With the right email marketing software, the days of blindly undertaking marketing initiatives without being able to track or monitor your success and easily learn from your experiences are a thing of the past. Now, email marketing software makes it easy to quantify the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns down to the smallest details. With all this information at the marketer’s fingertips, the big question becomes, “how can it all be used?” This article will address several key ways that the reports from your email marketing software can be used to boost your email marketing results.
1. Your Open Rate Can Identify Problems with Your Email Subject
One of the most important reports that your email marketing software will generate is that of overall email ‘opens’. Your email marketing software may further divide this into unique opens vs. total opens (as some people will open your email multiple times). This is a vital number because if people are not opening your email marketing campaign, then they obviously can’t see all the great promotions or information that you’ve put inside the message. That is why this is generally the first report you should look at in your email marketing software, since it can often act as an early indicator of a problem with your email name or email subject.
In many email programs that your subscribers may be using (either web-based or on their local computer), all they can see is the ‘from’ name and subject. Then, they have to make a decision about whether or not to open the email. If you have a low open rate, then the first thing you should do is ask yourself whether or not people recognize and are familiar with the ‘from’ name you are using. Most email marketing software solutions will let you enter any from name you desire. But, if your customers know you as “Toy Central”, but you send out the email from “John Smith”, then that could be part of the reason you have a less than stelar open rate.
The other important piece of the puzzle is your email subject. While creating your email from within your email marketing software, you should be able to specify the subject. The goal of the subject line is to accurately describe the contents of the email, while at the same time arousing people’s interests so they want to open your message. If you have a boring subject, then that could easily be an explanation for sub-par open rates.
2. Link Click-Through Measurements Can Tell You Where Your Readers Are Looking
Knowing exactly which links are being clicked can be very helpful when planning future email marketing campaigns. Most email marketing software solutions will generate a report that shows you all the hyperlinks in your email message and compare the number of clicks each one receives. This insight can be useful because it tells you where your contacts are looking and what attracts their attention the most. From this information, you can figure out if your audience is looking at the first featured article in the main section, an article off in a side column, or maybe a quick links section. Everyone’s target audience is different, but with your email marketing spelling out the answer about which sections generate the most action, you can more effectively plan your future email campaigns.
For example, if you can see that your “Featured Promotion” section containing links to one main product is consistently a leading click generator, then you can put important promotions or messages in that spot. This is a great way to boost click-throughs using readily available information from your email marketing software. And, since clicks, in many cases, are what you need to generate sales, this is a measurement that should not be overlooked.
3. Past Readership Habits Can Help You Further Segment Your List
Since your email marketing software will generate reports that clearly pinpoint who is interacting with your email marketing campaign (whether it is clicks, opens, forwards, etc), this opens up a world of opportunities for targeted email follow-ups. The purpose of this section is to figure out who your active contacts are, then spend extra time marketing to them. This generally produces a greater return on investment.
With most email marketing software solutions, you can take a group of people that performed a certain action (such as opening or clicking on your email) and save them as a new targeted segment. This lets you send a specific email marketing campaign to just those individuals who previously took your desired action. Since you know these people are more highly qualified leads (after all, they already took the first steps owards interacting with you), it can often be more beneficial to spend increased time, attention and marketing budget reaching out to these selected individuals. This is not to say that you should neglect your overall list altogether, as you definitely want to keep your brand in front of as many eyes as possible. But, if you have a limited budget, using the reports from your email marketing software to further target your mailing list can let you easily hone in on the people who, based on past behaviors, are going to be more receptive to what you are communicating.
With a little bit of effort and attention to detailed reports from your email marketing software, any business owner, manager or marketer can gain great insights and vastly improve future marketing efforts. Simply being able to identify when something is going wrong, when something is going right, or when something can be improved, can ultimately help you increase your results and lead you towards achieving your goals.