16 August 2011 16:00pm
Hi all, I'd be really grateful if someone could give me some advice:
I've ran several email marketing campaigns now for the past two years with varying success. These campaigns are sent to fully opted-in 3rd party mailing lists from a company that is quite reputable.
The return we get from these campaigns is border line when we only use the "trackable" data (people clicking on the tracked links within the email).
However, we have been gathering the data of people who has converted on our site 2 weeks post campaign through different sources (direct traffic etc). I've then given this data back to our list provider to match it to their records, which gives us more conversions to attribute back to the campaign, as people may have seen the email but come direct to our site.
This process can lift the volume of conversion by as much as 800% - excellent!!! Or is it?
I'm wanting to ask your advice whether other companies do this? How accurate is it? Can we attribute all these conversions that our provider says is on their database or just a percentage?
Thanks for any advice you can give
CEO at Econsultancy
17 August 2011 14:09pm
It's a bit hard to say but an uplift of 800% does sound suspiciously high.
How far do you trust the data provider? Presumably you don't have access to their data so just have to believe that when they say there is a match that there really is one?
I'm not sure what your emails are like, or how you are doing the tracking, but I don't think a large % of people (especially new customers) are likely to get an email, not click on it at all, and then visit your site? Possibly if your links or call to actions in the email are very poor / minimal.
BTW, how are you tracking your email opens/clicks? Open rates are pretty hard to track accurately (pixels blocked, emails read on multiple devices etc.). Clicks you should be able to track (e.g. using Google Analytics as well as your email provider) but you need to bear in mind if you're using a 'last click wins' tracking approach (like GA), and the time period you measure over, as this might upweight or downweight your actual email clicks.
17 August 2011 14:53pm
Thanks Ashley for your reply.
How far do I trust them? That's a very difficult one to answer, which is why I'm looking for some in-partial advice and unfortunately I don't have access to their data.
I always make sure as much as possible that we have quite clear call to actions in our emails and are always striving to test and improve the quality. Our CTR ranges from 5 - 8% based on their opens and our GA visits, I don't tend to use clicks as these can often be inflated and don't really relate to the number of actual visitors.
In regards to tracking, the 3rd party data is broadcast via our providers software so they give us the open/clicks. We then track the visits and conversions both through GA and our own software. And yes we do use the "last click wins" approach.
I am currently doing this same exercise on our own email campaign data to gauge if we see a similar uplift, hopefully should have the results very soon.
eCommerce Content Manager at Iceland Foods Ltd
21 August 2011 09:43am
The question I would be asking is how this correlates to the rest of your data over the same period? If you gained 800% conversions from this 3rd party email provider, then surely you can see an uplift in conversion events (ie. Orders or bookings etc) over the same period which can not be attributed to other marketing sources?
If your baseline was the same (or on trend) as the week before the email then it would suggest that your site "lost" a number of conversion events which would have existed prior to the email being sent (hope that makes sense). This obviously depends on how much other marketing activity you have going on for which you can not accurately monitor and how consistent your site is with regards to it's conversions.
Any email provider with the slightest understanding should know that it's impossible to track and attribute accurately things like open rates or indirect traffic. I personally would not recommend attributing it to that email campaign as even if your customers are on the email providers database, it does not mean they read the email.
One way you could try and check if you think a lot of people are typing the URL in directly is try a landing page like www.yourdomain.com/special. Providing the email was the only place that referenced this unique page and it was not linked on your site, this would at least give you an indication (although it's important to note people still irritatingly use the search engines to search for a URL rather than typing it into the address bar which means that they wont find it if it's not linked anywhere from your site as it won't be indexed. However, you should see evidence of that in your keyword referrals from organic search).
Finally, I would personally not recommend sharing any of your customers personal data with a 3rd party marketing company to try and "match" to their database. If they are unscrupulous, then you are only helping them update/add to their database.
All the best, Pete
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