Tags: email metrics

5 Things to Consider when Viewing Your Open Rates

Beyond • June 7, 2011

Open rates reveal how well your emails are received and give an idea as to which periods in time evoke the most interest from your subscribers. When analyzing your open rates, it is important to remember that improving the rating does not necessarily mean getting the stats up. Improving open rates is really more about bettering your email marketing. Here are 5 things to consider when viewing your open rates. 1. One Size Fits All? There is no one size fits all open rate. Similar to how a local market can’t contend with the chain grocery store downtown in sheer sales numbers, open rates will drastically vary from business to business depending on various factors. Rather than comparing your open rates with those of another business, rationalize the figures by considering the ratings in relation to the total number of emails that were sent out. Take it a step further by measuring how well received your emails are at various times of the day to give yourself an idea of the days and times your blasts are most successful. 2. Low Open Rates Send out too many emails and people get overwhelmed or become uninterested. Send too little and, again, people lose interest. But low open rates can sometimes mean better business. If fewer people open more emails and make more purchases, a lower open rate is indicative of a higher click-through rate - a much more reliable metric. While this is ultimately good for your business, it can also be indicative of improper segmentation. When was the last time you cleaned your house list? In the meantime, hone in on the frequency that works best for your specific market and segment in response to behavior. If it’s time to dump unresponsive addresses, do so. It will only increase your ability to target the subscribers who are receptive and engaged. 3. Find a Niche It’s hard to sustain a consistent frequency when you’re distributing marketing emails every week to your subscribers. Rather than spending your energy on increasing the quantity of emails, try the other route and find the niche that most appeals to your market. Your open rate may rise and fall depending on your specific niche. If you send out emails that really drill down on your market’s desired topic, your open rate should increase. 4. Changes Open rates fluctuate due to several variables, but a constant is always seasonal impetus. Your rates will vary from season to season, month to month and even day to day. Monitor these changes and measure your rates in a way that will help you critique and improve your methods throughout the year. 5. Subject Lines Your subject lines can dictate your open rates. This is often the point at which readers decide whether or not to open your email, so give your emails a chance by crafting seductive yet informative subject lines. Relevancy, timeliness and clarity are the cardinal rules to abide by when crafting subject lines. Remember that more and more of your subscribers will receive your emails on their phones, which allow less space for grandiose greetings.


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5 Drip Campaign Mistakes to Avoid

Beyond • June 6, 2011

Email drip campaigns are one of the best ways to introduce new products to your subscribers. Giving your readers a little bit of information over time gets them excited about your new product without overwhelming them. Now, drip campaigns can be a bit tricky. Because the nature of a drip campaign involves sending multiple emails with a similar topic (e.g. your new product) there are some common pitfalls your need to watch out for to make sure that your campaign is successful. Here are a few of them. Sending Emails Too Close Together When your are getting your email drip campaign together it can be easy to get a bit overzealous. The whole point is to get the word out about your products and services, right? But you have to be careful. If you send your emails too close together you run the risk of coming across as spammy or annoying to the people you are trying to market to. Keep your emails generously spaced to make sure that they are welcomed in your subscriber\'s inbox. Oversending Oversending emails is just as bad as sending them too close together. You want people to open your emails and digest the information. Sending too many emails, just like sending emails too close together, can seem pushy, annoying and too close to spam for people to actually take interest. You have to trust in the content of your email and in the value of the product you are offering. More emails don’t equal higher sales. A great way to avoid this is to create your drip campaign with pre-programmed autoresponders that send on a schedule. Not Developing an Overall Theme The best email drip campaigns have a natural progression, not unlike a television series. They need a beginning, middle and end. If you are trying to market a new product, the first email in your drip campaign should be an introductory email that shows off the product for the very first time. Follow this up by an email full of tips on how to use the product and places it could come in handy. Your third email could be a video showing the product in action. Finish your campaign with some product testimonials from actual customers and, finally, throw in a coupon. Inappropriate Subject Lines In any email newsletter campaign, drip or otherwise, the subject line holds the most weight. As the first thing your newsletter subscriber sees, the subject line may be the most important part of your email. Subject lines have to be short, concise and (this is the hard part) directly related to the content of your email. Lack of Tracking If you really want to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns, you have to track the successes and the failures of your email. You have to see where they are strong and where they are lacking. Everyone that markets their business via email should be using Google Analytics to track the open and click-through rates as well as where people are going after they read your emails or visit your website. The more information you have about how people are responding to your emails, the more you can tailor your emails to your target audience. This is why Benchmark provides a comprehensive email metrics report for every campaign you send, complete with open rates, clicks, social stats, bounces and opens by location, all updated in real-time. If you wonder whether you are sending your emails too often, or sending too many, the best thing you can do is put yourself in the shoes of your subscribers. If you think you are sending too much, you are probably sending too much. Trust your instincts and you can’t go wrong.


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Support Update: View Your Subscribers’ Activity with Email History

Support Update: View Your Subscribers’ Activity with Email History

Beyond • May 4, 2011

This past weekend was a big holiday event for many people. Gift-wrap, bows and ribbon filled my house as I sorted through the gifts I had purchased for various relatives and friends. I realized in the middle of it all that I had given more to those who I had spent the most time with in the last six months or so. My relationship with those friends and family members had been strengthened by the amount of interaction we had and I wanted to show my appreciation to them for being a part of my life. Many businesses take the same approach when it comes to their customers. Awesome coupons and discounts are usually given to those who are actively involved with the business. With that in mind, are you aware that you can view how active a subscriber has been in the last 90 days with your email blasts? Our system will tell you which email campaigns were sent to them, how many they opened and whether they clicked on any links or forwarded the email to others. This information can be useful to you when gauging which contacts you may want to reward for loyalty. This can also be used to clear out subscribers who have lost interest in the emails you send. In order to see the Email History of a subscriber in the last 90 days, simply click on the email address of the subscriber from within any list. Then click on the link from the right side of your screen that says, “View Email History.” You will be directed to a screen that looks like this: If I were evaluating this subscriber, I would be able to see that she has opened all three of the emails I sent her in the last 90 days but did not click on any links I might have included. I may want to encourage more interaction by using more efficient call-to-action phrases in my next campaign and see if that makes any difference. Be sure to check out your subscribers’ email history the next time you have a promotion or are just curious to see who is actively involved with your campaigns. Remember, it can be nice to show and receive appreciation for good customer loyalty, and will help to maintain a strong contact list.


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Cater to Your Organization Supporters with Survey & Behavior Data

Beyond • May 4, 2011

Even with gold above $1,500 per ounce, personal information on your supporters is worth more than its weight in that precious metal. Having access to a rich array of data on who your constituents are and what are their preferred ways to interact with your association or organization is not only a keystone to your entire email campaign strategy, but also the most effective way to compare your campaigns, identify trends and analyze what is working… and what is not. Your Constituents Want to Be Recognized as Special Recognizing the relationship that your supporter has been having with your organization in the most minute detail will provide you with an accurate conclusion as to the type of experience that they want with you in the future. Once you have a profound understanding of not only their current behavior but also their hopes and aspirations, you will be able to provide the specific targeted and thoroughly customized email content that will motivate them to the greatest degree. Your constituents have elevated expectations of your organization, thus they will not only expect but demand a personalized communication experience in each of their interactions with you. They don’t want to be just another faceless number to be endlessly milked for donations of time and money; they want to be recognized as special individuals who stand out among the overall group of supporters. Correlation of Demographic, Interest & Attitude Data Is Key This level of empathic information about your supporters does not come from simply collecting their name, birthday and email address, but can only be deduced from detailed information provided by them with regards to their demographics, interests and attitudes. Harnessing this invaluable data and correlating it to the behaviors that they have historically shown when interacting with your organization online will provide you with an advanced level of information that you can use to compose an accurate constituent profile. Once this critical profile is complete, the conclusion of compiling an email strategy that is custom tailored to the individual becomes a reasonably easy task. An Effective Survey Goes Beyond the Pedantic In order to garner this level of personal profile information, associations and organizations around the world utilize a variety of means. One of the most successful and popular ones is the application of an online survey. Within the questions found in your survey lie the possibilities to craft gateways to the most extended levels of individual attitude and interest determinations available to any organization. A truly effective survey goes beyond the unimaginatively pedantic and into the explorations of what your constituents truly feel, desire, expect and hope for through their interaction with your organization. These types of questions will result in the precise kinds of answers that can be translated into clear and applicable solutions to your email campaign segmentation and customization strategies. Trackable Links Allow the Capture of Critical Behavioral Data Once your survey answers have provided a thorough insight into your supporter, you are now ready to layer an additional dimension of understanding through the analysis of the data capturing their behavior as they interact with your website. Trackable links embedded into the website’s content will flag the presence of any of your visitors and allow you to determine their specific interests. If your organization is involved in wildlife issues and a particular constituent who has signed up for your African Savannah appeal is spending an inordinate amount of time on your Humpback Whale pages, it indicates that they are prime candidates to support your Marine Mammal cause. Providing that individual with a way to get involved in another aspect of your organization can expand their commitment to your causes. Applying survey and behavior data to your email strategy will allow your supporters to feel you are “reading their minds” when it comes to the types of interactions they wish to have with your organization. This form of special and fully customized email communication is a method that has proven successful in increasing your email metrics across the board, and is the best way to truly engage your constituents.


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