Evaluating your email campaign: the lost numbers
Cue cogs and wheels to start spinning.
You send out an email campaign with a dedicated landing page. And you track how many recipients bought the item or service in question.
That gives you a pretty good picture of how your email performed, no?
But what about all the other impacts (good and bad) on the actual performance of your emails?
Does your evaluation take into account, for example, other responses stimulated by your campaign? Such as causing the recipient to...
- visit other parts of your website and purchase other items and services
- visit your offline store and make a purchase
- do a search on Google, visit your site and make a purchase
- do a search on Google, visit your site through your paid search ad and make no purchase (incurring a cost)
- do a search on Google and buy the same product from a competitor (lost future sale)
- check out competing offers from other sites and buy from a competitor (ditto)
- do nothing, but they are now more likely to buy from you in the future thanks to the email creating a positive brand impression
- do nothing, but they are now less likely to buy from you in the future thanks to the email creating a negative brand impression
- mark you as spam and hurt your deliverability on your next campaign
- buy an item from the landing page they would have bought anyway (email was not responsible for the purchase and might even have reduced revenue if a discount was offered)
- buy an item, but only because they saw the offer several times already in your other communications (can email claim all the credit?)
- forward your email to others (repeat all the above)
- post details of the email/offer on their blog, social media page, twitter etc. (repeat all the above)
The impacts of email marketing are more measurable than for most other forms of marketing. But let's not delude ourselves that we're measuring everything.
Indeed, you can't measure many of these performance impacts. But that's not the point.
Once you start to consider the "lost numbers" and the wider implications of your email efforts, it changes the way you think about those efforts.
And the way you plan, design, implement and evaluate your campaigns.
And the way you think about email's relationship to other marketing endeavors.
What are you doing to evaluate and encourage the positive impacts and measure and minimize the negative ones?
More on metrics | Tags: email marketing metrics
This article brings up great points. One thing my organization is looking at is the ability to track emails that have been posted to customers blogs, and social media pages, twitter etc. (repeat all the above). Can you recommend a way to dfo this. Or better yet is there a way to do this?
By , on 18 January, 2009
If people are reposting the entire HTML somewhere, then your web analytics should pick up on the location. Especially if you have an image in there that you host at your own server. Everytime that image is called, your logfile will note the page the call is coming from.
A bit tiresome though. And not much help when people simply link to, say, the web version of your email from Twitter, for example.
If you host that online version yourself, then anybody following a link to it will leave a "referral" on your logfiles, too, which might be a Twitter page.
Another option is to look at it from another angle: if you provide links like "blog this email", "twitter this offer" or "post to Facebook" then you can track how many people click on these links, just as you can track any link in your email.
And, finally, I know this is an area where email marketing services are looking to build appropriate tools. Silverpop provides some tracking capabilities for emails reposted to Facebook (and a couple of other places I think), and I'm sure more providers will follow suit. If you use such a service, see what they can do for you...
I wrote a little on this topic here:
Forward to a Friend 2.0
Adding social links to emails
Coding emails and landing pages with social links
By , on 18 January, 2009
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