Better Email Marketing with Real-time Triggered Analytics

Email marketers need more individual data to target and personalize

Summary data is not a problem: you know how many clicks and opens each of your email campaigns gets, which is enough to tell bad campaigns from good campaigns. And 56% of businesses rely exclusively on Google's web analytics (David Moth, Econsultancy, July 2013) which is pretty good at providing an overview.

But the individual data that you need to target and personalize emails is a whole different story. Google analytics is no help here, your ecommerce system is very unlikely to provide enough browse data, and the open and click data from your ESP is unreliable for detailed decisions. Open reports can be blocked by email clients (so you don't even know which subscribers are reading your emails) and readers are unlikely to click more than one link, even if they go on to browse a whole bunch of products. A good rule-of-thumb is that you need at least 10 relevant data points before you can think of making reliable decisions, such as personalizing email content, and you probably have that much data on very few subscribers.

You know that you should be personalizing emails, and unsubscribing inactive subscribers to improve your deliverability, but you don't have the data. So why not use a paid analytics products? Why do so many email marketers stick stick with Google analytics, althought this only provides summary data, making it useless for targeting and personalising emails? We think it's because the ROI isn't there - the available analytic systems are expensive and were not designed for email marketing. You want something simple to use, cheap to buy and configure, that doesn't require IT support, and that provides real-time ecommerce-based data straight into your ESP. It's as though you want a smartphone, but what you're offered is a flat-pack kit with no manual, just hundreds of components to assemble.

Coming from an email marketing background, we're keenly aware of this problem and Fresh Relevance has given us the opportunity to address it. We took analytics, made them real time, reduced the cost, removed the complexity, put them right in your ESP and that's "Triggered Analytics".

How to use Triggered Analytics Effectively

Fresh Relevance provides email-orientated analytics at a very good price (more details).

  • You choose the analytics that you want, such as "90 day top customer", "7 day new visitor", or "90 day lapsed buyer"
  • Then you say where you want them loaded - to the Email System (ESP) that you're already using for Fresh Relevance, or a different one if you prefer
  • You create matching fields in that ESP
  • Fresh Relevance loads the data automatically, in real-time.
  • You use the standard features of your ESP, with the triggered analytic fields, to target and personalize your marketing better

A good way to start with Triggered Analytics is to treat the following groups of users differently, which should significantly improve the effectiveness of your email marketing.

  1. Disengaged subscribers. These are people who rarely if ever read your marketing emails, and by continuing to mail them you are harming your deliverability, making it more likely that your emails are treated as spam (Why are my emails going into recipients' spam folders?, Mandrill Support). If you have been doing email marketing for a while, these people are probably the bulk of your list.
  2. Top customers. These are your most engaged subscribers, who regularly buy from you.
  3. New visitors and shoppers. These are newcomers, who you should encourage to become regular buyers
  4. Everyone else - the regular customers in the middle.
  5. Active visitors. Subscribers who visited your site today.

Disengaged Subscribers

Your standard marketing is obviously not working for these people, so you should switch over to "win back" campaigns of re-engagement emails, with varied and more impactful titles, sent at a reduced rate to protect your deliverability. If they still don't react after a while, then unsubscribe them. Note that you can't  introduce this until Fresh Relevance has had time to collect enough historic data.

  • You can recognize them using the "90 day sessions count" analytic. You send your re-engagement campaigns to subscribers with a value that's zero or very small. And normal marketing campaigns to subscribers where the value is bigger.
  • You can recognize people who need to be unsubscribed  by checking whether the "180 day sessions count" analytic is zero.

Top customers

Your standard marketing is working fine, but you are leaving money on the table by under-marketing. Where people are highly engaged with your brand, they are much happier to be contacted than is the case with less engaged subscribers, so if you have something to say then email them more often.

You should also get advice from a consultant on varying the content of emails: such as "platinum card" branding, unique limited-time offers to reward their buying, or requests to comment online about recent purchases because they are presumably more likely to have positive opinions of your brand.

  • You can recognize them using e.g. "30 days top customer". You send your top-customer campaigns or content to subscribers with a value of true. And normal marketing campaigns to subscribers where the value is false.

New Visitors and shoppers

These people just arrived at your site and need help to become regular customers. Send them a series of welcome emails, explaining why your company is excellent. If they visited but didn't buy, include an introductory offer coupon in your next email to them.

  • You can recognize them using e.g. "7 days new visitor" combined with "14 days new buyer".

Active visitors

These people visited your site recently, so right now they are engaged. You should temporarily increase their marketing frequency and also add the details of the products that they've been looking at to emails.

  • You can recognize very recent visitors using "24 hours quantity browsed" and, if this is not zero, include our browsed products feed in their emails
  • If these recent visitors are not in any special group (see above) you could send them a mid-day email to boost contact frequency, or you could just use browse abandonment to increase the number of contacts.

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08/28/2013 Product Info