E-mail and Web analytics: Finding the right vendors for you

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Like the first fish that flopped its way onto land, sprouted legs, and walked off to open a little coffee shop called Starbucks, Web analytics is evolving.

The most important result of Web analytics' Darwinian transformation from basic reporting into complex data analysis is Web analytics vendors introducing a visitor database. This allows visitor profiles to be generated and personas to take shape, and suddenly it wasn't simply about what was happening on your site, it was who did that to what.

Data feeds from analytics vendors containing this information can update customer information in your e-mail solution platform. These feeds contain behavioral information such as site visit/browse, cart abandonment and checkout abandonment, in addition to product names, category names, basket value and more. It's not about being able to see the data in your e-mail solution, it's about using analytics information for automated e-mail remarketing.

Here are some top considerations when considering vendors:

  1. Who gets an e-mail?
    This is more than simply anyone who abandons. You may want to exclude customer that are charge-offs, high-risk shoppers or shoppers with a high product-return rate.
  1. When does someone get an e-mail, and how many?
    Consider how long after an abandoned basket do you send an e-mail, and how many e-mails you should send. Also, if they have already received an abandoned cart e-mail previously, you want to cap the frequency if they contain promotions.
  1. What is the message?
    If you recognize the customer as one of your best, you should send a different e-mail message. Likewise with a new customer.
  1. What is the offer?
    You can promote to customers differently. Your high-value disengaged customer may get a better promotion. If the value of the abandoned basket was high enough, you may want to offer free shipping.
  1. What products to include?
    This is a tricky topic. Some marketers send follow-up messages with the entire contents of abandoned baskets while others include just the top engaged product. Some leave out products entirely or send a related product for a less creepy approach. Ask your e-mail service provider for assistance making these decisions.

By answering these questions before you talk to your analytics vendor and e-mail solutions provider, you will be able to find the right partners to enable your automated remarketing goals.

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