What are you going to do with all that data?
What are you going to do with all that data?
Here at Websand, we pride ourselves on our data-centric approach. With GDPR now firmly in place, being serious about your data is more important than ever. It’s a legal requirement. Sure, it doesn’t always sound sexy, but data equals ‘people’ and how they relate to your business. If marketing depends on building relationships, then email marketing depends on the quality of your data.
Don’t be. At its simplest, data-driven marketing lets you see at a glance what works and what doesn’t. Do more of the former and less of the latter for better sales.
Finding data isn’t hard. Any platform gives you access to lots of it.
But while we’ve talked before about data management, it’s easy to wonder what you do with all that data.
Let’s demystify the data you collect from email marketing to get you up to speed.
Find out How Subscribers Use Your Emails.
Start off looking at what your subscribers do with your campaigns. This is the entry-level use of data.
Look at three different rates; opens, clicks, and unsubscribes.
You can also find out which links subscribers click on and what time of day subscribers open your emails.
Why is any of this important?
Open rates tell you which subject lines subscribers respond to. A/B test your subject lines to improve your open rates.
Clicks tell you which calls to action they answer. (Hint: including a simple action phrase like ‘click here’ helps).
Unsubscribes are self-explanatory. They want out. It’s nothing to be scared of. It’s good to know and part of email marketing.
But why do you need to know which links they click?
Say you put the same link in your email twice. Once in the first paragraph, and once in a ‘tl:dr’ section at the bottom. Then say 80% of your subscribers click the second link rather than the first. That tells you subscribers are skimming your emails. So you should put the most important info at the bottom of your emails.
Most marketers stop at this point. They consider their data work done. And they are missing such an important aspect of their data. Where the subscribers came from in the first place.
As part of GDPR, you will need to record consent and that means where people signed up in the first place. That is gold for smart marketers.
If you know where people are signing up, you can be more relevant with the messages you send them. And you’ll be able to track the outcomes back to the original source.
Look at the Outcomes of Your Email Marketing Efforts.
You’ve got your basic data nailed around where subscribers come from and what subscribers do with your emails. But we haven’t looked at what they do once they’ve clicked your links.
So now you need to find out;
- How many people buy your products or services per email
- What revenue do you generate, on average, with each email?
- How much revenue does each subscriber earn?
- What’s your conversion rate?
- What is your ROI per campaign?
This data is easy to find in your Websand dashboard because we know how important it is. But you can combine this data with the previous data you collected.
If you improved your click rate but you’re not making more sales? You need to improve your web copy or product photos to convert email clicks into purchases.
Segment the subscribers based on revenue and reward frequent spenders. You’ll increase their brand loyalty and it’s easier to make sales with existing customers than new ones.
Or create a new email sequence to woo those subscribers that open your emails but never buy. Focus on showing this segment how brilliant your product or service is. There’s a reason they’re on your list even if they don’t buy, so let them get to know you better.
Setting up a segment is vital to your success as a marketer. 42% of businesses still don’t use them, even though they generate 58% of your revenue.
And if your campaigns you send on a Tuesday earn more revenue than campaigns sent on a Friday? Well, you know what to do next time, don’t you?
Use Your Data to Get into Your Subscribers’ Heads.
Data is a wonderful thing but it still can’t explain basic psychology. You’ll need to do some guesswork with this final phase of data analysis. But it’s a great exercise in getting to know your customers. Understanding your subscribers is the first step in giving them what they need. Which is not always what they want.
You need to work out why certain segments open emails more often than others. Use your data to find out where these subscribers came from. Do subscribers from your blog open emails more than subscribers from social media? Use these insights to improve your engagement with people before they subscribe.
Work out this segment issue and replicate the formula for all your segments.
It’s also important to know why people unsubscribe from emails without discount codes. You may think that one is obvious, but it’s worth thinking about. Provide more value for subscribers that isn’t a discount code. Keep those people from leaving.
Last, you need to consider why your revenue per campaign dips in certain months. Is your product a poor fit for that time of year? If so, find a new way to reposition it so that people are still interested. Consider this a ‘keeping warm’ activity for your leads.
I’ve Analysed My Data…Now What?
You’ve used this post to analyse your data in these three areas. They derive from Avinash Kaushik’s analytics “trinity”. You can see how they work together.
Decide on which segments you want to use with your audience. A common one is geographic, which is handy if you have a location-based business like a hotel. Or, as mentioned earlier, segmenting based on revenue helps you reward loyal customers.
Now you need to devise an action plan. Much of it comes down to testing. Use A/B testing to see which emails lead to higher open rates. Vary your calls to action to determine what effects your click rate. Hire a copywriter to spruce up your web copy. Or get better photos to boost conversions from click to sale.
Use the analysis you’ve done to craft the right email marketing message for each segment. And send it out at the right time.
If you’re using email marketing automation (and we recommend that you do), then this still applies.
Look at the journey from the first purchase. It’s the start of your relationship with a new customer, yet so many marketers focus on acquisition rather than on this critical point. It’s important stuff, that’s why we have it on our Websand dashboard.
From our analysis, the dropoff from purchase 1 to purchase 2 is usually significant. Often over 50%.
A regular promo email can be worth $0.02. But how much would an email that moves a customer from purchase number 1 to purchase number 2 to your business.
Apply your analysis to your automated retention emails. How many customers open them? What’s the click rate like? But most importantly, how many new sales does it bring?
That sounds like a lot of hard work
It’s worth the time and effort. Segmentation works. If the average is 15-20% open rate for a generic message to your full audience, a little work on segmenting that audience should double that open rate.
Focus on the data you collect, match the message to the audience, and your open rates will sky-rocket.
But please don’t work in splendid isolation, make sure it’s linked to your marketing plan and your objectives.
Keep One Eye on Your Data at All Times
Data is so useful to all aspects of your business. You can use your data to confirm or update your target audience profile. Having a more realistic customer avatar helps you keep your email copy ‘on brand’. It will better resonate with subscribers.
Monitoring your data helps you test every element of your email marketing. You can find the ‘secret sauce’ for your business.
So look at your current provider. Are they giving you the tools you need to manage your data? Are they ready for GDPR? If not, get in touch with us at Websand. We’ll give you all the data you need and more. You’ll get support at every stage of your marketing journey.
We’re standing by!
Also published on Medium.