Email marketing is so much more than broadcasting your campaign and waiting for the phone to ring. This marketing approach should never be a case of sending out your message and hoping for the best.

We would suggest that if you are using this simplistic approach, you are really missing out. The delivery of your email message into the recipients email inbox is only half of the game.

Modern email marketing systems will offer a wealth of analytics and tools to help maximise your sales and gain a greater level of understanding towards your target market.

When you are running your next email campaign, what should you look our for? Are there any different approaches which you could consider?

Over the next two weeks we are going to investigate several email marketing campaign tracking techniques which you may want to consider. Part one of this two part investigation is included analysed within this article.

While you may not have time to adopt all of the suggestions within this article – you may wish to pick and choose the best options which will work with your business model.

Making the most of your open rate data

One of the fundamental requirements of all email marketing systems is to track who opened your email. This data provides a valuable insight to help understand who exactly is interested in your message.

Inside the anaytics suite for your next email marketing campaign, rather than just looking at the headline figure; ‘45% of people opened my email’ – take the extra 5 minutes to start using this data, make it work for you.

So what should you be doing with your emails opened list data? We would suggest that you may wish to consider segregating your email database based on:

Making the most of your open rate data – Segregation by response time

Not all email marketing systems will offer this feature, but if your system does – It provides a great tool. If your email marketing software records how long it took for each user to open your email after it was dispatched – this can open a new door to generate a golden mailing list.

You may wish to filter your mailing list by how long it took each user to open your email. When applying this filter you may quickly discover that for example 15% of your email contacts open your email within the first 3 hours of it being dispatched. The other 75% may take several days to check their email inbox.

As a marketeer, you may wish to filter our the 15% of fast responders into a separate mailing list. While this list will be smaller in volume – you will have a second list which will generally produce fast results.

Scenario:

It is friday afternoon and you run an email blast, generally quite a bad time to broadcast your email newsletter. If the email is not opened right away – we would suggest that you have not best used your credits.

Your email will sit in the recipients inbox until Monday morning, it will most likely be deleted with other marketing emails received over the weekend. You ideally will want to hit your recipients when their inboxes are empty, rather than having to compete for opens with your competitors Monday morning. On this basis, when running a mail broadcast on a Friday afternoon, if you have a golden list of recipients who generally open your email right away – then this is the perfect time to use the list, while not wasting credits emailing your slow openers.

Making the most of your open rate data – Segregation by open patterns

You may also wish to investigate open patterns for your email marketing campaign.

The whole idea with email marketing is that you should ‘hit’ your recipient when they are in-front of their PC – so your recipient can open and act on your email right away. As previously suggested, an email that sits in your recipients inbox for days will be more likely to get deleted with other marketing emails.

With this viewpoint we suggest that you some be time specific with the broadcast of your campaigns. In order to ‘hit’ people with your marketing message when they are in-front of their PC, you first need to know when each recipient is in-front of their PC – is it generally AM or PM?

Your email marketing software will hopefully be already recording this information. After a few campaigns, you should have automatically built up a pattern of who generally opens their email AM and who opens their email PM.

We would suggest that you should export your emails opened list into Excel, filter out the open times. Once the open times have been filtered, create a separate mailing list for people that open in the morning and those that typically open in the evening. Once your two time specific mailing lists have been established, you should hopefully start seeing better open rates.

The idea of hitting people when they are in-front of their computer is a technique used by several of the ‘big players’. As an example, Amazon generally broadcast their marketing messages shortly after 9am. This is typically the time when you have got into work, cleared your inbox and are fresh and focused.

Making the most of your links clicked

The automatic link click tracking tool inside most email marketing platforms is often overlooked. This great tool will be constantly tracking interest in your products and services.

When you are designing your next email newsletter, only include a summary of your product/service inside the newsletter itself. The purpose of your email should be to serve as the hook – generate interest that will push the recipient to your website.

The Strategy

Targeted marketing is always more effective than the shotgun approach (broadcast your campaign to everyone and hope for the best). A targeted approach will help ensure that you only send your marketing message to people who are interested in your product – avoiding annoying your recipients by sending unwanted communications.

We suggest that on a new database, your first email broadcast should feature three very different products. Use your click tracking system to monitor which user was interested in which product area.

When it comes to your second campaign, you can start to adopt a more target approach. If for example bob smith was interested in product ‘A’ from your first broadcast – your second broadcast should only include products that are similar to product ‘A’.

Via adopting this approach you will be able to quickly segment your email database into separate lists of recipients who are interested in certain product ranges.

Summary

We hope that this first installment gave you some ideas of how to further develop and improve the success of your email marketing campaign.

Watch this space for the second in our two part series, we will further investigate other avenues of how to make the most of your email marketing data.