How To Track Your Email Marketing Campaigns

September 27, 2012 - 5 minutes read

I read a funny quote today by Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google:

Email = totally worth dating, engaging, marrying and having babies with.

Yes, we all love sending emails. However, Avinash would probably agree that if you aren’t tracking every email you send, you are wasting your time, effort and money. As having babies is the result of human activity, getting results in sales should be a direct result of email marketing. For every email you send you should be able to answer three questions:

1. How well did the email blast do?
2. Can I attribute any sales or new customers to the blast?
3. Am I happy with my Return on Investment (ROI)?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can make improvements for your next email, change your email strategy, and maybe stop doing things that just aren’t working.

So, where do you get the answers? You find these answers through measurement and tracking tools. For every email you send you should be able to look at the following information:

 Delivery rate – How many emails were actually delivered to the emails addresses intended? You want as little of a bounce rate as possible. (Did you stand a chance from the start?)
•  Open rate – How many email recipients actually opened the email you sent? (Yes! The subject line worked!)
•  Click rate – Not only are recipients opening your email but did they do what you asked them to? If you included links to your website, menu or online ordering  – did they click on these links?
•  Who opened and clicked  – This lets you track specific customer behavior and tells you where they opened your email from – are they using their mobile devices to open your messages?
•  Number of times the email was forwarded and shared – Did your email recipients like your email enough to tell their friend on social sites? This validates your call to action and special offers.
•  Redemption rate  – How many people come in to your restaurant to redeem the special offers that were emailed to them? Of all the rates and measurements mentioned above, this is the most important one for a brick and mortar business, especially a restaurant. It shows you your Return on Investment (ROI). How many people actually came in after receiving an email offer? How many of the email blasts turned into actual sales?

If you are using a desktop email client such as Thunderbird or Outlook to send your emails, then you cannot track them. Additionally, if you send an email to more than 100 addresses at once from a desktop client or personal account like gmail, hotmail, etc., you are marked as a spammer. You need an email tool that has built-in tracking and will give you instant results. Examples of these tools include Constant Contact, MailChimp and eateriaTM. (Note: with eateriaTM, you can also track redemption rate by actually seeing who printed your specials or coupons, and prevent reprints). Once you start using tracking data you’ll quickly see who your loyal subscribers are and what type of information they respond to and what content is valuable to them.

Take the time to experiment with new offers, customize your current offers, and keep making improvements to your email campaigns. A specific thing you can do is target emails to certain subscribers. Notice that you have customers that haven’t unsubscribed, but also haven’t clicked on anything or engaged with you in awhile? Send them a personalized offer they can’t refuse to get them back in your door!

We all know knowledge is power – once you start tracking your emails and learn what the data is telling you, you can make improvements, increase your sales and build a loyal customer base.

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