Measurement is one of the key benefits of the e-mail channel, and if done well, it can be the starting point for an entire multichannel marketing effort, according to Tuesday’s keynote at Media Post’s Email Insider Summit.
In his presentation, Jim Sterne, president/founder of the Web Analytics Association, discussed the value of measurement for e-mail and how it can play out into other channels, forming a holistic experience of a brand. E-mail’s main advantage over other channels is the ability to test. By using multivariate testing and segmentation, marketers can learn how different types of customers respond to different types of creative, and in turn use this information to inform an entire campaign spanning other channels.
“E-mail becomes the testing ground to find out what is going to work for the multichannel effort,” Sterne said. “You can use it as the leading indicator for the entire marketing effort, and go out from there to determine which creative and offers consumers are responding to.”
When it comes to what to measure, Sterne recommends reach, frequency and awareness, which can be measured by looking at a customer’s behavior once they interact with the e-mail. Marketers should make sure metrics can be viewed in a context.
“Reporting is tricky,” added Sterne. “You have to set up parameters that you are measuring against. “
Once a marketer has this information, it should be integrated across channels, so that customers have a consistent experience of the brand across channels. Customers are not thinking about which channel they are using, they are just thinking about interacting with the company, and using their behavior in e-mail in their direct mail creative can lead to more sales.
“It is difficult from a data perspective to take online efforts and match it up with offline efforts, but if you can match this up, then you can have true one-to-one marketing and then you can become relevant to customers,” said Sterne.