This week, a client of ours sent out a Christmas email campaign to his ever growing customer base and list of prospects. Whilst we were responsible for the HTML design and build, a 3rd Party Agency took control of the actual email send. Whilst we were able to advise the client on some key questions to ask the agency that were sending the campaign, it became apparent that there was little in terms of email tracking that they were able to offer.
So why is this important?
At the very least, you should know how many emails have made it into the inboxes of your clients/prospect “ñ it helps to maintain your data integrity, and cleanse any incorrect information in your database. On an equally important note, passing some accountability back into the hands of the company in charge of sending your email is vital “ñ after all, you will want more than someone’s word that an email has been sent and received!
What should be tracked?
There are many measurable statistics that can (and in most cases should) be gathered from an email campaign. Using a competent creative agency with the facilities in place to meet these needs can help to track some of the following and more:
- Open Rate. The number of emails sent, how many actually were opened by my customer based?
- Bounce Rate. The number of emails sent, how many didn’t make it into our client’s inbox? Is there a reason for this (i.e. mailbox full, email address no longer exists, auto-respond messages for holidays)?
- Click Through Rate. Were there any clickable links or calls to action within the email? If so which links were clicked, by whom and how many times?
What else can you do?
An agency with an understanding of email campaign management will also be able to provide you with best practice information on real contributors to campaign success. These include the following (and more):
- Subject Lines. Testing subject lines (which are usually the first thing your customer will see when receiving and email) can dramatically affect the open rates of your campaign.
- Personalisation of emails. Including content specific to an individual adds a touch of personalisation and sincerity to your campaign. This is also easy to manage and control with a well-managed database.
- A/B testing of campaigns. Trying different designs, subject lines, offers to segments of your lists and using the best results as the go-forward plan to the remainder of your list.
Make sure to ask you’re creative or web agency about their email campaign capabilities and also their success history with email campaigns.