Using Google Analytics with Email Marketing to Increase Reporting Capabilities and Boost Relevancy and Response

Today, many email service providers are integrating web analytics with reporting functions into their web-based email marketing solutions. This greatly enhances the product’s reporting capabilities and gives you incredibly useful and pertinent information so you can increase the relevancy of future email campaigns. In turn, this increases your consumer response. In fact, a study by JupiterResearch found that email marketers who use web analytics click stream data to generate targeted email campaigns, produce average open rates of 33 percent, click-through rates of 14 percent, and conversion rates of 3.9 percent. Mass email campaigns who do not use web analytics produce rates of 20 percent, 9.5 percent, and 1.1 percent respectively.

Integrating web analytics with email marketing will help you gain a better understanding of your subscriber’s online habits, which will allow you to better predict future responses. It can be overwhelming for the average business owner because it delivers vast amounts of subscriber data. Email marketers are used to tracking open, read, and click-through rates, but web analytics offers much, much more.

Cactus Sky Communications, a nationwide email marketing service provider, has put together the following tips to help marketers who are new to web analytics. This white paper discusses the Google Analytics tool and it will give marketers an overview and basic understanding of how web analytics can be used to gain an insight on subscriber behavior, how it can be used to create targeted email marketing campaigns, and how marketers can use the information to remarket to subscribers. This will help marketers create email messages that are relevant, timely, and important to their subscribers, driving response rates and sales.

Beyond Click-Through

Email marketing reporting tools can only follow subscribers up to the point where they click-though the call to action button and land on the website. After that, web analytics takes over. Email marketing solutions that have integrated Google Analytics gives you the complete picture of your subscriber’s actions. This is why it is so important to use the two tools in accordance with one another.

Marketers rely on a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) to run successful email marketing campaigns. Common KPIs include the percentage of subscribers that opened the message, read the message (determined by the length of time the email message remained open), and clicked-through a call to action button on the email. These percentages are important as they measure the effectiveness of each campaign. Marketers then use the reports to develop benchmarks and goals for upcoming campaigns, to streamline business processes needed to support campaigns, and to increase the accuracy of the email messages. These KPIs are vital to the success of the email marketing strategy. They provide marketers with information they can use to grow their subscriber base and increase response rates. However, the click-through rate isn’t the same as the true conversion rate. Google Analytics allows you to track the subscriber’s clickstream data so you can easily see your campaign conversion rate and ROI.

Clickstream data is the information that users generate as they click from page to page through a website. In the past, web designers used clickstream to track the visitor’s path so they could increase its navigation. Today, marketers are tracking clickstream data through web analytics to figure out how customers are interacting with their websites.

For example, say you sent out an email campaign inviting 10,000 subscribers to purchase a new product at a discounted price. Using the tracking features, you can see the campaign had a 15 percent click-through rate.

Then you can use Google Analytics to track the page views of the subscribers that clicked-through your email. This will tell you which subscribers left your site after reviewing the information on your landing page, which were drawn away from your initial offer through other information on your site, which added the product to their shopping cart but abandoned it before reaching the check out process, which reviewed the product information but decided not to make a purchase at that time, when the subscribers visited the site, how many times they returned to your site, and what pages they viewed on each visit.

Knowing these metrics takes the guesswork out of your reports. It also gives you valuable insight into your subscribers viewing and purchasing habits that can be used to develop more relevant email campaigns and landing pages in the future. It also gives you the information you need to create specific drill down campaigns directly targeted to the subscribers that have shown interest in your previous offer.

Drill Down Email Campaigns, or behavioral targeting, is a powerful technique email marketers can use to increase relevancy and results. Drill down email campaigns are targeted emails sent to the subscribers that have started, but haven’t completed, a key action. Google Analytics allows you to build intelligent drill down campaigns based on your subscriber’s previous actions.

Because web analytics lets you see which subscribers added items to their cart but didn’t complete the purchase, you can send targeted messages reminding them that the items are still there. You can then include a link directly to their cart so it is very easy for the subscribers to complete the purchase. Drill down to the subscribers who have abandoned their shopping carts is a quick and easy way to increase revenue.

Another drill down campaign you should consider is a campaign to the subscribers who have reviewed the product information but didn’t add the items to their carts. Google Analytics makes it easy to identify these subscribers, and an integrated email marketing solution makes it easy to target these individuals with an email offering the product at a lower price point or with an additional incentive to buy, such as free shipping. Targeting these subscribers with an extra incentive is an easy way to capture additional sales.

Even if the subscribers haven’t shown any interest in the product you offered them, you can still use web analytics to send them a drill down campaign based on their specific needs. For example, if a subscriber clicked-through your email offering one product, but he or she spent time reviewing another product on your website, you can use that information to send a drill down campaign focused on the product the subscriber actually viewed. Web analytics optimizes your subscribers buying potential and analyzes their behavior so you can send them relevant and compelling email messages targeted to their exact requirements. You will build stronger relationships with your subscribers and they will come to rely on you for their future needs.

Getting Started with Google Analytics

Web analytics offers a plethora of important subscriber data, but with so much information, it can be overwhelming for marketers at first. To get started, you should first identify the key metrics you want to measure through web analytics.

Google Analytics allows you to define and track four key goals. These goals are the end actions you want your subscribers to take such as a completed online sale, white paper download, contact or inquiry, demonstration or pricing request, etc. All of your email marketing activities lead subscribers along a path to these end goals. Although conversion tracking is the most important metric for you to measure, it does not give you enough information to understand your subscribers.

Google Analytics gives you quick and easy access to information that will allow you to build accurate subscriber profiles.

With Google Analytics you can:

  • Tie goal conversion back to a specific email address or to a link through a specific email campaign
  • Gather information on the average amount of page views per visit tied to a specific email address or to a specific email campaign
  • Capture overall conversions from a specific email send
  • Summarize number of total visits across all email campaigns
  • Track goal conversions hourly so you can determine the exact time of day you receive the most traffic and business on your website

Email marketing is a step-by-step process that opens the lines of communication between a corporation and its subscribers. As technology expands, the complexities of growing, segmenting, and managing your email lists and campaigns are becoming more sophisticated. The more you know about your current subscribers, the more likely they will become customers, and the more likely you will be to find more subscribers who meet the same criteria and potential.

To do this, you must understand who your current subscribers are, what their needs are, where they came from, when they subscribed, why they continue to interact with your company, and how they will respond to your email messages. Google Analytics will tell you all of these things. The more data you have, the more accurate your trending reports will be across multiple campaigns. Combining both your email tracking features and web analytics data, you’ll gain a complete understanding of your subscribers. Once you know this information, you can use it to create relevant email campaigns that are essential to your subscriber’s needs.

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Peter "WebDoc" Martin
A digital marketing expert nationally recognized as the “webdoc,” and is the technology correspondent for ABC 7 News and SNN6 where he provides technology advice, website reviews and product news.
Peter "WebDoc" Martin

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oday, many email service providers are integrating web analytics with reporting functions into their web-based email marketing solutions. This greatly enhances the product’s reporting capabilities and gives you incredibly useful and pertinent information so you can increase the relevancy of future email campaigns. In turn, this increases your consumer response. In fact, a study by JupiterResearch found that email marketers who use web analytics click stream data to generate targeted email campaigns, produce average open rates of 33 percent, click-through rates of 14 percent, and conversion rates of 3.9 percent. Mass email campaigns who do not use web analytics produce…

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