Using touchpoint analysis and surveys to find how much email really contributes
Since many email marketing services focus their reporting on open and click rates it can be difficult to show how email is influencing leads or purchase and so invest in putting more resources into email marketing to test, learn and refine.
From opens and clicks to value generated per email campaign
If you are using email marketing to drive visits to a transactional web site you are in a much better position to make the business case since you can use analytics or the email system itself to show sales generated by email. The you can start comparing the effectiveness of emails and reviewing their value through using measures like Revenue generated per 1000 emails sent, much more meaningful than open and click rates.
Using attribution modeling for email marketing
Since reporting in many email service providers is based on a last-click attribution model, this won’t give you the full picture. If you look at the combination of touchpoints influencing sale this gives a much better picture of influence of email and other digital marketing channels. A good example of how how can do this analysis is shown by the recent GSICommerce/e-Dialog Path to purchase study.
This shows research on touchpoints that can be attributed to sale from a single day, November 29th 2010, known in the US as “CyberMonday” across 15 GSI retail e-commerce sites. Note though, that since this is a known peak-day for sales, retailers are active in driving visitors to the site through email and other campaigns:
The research shows a good way of comparing the value of different channels in attribution modelling - by showing:
- Touchpoints used by shoppers with two-plus touchpoints against
- Touchpoints used by shoppers with one touchpoint
You can see that the branding influence of integrating email and display ads with other media is suggested here. Another method is looking at the first touchpoint that influenced sale. Again the awareness generated by email is suggested here:
Using customer research to gain insight about the influence of email
Another approach is to use a traditional survey of how they rate the value of their emails or whether they prompt sale. Again email marketing fares well here in comparison to other channels:
I personally prefer observed/actual behaviour to reported/surveyed behaviour, but surveys can get you additional feedback on how your email marketing is received.
I hope I’ve shown that if you go beyond opens and clicks on email to attribution, touchpoint analysis and surveys you can get a better idea of the influence of email and get more resources for optimisation. But where will the budget come from? Social media - not likely?