How to use your e-mail marketing data
E-mail marketing still hasn't died. Which is surprising, because if you'd listened to the experts every year, then you'd believe that it was on its last legs.
And it's clearly not. In fact, engagement levels with e-mail have remained more or less steady and in some cases have improved as marketers have got better at targeting devices and making their e-mails more personalised and workflowed.
In fact, depending on your industry, you might say that e-mail marketing is as healthy as it has been for a long time, and that is probably down to our addiction to our mobile phones.
So with all this good news for e-mail marketers, you've probably got more data than you can handle. The question is - what data is valuable? And furthermore, what do you do with it? Let's have a look...
When I started e-mail marketing many years ago, too many to mention, we didn't have any form of scoring. We had to export to excel and create our own filtering. My old colleague Warren Butler has written about how Dynamics creates scoring although I tend to prefer the simpler Mailchimp scores (when data volumes are relatively low).
Of course, aggregated scores are only as good as the set-up that goes into them. While Mailchimp is mostly automated, many CRM packages insist that you set up the lead scoring yourself, and that requires elbow grease. It does allow for greater personalisation. What's most important to you? Open rates? Subsequent engagement?
The more you invest in setting up the aggregated scores, the more you'll get out of that data.
A time to act
Those aggregated scores can give you a level of information, but they don't always tell you when to act. And "acting" can come in two forms.
First of all, there's the act of automation. For instance, those who don't open e-mails go into one pot, while those who do, go into another. Those who regularly engage go into another pot, those who unsubscribe go out of the pots altogether.
But then there's the time to actually act upon your data. You can't pull everyone out of a list and into your customer list without a little extra effort.
Using your data, your aggregated scores and a workflow, you can hand over a list of "hot prospects" ready for your telemarketers.
What most CRMs and mail clients can't tell you is what happens once the person has left the e-mail. That's where you need to create the tie-in with your analytics and start to analyse the subsequent engagement.
You can even track the clickee in Google Analytics if you have the appropriate tagging in place from the e-mail, and ensure that you can aggregate all visitors within the same campaign. You'll then learn how valuable your landing page was, and you can A/B test different landing pages and see which pages resonated best - but more importantly:
- which landing pages had the best dwell time
- which landing pages had the best pages per visit (if you are offering subsequent pages as an option)
- which landing pages resulted in conversions
Ultimate List Value
It is now far easier than it was to see the ultimate value of your e-mail lists. You could be spending inordinate amounts of time to see plenty of engagement with your list, but very little feeding through to the pipeline.
By ensuring that your list is linked up with your CRM, you can automatically move people from list to list when they become a prospect, a hot lead, or a customer, and measure the value of each stage.
If people aren't moving through, consider your objectives and your calls to action within the e-mails. Are you doing enough to incentivise people to act? Are your landing pages working hard enough for you? Is your messaging direct enough? Now you can measure it, you can act upon it.
We're lucky - e-mail marketing is enjoying a mini revival thanks to mobile and we're awash with data. We just need to refine what we're doing with that data and how we're acting upon it. These are good times to be an e-mail marketer - let's kick on.