Account Director at MediaCo UK - www.media.co.uk
14 August 2001 09:17am
I'm sure this may have come up before, but how do we measure - in terms of ROI - the impact of a viral campaign? In fact, how do we track a viral campaign's impact when it can be that someone forwards an email to a friend and we don't have their email address?
I'm having this discussion here because a client has asked us to do just that.
They take so many forms, and as a format are in their infancy, so software tracking ie: finding out who sent what to whom, when etc, doesn't seem to be as accurate as when say, you run a specific email campaign to a specific segment with click thro tracking. And when do you stop measuring if something turns out to have a drip-feed effect that you hadn't anticipated?
All ideas gratefully received, we think we've come up with something but in terms of gathering the right figures for ROI, I'm hoping there might be a few things we've not thought of yet.
Head of Marketing at Rule Financial
16 August 2001 19:28pm
We implement many email campaigns for clients and and (legalities permitting) try to incorporate a viral element wherever possible to ensure that the message is propogated to as many 'like-minded' individuals in the target audience as possible. A current and highly effective example can be found at www.catsanddogschallenge.co.uk
Where possible we include a datacapture mechanic, so that people are incentivised (as in this case) to enter their details and an address of a friend (or friends). We're not too concerned about who actually receives the email, just that it is sent to as many people as possible, to produce maximum website traffic.
In the case of ecommerce examples, which are measured on sales resulting from the viral email, it is possible to track people from the original email to purchase if the website has scripting to communicate back with the database that originated the email (i.e confirms a purchase)... and we would usually recommend that site registration is an (opt-in) requirment when purchasing, so that all successful purchases can be tracked.
However, some sales will inevitably go untracked... effectively reducing the ROI, since customers cannot be 'forced' to provide data.
The success of a viiral email campaign is a fine line between providing added value / fun and outright commercialism ... which can 'jar' with users and could be considered 'spam'. Hence it is likely that the most memorable and most widely distributed campaigns will innevitably continue to be of the non-commercial / Ms Squires format !!
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