You’ve probably been the beneficiary of engagement tracking before and didn’t even realize it.

Have you ever been doing some late night online shopping, but avoid the impulse purchase and go to bed only to wake up the next morning with an email for a discount on the product you were viewing the night before?

That’s engagement tracking at work!

Email marketing is all about nurturing relationships with your most valuable marketing asset: your contact list.

For many of those contacts on your email list, that relationship began at the moment they opted-in through one of your signup forms on your website, social media pages, in-store or at events.

It’s important to remember that while you may have a one-size-fits-all signup form on your homepage or elsewhere, that not all subscribers are created equal. There are real people on the other side of those email addresses. Those individuals have their own wants and needs. The problems they seek your products or services to solve will also vary.

When it comes to email marketing, relevance is the key to your success.

The ability to follow-up with subscribers based on their interests and engagements with your email campaigns and website is how you can achieve relevance and it will help you nurture better relationships.

Engagement tracking, that begins at the signup form, will help you follow-up with the right subscriber at the right time, with the right message.

When done correctly, engagement tracking will help your subscribers feel seen by you. Their needs will be met. The emails they read will be relevant. Value delivered.

However, there are some engagement tracking don’t to add to the mix.

The Do's and Don'ts of Engagement Tracking

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of engagement tracking, as well as how you can do engagement tracking with Benchmark Email:

The Do’s of Engagement Tracking

Engagement tracking can help you nurture relationships with your customers when done properly.

There are some very simple “do’s” that you can put into action that will help those relationships flourish.

Do: Be Transparent

Transparency begins directly on the signup form.

Tell your subscribers what they can expect from your emails right there on the form. This includes the type of content they should expect and how often they should expect to hear it. Let them know that you’re going to send them information related to their interests.

New York Times signup forms

Granted, this example from the New York Times is likely for several different lists, but the points still stand. They tell you what kind of content to expect to receive and how often they will receive it.

If that’s too much copy to put on your signup form, which it very well might be, you can continue to set expectations in your Welcome Email.

If you’re crystal clear about what you’ll be sending your subscribers from the get-go, they won’t be surprised when they receive an email that speaks to their interests thanks to successful engagement tracking.

Do: Send with Consistent Frequency

It’s an email marketing best practice to send with enough frequency to stay top of mind with your subscribers.

You want your company to be the first thing a subscriber thinks about when they’re in need of the types of goods or services you offer. Additionally, if your subscribers haven’t heard from you in a while, it may be odd if they visit a page and an automated communication is triggered. That’s when engagement tracking can start to feel like Big Brother.

Here is a graph from databox that shows how often marketers are sending to their list:

How often email marketers are sending to their list.

Do: Consider Your Subscriber’s Experience

It’s important, when doing email marketing, to see things from your subscribers perspective.

It’s easy to lose sight of things like the number of emails you’re sending and how having more than one automation created can result in an overflow of emails in your subscribers’ inbox.

Sometimes, you’re too close to it to see you’re doing it. That’s why it’s helpful to have a friend or coworker who hasn’t helped create all your emails to signup to receive your emails as if they were new subscribers. Ask them questions to see what kind of experience they had with your emails.

A potential email overload isn’t the only thing you should look out for on behalf of your customers.

You should also create subscriber personas, to get to know who your subscribers are. Consider things like what their needs and wants are, where else they may be spending time online, the car they drive, etc. This will inform you of how to talk to your subscribers and what type of content you should be sending them.

With all this information, you can do successful engagement tracking, because you know that you’re servicing your subscribers’ needs and not just your businesses’ desire to sell more.

Do: Tell a Story

Storytelling is one of the most effective marketing tactics around.

The experience from your signup forms, welcome email, newsletters, website and other email communications to work together to tell one complete story.

If the signup form is the “once upon a time” each subsequent email is another breadcrumb that leads your subscribe to their “happily ever after.”

Let’s take a look at what that fairytale might look like for your business:

  1. A website visitor encounters your signup form. They see your promise to send relevant product updates and offers as well as a 10% off discount in exchange for signing up. They enter their information.
  2. An automated Welcome Email hits their inbox shortly thereafter. It should provide a warm greeting to them and continue to set expectations for what email communication from your business will be like. The Welcome Email should also include some resources to help them find their way. Information on various products, tutorials, etc. This is what brings them into the rest of the story.
  3. If they clicked through to your website and wound up checking out a specific product, you can follow up a few days later with another email sharing a few customer testimonials. Another chapter in the story you’re telling.
  4. If they open that email but have not yet made a purchase, you can follow up again with an email with a video showing how others have put that product to use. It continues to paint the picture of what they’re life will look like with that product.
  5. If that email gets opened, but it still didn’t do the trick to get the conversion, you can try sending another email reminding them that they have a 10% off discount to put to use. If they finally make a purchase, it’s the happily ever after you’re seeking.

The Don’ts of Engagement Tracking

Engagement tracking helps you create a one-to-one feel for your marketing.

With engagement tracking, you can ensure you’re always sending timely and relevant communications that help to nurture your relationships with your subscribers.

However, there are some “don’ts” that come with engagement tracking. Failure to avoid them will have your subscribers feeling like Big Brother is watching.

Don’t: Do One-Size-Fits-All Emailing

If you’re simply blasting out the same exact promos to your entire list, you’re not sending relevant emails.

That one-size-fits-all approach will net you some sales because there is part of your list that message would be relevant to. However, the rest of your list won’t open, or click, on that email. They’ll go inactive, and if left on your list, will result in bounces and ultimately poor email delivery.

According to the DMA, more than half of your subscribers will hit unsubscribe due to irrelevant emails:

Too many irrelevant emails

The good news is that you didn’t even need to let those subscribers become inactive in the first place.

Follow the do’s listed above to use engagement tracking to send relevant emails to your subscribers.

Don’t: Be Creepy

When engagement tracking goes wrong, it can feel a bit creepy. Don’t be creepy.

Here are a few things you can do to avoid the creep factor with engagement tracking:

  • Don’t say things like “I noticed you…” and “since you click on…” That goes a little too far. You can send the follow-ups that were triggered by what you noticed or know that they clicked on, but don’t tell them that’s why you’re doing it.
  • Use a send delay. Don’t send the follow-up email based on subscriber engagements immediately. They may start to look for the hidden cameras. Send a day or two later, so that they’ve had time to act without your next email, but not too far away that they’ve lost interest or moved on.
  • Avoid leaving an automation running for too long unchecked. It’s important to check in with any engagement tracking-based automation you create. If it’s running for too long, chances for errors creep in. Your user experience may change on your website, or you may create an email at a different step in the journey that covers a similar topic. Things can go wrong or feel creepy when an automation isn’t working as planned.

How to do Engagement Tracking with Benchmark Email

With Automation Pro, you can do engagement tracking with ease.

The first step is to ensure engagement tracking begins at your signup forms. Here’s a helpful FAQ on how to do it.

Next, there is a strategy template waiting for you in Automation Pro called “Promote and Target Opens, Clicks and Website Engagement. This template helps you automate the follow-ups to your subscribers based on whether or not they’re interacting with your emails and what pages they’re viewing on your website.

Engagement Tracking

Putting this template to use will help you do engagement tracking with ease. If you have any questions, chat, call or email us!

Are you ready for a smarter way to engage with your customers?

Benchmark helps you do email marketing the practical way. Create an ongoing relationship with your subscribers that leads to increased sales and happier customers.

Content & Social Networking Manager

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