Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Jill Bastian1
Clicking Send is Just the Beginning – Put Your Reporting to Work
Your email deadline is looming. You’ve written engaging content, found great images and used your VerticalResponse template to put it all together. Next, you send out your tests, your manager asks for a couple of changes – yikes! You make quick fixes, send new tests, get signed off, click send and you’re done! Whew!
Done? Think again.
Clicking send is just the beginning of what your email can do for your small business. Sure, getting people to read the email is half the battle, but if you aren’t looking at your reporting you’re missing a big piece of what email marketing can do for you. Take a look at these four tips for getting more from your reporting.
Open – Of any reporting stat this is the one that most marketers look at. It will give you some insight into who is reading your email and when they read it. Knowing when your recipients open and read your email can help you determine the best time and day you should send out your emails, but there’s more to this statistic. The people who open your email are part of the group of recipients who are engaged in your marketing messages, and these engaged recipients are the ones you want to target. You can segment your recipients based on their actions, so anyone who opens or clicks a link (we will get to the clickers next) can be on a list specific to them. Use this list of engaged customers to send special email deals, early product announcements or even invitations to events. Since you know these are the people most interested in what you’re sending, they will be the ones most likely to continue using your products or services. Sending special emails will encourage them to do so.While it’s important to know who’s reading your email, there’s more to email marketing than just this.
Click – The openers are the people reading your email, while clickers are the ones who not only read, but also click links to go to your website and hopefully make purchases. Using the click stat in conjunction with the open stat will give you a list of your most engaged recipients. Some openers are not tracked because they don’t turn on images or only read the text version for some reason. Including numerous links in your email will help encourage your recipients to click one of them and hopefully make a purchase or use your services. And, since the click will be tracked, you’ll know that they also opened the email even if they aren’t recorded in the open rates. VerticalResponse tracks clicks on links and linked images, so you will know which links are being clicked the most, giving you insight into your recipients’ behavior and what they are most interested in. In turn, you can use this information to send your recipients exactly what they want.
Bounce and Unsubscribe – These are numbers you want to keep low and tracking them will help indicate if something has gone wrong with your marketing efforts. Generally you will see a rise in these numbers if you are using an old list or you mail infrequently. Like the other stats, these give you insight into your recipients, but in this case they’re telling you what they don’t want. While it’s tough to lose a recipient because they unsubscribed, make sure you learn something from each one. Keep to the content and frequency you promised at signup. If you send emails that your recipients value they’ll continue to be engaged and won’t unsubscribe.
Conversion – This is a stat that often gets overlooked, but with just a few steps you can get even more insight into what your recipients are looking for. This stat will tell you who is making a purchase, donation, download, or any other action that your organization considers a conversion. Track the conversion from your email, the time and date it occured, and how much the customer spent, if applicable. Not only will you know what your recipients want to purchase, but also when they purchase, which can help you determine the time and day to send out your emails. Plus, anyone who is purchasing a product or service from your company is definitely engaged in not just your email, but your company in general. Again, segmenting your list will allow you to target the people you know buy from you so you can send them special deals. Of course, your results will depend on many things including the age of your list, when you mail, your subject line, and more. You can optimize your sending based on any of these factors by testing, testing, and testing some more. With the above tips, though, you’re ready to jump into your basic reporting and get more out of your email marketing!
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