an immediate return on investment analysis to know where you should continue your expenditures in order to expect a return. And also where you can increase your expenditures, or move money from one budget to another and gives you a guide as to what you can expect when you do such things.

2.3 Example: Trigger Campaigns

Here's an example of a business that started developing dynamic triggered campaigns. They were automatic triggered emails based on a customer action. An email was dynamically generated with the customer's name based on products that they browsed or viewed or abandoned, and then the system triggered an email as soon as a particular condition was met. The first campaign that they started in the first month was a reorder reminder. People that had either a 30 or 60 day product that they had to reorder, this service sent out a reminder email. Now they sent out 744 trigger emails, based off of how many people needed to re-order. They received eight orders, worth about 470 dollars, so that came out to a response rate, a conversion rate, of 1.08%. Now the revenue per email, Is about 63 cents on each, and so as we moved into the second month of the campaign now we can see this company has added a product review email. This is a dynamically triggered email, specifically to people who have purchased, asking for a product review, based on information accumulated in the first month, the reorder reminder was rewritten, reformatted. And in month two, there's a dramatic increase in not only the amount of orders but the conversion rate more than doubled. Adding the review campaign added another significant amount of revenue with almost five thousand emails going out. Now these are emails asking for the customer to review the product, but it also resulted in 25 additional orders. So now we can see that overall, doing these two campaigns were developing a revenue of 50 cents per email. That is a fantastic target for revenue and it also shows that we are giving people information that's valuable to them when they want it, and they are showing that in the response rates and in the value per email. We can see the benefit of a dynamic triggered email based on the conversation the customer is having with the business, whether it is a reorder reminder, or a product review, we are having a conversation with the customer. Emails are being dynamically generated, meaning that they are created and then there's no more intervention on our part, and so the cost of generating these emails is significantly low, but the return is very high.

2.4 Example: More Campaigns Added

So let's move into what happened four months after the initial campaign started. Well, of course the company started adding in more and more different types of email campaigns. We can see that in month four, they started a cart abandonment campaign. This was for customers that shopped, added products into the cart and then left the site. They had two cart abandon emails. We can see that the first reminder of the abandoned cart was the one that was most successful at over a 5% conversion rate in bringing people back to the site to complete the cart. And that was running nearly $4.86 per email that was sent. That shows us it's a successful campaign. The next was adding a Thank You campaign. This was a thank you to people that became a new member, that subscribed and people that became a customer. And so there's different types of thank you's that were going out, all based on a different factor of who the customer was and how they came to the site. And we can see there that the revenue generated from the thank you campaign was not significant, but we can see that there was revenue being generated. And so overall, for all the campaigns together we're averaging about $0.20 per email. But when we looked at just the primary campaigns, the primary campaigns of the reorder reminder, the reviews, and the cart abandonment, we have a response rate of over 1%. A conversion rate of 1.2%, but it is generating a revenue per email of $0.75 per email sent.

2.5 Example: Campaigns Optimized

Two months after that, all of the campaigns are being optimized, they're being developed, they're learning and they are working on improving the message and the delivery and the personalization of each of these campaigns. The cart abandon campaign, while it started out very high, we believe that customers got used to seeing this, but the cart abandoned campaign is still generating $2.17 per email. And that's powerful. That is a great revenue per email and it provides the standard for everything there. However, we can only apply a lot of the knowledge here to the other cart abandon in the email. We can create a cart abandon email number three, and test it against some of these others and see how well they do. Because now we have a standard measurement of revenue per email. If we create another cart abandon email and test it and it does not compete at the same level of the other revenue per email campaigns. Then we immediately drop it. If we create one and it creates a higher than $2 per email revenue, then we know that it's good and we may want to substitute. And so that's why you always want to measure specifically one campaign, and look at just the data of that campaign, like a cart abandoned, because then it gives you specific things that you can try, test, and measure. And you can measure the apples to apples comparison, one abandoned campaign against another abandoned campaign and look for the factors that create success. Now also, there was another campaign added of customers that came and browsed content. Now this is educational content on the site, not specifically product content. And so experimenting with generating emails based on educational content that was read. Now this only produced about $0.29 per email, but it was one of the highest revenue producing campaigns. It produced about 7,000 triggered emails but over $2,000 in revenue every month. The benefit far outweighed the costs because we're talking about email which is a low investment producing a high return. And we can see that the browse campaigns just refining the message, creating a more relevant presentation, is now over $2 per email in the browse campaign. Overall all the campaigns together were averaging about $0.46 per email. The primary campaigns of cart abandonment, store browsing and the reorder reminder were at $0.61 per email. And so here we can see a specific measurement for each campaign. And how it can help you compare one to another, but also more specifically, continue to improve each campaign. And by evaluating by revenue per email, it gives you a hard number that you can use as a specific comparison.

2.6 URL Tracking Parameters

Now how do you get numbers like this? How are you able to track to this depth? Well an important factor is making sure that you always, always, always track the links in your emails, every link in every email should be tagged with a tracking code. Because a tracking code will enable your analytics program to know where a specific visitor came from. And so in doing so, you can then measure that with your other campaigns, and get the level of measurement that I just showed in these reports. Now if you're using Google Analytics, you can use the Google URL builder, which puts together a campaign source, campaign medium, and campaign name. And this is where you name all of your email campaigns so that when you're in your analytics, you'll know which email campaign you have and how to compare it to others. You can also look specifically at the product link within a campaign, so when someone clicks through, you know which link they clicked within the email. This is vital to knowing if you're giving the right message to the right People and also knowing if it resonated with the receiver to see what was important to them that they clicked on within the email. And so this leads into doing very specific campaign analytics.

2.7 Campaign Analytics

You can look at different email campaigns with all of your campaigns. You can look at things that are specific to just the email, such as the pages per visit, the time on site and the bounce rate of the email campaigns. We can see that two email campaigns are significantly lower than the site bounce rate. One is almost as high as the site average, you can look at similar campaigns. As you can see one is a news letter, one is daily email, and the other is a past newsletter about a few months old, but it's still being passed around and still generating visitors. And so we can look at that a little differently, but the key is to compare similar campaigns. To compare one newsletter against another newsletter and see what information resonated with your audience and what information did not by looking at the click-throughs. Looking at the pages per visit, time on site, and those types of key measurement factors, but in the context of a campaign and measuring one campaign against another. By tagging your links, you can also tag people that clicked a certain link and went to a specific landing page. And you can compare all of your landing pages together. And we can see in this case that one specific landing page performed far better than other landing pages, creating an average per visit value. The amount of people who clicked on the email and went to that landing page were worth a $1.16 each simply based on revenue. And then we can compare that to the site average, well the site average is $0.69 per visit. That's all channels, all the ways that people find the website, all together is about $0.69 per visit. But our email campaign which sent people to this landing page was worth far more, $1.16 per visit. And that gives us an ability to know for sure which landing page resonated the best with our visitors so that we can learn from that and implement that knowledge as we move forward.

2.8 Multi-Channel Analytics

Starting at the beginning of this chapter, we looked at the sad story of a company. They needed to know which channel was working, and why, to know where to pull budget from, in order to build their SEO campaign. You see, when you look at campaign analytics, you need to look at all your channels together in context with your email. And so for this we're going to look at our overall conversion rate is 1.29%. The average order value is $122 and the average per visit value of a customer to the site is a dollar 56. Now looking specifically at email, comparative to all the other channels together we can see that email had a significant source of revenue. Had exactly the same conversion rate as the website but a poor visit value Of almost 20 cents more than the site average. And when we look at overall, all the campaigns, what we can see is that email provided a substantial improvement over the average order value in the per visit value. And so right away that shows us that email comparative to the other channel, such as organic paper click, referral marketing, socially assisted emails, we can see that email was our highest per visit value channel. Of generating customers and purchases on the website. It had the highest conversion rate, the highest average order value, and the highest value per visitor.

2.9 Advanced Analysis

And this really is what takes you into the next level of, what we would call, ninja level analysis. And that is looking at all of your campaigns, all of your channels of organic, pay per click, social marketing, direct, display, maybe even a shopping feed. You look at the end number of visitors that are generated through each the amount of transactions, the amount of revenue produced through those. Your conversion rate, your average order value, and then how much that per visit value is worth. And that gives you a great idea as to how much is each visitor from each channel worth to me in terms of revenue. Now for the next Added level of difficulty. Look at your marketing costs for that month and add that in so that you can generate a percentage of profit beyond just the marketing cost. And you can see that organic, that's a lot of profit there based on what it's, Presenting but also the long term benefit of doing SEO. After that is email. Email can be your highest private producing activity, especially when you start looking at a dollar per dollar analysis. So, what this chart shows is for every dollar that is spent in marketing costs for email, it's returning $20 in revenue. For every dollar spent on search, it's returning $13. And so by doing this advanced analysis because you know your revenue per e-mail. But also doing this for all channels you can see how e-mail marketing works for your business in the total marketing mix of all online marketing channels. And you can develop and succeed in creating email as a foundational part of your company's online marketing program and I wish you a lot of success in doing so.

2.10 Thank You

This is Matt Bailey presenting e-mail analytics and measurement.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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