Tailor your email marketing using web analytics data

by Ben Myers

That Brief History of Web Analytics is a tough act to follow, but I’ll give it my best shot with a few ways that paying attention to your web analytics can add a lot of value to your email marketing efforts.

First of all: Are your emails properly tracked? In other words, do you know how much money you’re making from each email that you send out? If not, you must read this blog post about tracking your emails.

Your email vendor likely provides you with some basic metrics about how effective your send-outs are. Looking over your open rate, click-through rate, and number of complaints (unsubscriptions) is a great start–and very important in its own right–but there’s a lot more data to examine that can make your email send-outs even more effective.

In Google Analytics, you can create a custom segment to show where your email traffic is landing and how well your landing pages are doing for converting these visitors. Overall (site) bounce rate for email traffic is a good start in determining whether your emails bring visitors to content (products, articles, etc) that they’re interested in, but there’s more that can be done…

For e-commerce companies, pay attention to whether your traffic converts better on product pages, category pages, information pages (FAQs, blog), or your index page. Then, you can change the links in your emails to lead visitors to the type of page that converts best.

A custom landing page for email visitors is an option if your email has one specific offer, like ‘buy now’ or ‘sign up’. Keep the page simple and clean, describing the benefits of your offer — and don’t forget a juicy call to action.

The idea is to make email visitors feel special – “Thanks for visiting! Our special offer for email subscribers this week is….” This page is a prime candidate for A/B testing (like with Google Website Optimizer or similar products) so that you can continually improve this page.

Behavioral targeting is also an option. Using BT Buckets, Barilliance, or similar products, you can customize all sorts of content (like banners, coupon offers, etc) for your email visitors.

Finally, it’s important to remember that email traffic represents the visitors who trust you the most and spend the most time and/or money on your site. Treat them well!

Give them new and interesting reasons to visit your site–then track and optimize the related pages–and they’ll continue to be your best visitors and customers.

Ben Myers

Analyst

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