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Making the most of email marketing with advanced analytics

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Making the most of email marketing with advanced analytics

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Every form of communication is a potential opportunity for marketers to project their brand to consumers.

The rise of technological innovations like Internet, email, smartphones and social media have enabled marketers to amplify their reach and alliteratively improve their marketing campaigns.

One of the biggest weapons marketers have in their arsenal is the vast amounts of data at their fingertips, enabling them to use actual numbers and figures to better manage their campaigns. The increasing use of data has slowly turned marketing from art into a science.

One of the interesting applications of such data usage and application, also known as analytics, is in the field of email marketing.

Email still remains one of the primary means of communication between people and brands. And the good news is that, according to data,  it remains one of the effective ones too with impressive ROI and engagement.

In this article, we will be examining some of the advanced analytics features that would help you in maximizing your email marketing campaigns.

The features in focus are:

  1. Email engagement metrics
  2. Heat mapping and click tracking
  3. Tracking email client and device
  4. Subscriber level reporting

Email engagement metrics

The beauty of advanced analytics is that it lets you see how long your subscribers spend on your email and their immediate reaction of the subscriber on seeing your email.

Examining this factor enables you to examine the impact of your email marketing in the form of an “engagement time distribution”. The time distribution comprises:

  1. Deleting/ Glancing at the email- 2 seconds or less
  2. Skimming the email- 3 to 7 seconds
  3. Reading the email- 8 seconds or more

So depending on the distribution of each of these 3 components, you have reason to be proud or worried or ambivalent. Take a look at this distribution.

Email engagement

In this example, more than 60% of subscribers are reading your email and another 12% skimming through it. While these are reassuring statistics, a worrying quarter of the people is deleting the email straight away.

This calls for some deep examining of your email campaigns to eliminate ineffective practices and introduce innovations so as to improve your engagement time. Here, the greater usage of such metrics will enable you to accurately home into the positive and the negative factors affecting your campaigns.

Tracking email client and device

With the proliferation of mobiles and tablets, emails can be accessed anywhere and anytime. The good news is that you can track the device on which the email was engaged with by the subscriber. Like so.

Tracking email client

You can also track the device on which the emails were accessed, be it desktop, mobile or tablet and get a similar distribution as above.

This enables you to configure your email campaigns for different devices. For example, if your read rates are low on mobile devices, then it means that you have some work to do in your email campaign. It may be the email formatting or other design elements for mobile.

Another major factor which can be tracked is the email clients (like Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, and others) used by your subscribers.

Given the variety of design templates, it is imperative that you spend time crafting emails on those email clients most frequently used by your subscribers.

Take a look at this email client distribution.

email

Given the above distribution of email clients between Apple, Outlook, and Gmail, it makes sense to optimize your email campaign for all the 3 clients equally.

Being specific about your email campaigns helps you to be precise about the type of email campaign you want your subscribers to see.

Heat Mapping and Click Tracking

This metric is interesting in the sense that it shows the correlation between the placement of visual elements (like CTA buttons and text) with the time spent by the subscriber over those elements in the form of a heat map.

In a nutshell, it shows in a visual way what you are doing right or wrong in your email campaign.

Take a look at this heat map.

Heat Mapping

When we examine this heat map, we see that the 34.5% of subscribers clicked on the first CTA button (“Get Access”), 38% of the people clicked on the image, but only 1.7% of the people clicked on the 2nd CTA.

This shows that your audience prefers to spend time on the upper half of the email as compared to the bottom half. It also reveals that CTAs in the upper half compete with images for clicks, so your campaign would be better served by using both.

Another way of seeing the effectiveness of your links and CTAs is to see click distribution. For example, if the link used in the main CTA isn’t receiving enough clicks, there may be several flaws with it, ranging from its placement in the email to the weak text that is not actionable enough.

Take a look at this figure which shows click tracking as it happens.

Click tracking

Subscriber level reporting and Location

While it is useful to examine your campaign as a whole using analytics, you also have the option of examining your campaign on an individual basis. Just to get an idea of the behavior of your average subscriber.

Combine this with the power of examining the campaign based on location and time zone and you have the power to truly personalize your campaign.

This analysis is helpful in multiple ways. You can gauge the attention and receptivity of your audience, spread across different locations. This would help you judge the optimal time to push forward email campaigns at different locations.

It is also helpful in giving the subscriber relevant local information like your nearest store, links, contacts and offers specific to that location.

Conclusion

In the race for the consumer’s ever decreasing attention spans and increasing expectations, brands have to adapt themselves should they want a piece of the consumer’s  attention and wallets.

Fortunately, you have an ally in the vast data available and the means to understand it and utilize it. While it takes the time to integrate analytics into your campaign, the rewards are worth it in the form of actionable insights.

It is up to you to leverage this powerful technique. Let us know any other way in which you have been using advanced analytics that we have missed.

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