Send. Analyze. Target. Resend.

There’s a lot more to be learned from your e-mail campaigns than open and clickthrough rates will tell you. By using a Web analytics tool to analyze the behavior of respondents, you can gain valuable insight to just how effective your e-mail campaign is — or isn’t.

Many marketers consider conversion the holy grail of campaign success. But a lack of conversion doesn’t necessarily constitute a failure. By examining two key metrics — your visitors’ average time on site (ATOS) and your campaign exit rate — you can understand where the conversion process needs improvement.

Focused analysis Segmentation is the key to gaining actionable insight on any of your marketing activities, including your e-mail campaigns. You need to be able to focus on visitors who share common behavior when responding to a particular campaign.

Using your Web analytics program to segment campaign respondents will provide valuable information when formulating follow -up campaigns.

Time is on your side Time on site measures your Web site’s ability to successfully hold each visitor’s interest. It’s also a good indicator of how well you’re meeting visitor expectations. Using average time on site for all visitors as a benchmark, you can analyze the average time on site for just the visitors that came through your e-mail campaign and then compare.

If you have large groups of visitors with high ATOS but few conversions, examine your campaign offer and look for ways to create a sense of urgency in your follow-up campaign. Give your lingering window shoppers a catalyst to convert.

Leaving like a jet plane? Your campaign exit rate is also an effective way to gauge whether you met visitors’ expectations. If you’re dealing with high exit rates, your first move should be to see how well your landing page reflects the promise made in your campaign. For example, if you send out an e-mail message with a free shipping offer, your landing page should clearly restate that offer.

Final judgment It is also important to note that you shouldn’t look at any one metric in a vacuum. Instead, you should take a holistic look at your metrics — including ROI, conversion and visitor volume/response rate — to ensure that you have an accurate picture of the value of each campaign.

By combining your e-mail provider’s metrics with a few key metrics from your Web analysis software, you can improve the experience for customers both in their inboxes and on your site.

Dan Robbins is director of marketing at ClickTracks. You can reach him at [email protected].

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