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Better Email Marketing in 2011

By Rob Drummond on Thu 16 December 2010 in Email Marketing

There’s a lot of hot air and half-truths written about email marketing, particularly surrounding whether it ‘works’. 


The problem, of course, lies in the fact that sending emails is incredibly cheap. Which makes it too easy to send out ineffective eshots, because the cost ramifications of doing so are relatively low.

I came across two Marketing Sherpa charts of US studies, which make interesting reading (click to enlarge):


Left: Most commonly tracked email marketing metrics
Right: Adoption and difficulty of advanced email marketing tactics

The chart on the left shows the email metrics marketers are currently monitoring (or at least what they say they are monitoring). Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Open rates are a poor metric to be relying on. An open is only counted when the recipient either downloads images in the email, or clicks on a link. Which means your email can be read in the preview pane without counting in your open statistics.
  • Click through rates are a good indication of the performance of your email, but provide no indication of what then happens after the click.
  • Monitoring different links in your emails can be incredibly insightful.
  • The real value lies in measuring revenue per campaign. Analytics products such as Google Analytics allow you to track what products people bought, or you don’t have an ecommerce store what actions they took that are valuable to your business.
  • Statistically, it’s unlikely that many of your competitors track their email campaigns with this level of sophistication.

Measurement is only the tip of the iceberg. Creating dynamic emails based on the recipient’s previous responses and preferences can dramatically improve open and response rates, and triggers can be set up to automatically send your emails – such as when a prospective customer downloads a product brochure for example.

Of course, there’s a catch. Doing all this yourself requires a huge amount of time, hard work, and a lot of technical knowledge. While we can’t do much about the hard work, we have come up with a solution to make it as simple as possible to:

  • Scientifically split test your emails.
  • Create dynamic emails containing information such as current special offers, or products they may be interested in based on previous purchases.
  • Automatically tailor your emails to the preferences of the recipient.
  • Monitor not only click-throughs, but subsequent actions taken on your website and their value to your business.
  • Much more…