10 Ways Better Email Data Can Help Your Program
Data is constantly informing our decisions.
You probably glanced at the probability of rain before deciding whether to grab your umbrella on the way out the door. Google Maps may have convinced you to take a different way to work when you saw the red line covering your normal route. Then, after braving the angry skies and even angrier drivers, you sat down at your desk only to be met with an angry onslaught of different data.
Data is everywhere, but it’s not always helpful. To produce good decisions in your email program, you need good email data. Plus, it also helps to have good ways of viewing that data. What can you do with better data? Plenty, but we know how much data you have to sift through, so we’ll keep things short and limit our list to these 10 things.
1) Improve the relevance of your email content.
The more relevant your email content is to your subscribers, the more likely they are to engage. By using data solutions like Tableau to assess email performance, emailers can identify high-performing email content. They can then use these takeaways to inform their content strategy and better engage their audience.
What metrics will tell you if your content is effective? That depends on the purpose of your email newsletters. A good open rate might look nice, but when the purpose of your email program is primarily to drive traffic to your site, you have to consider click-through rates. If your emails aren’t leading people to your onsite content, look at the data and see what they do click on.
2) Achieve and maintain higher inbox placement rates.
Most email senders keep an eye on their deliverability. But deliverability rates just tell you whether the email made it there; they don’t tell you where they ended up. If your email got delivered to the spam folder, in many cases, it can be as if it was never delivered at all.
Tools like Return Path can help you go beyond simple deliverability percentages to identify potential reputation issues or issues with certain mailboxes. By keeping your eye on your inbox placement data, you can catch deliverability issues before they derail your email program.
3) Optimize your landing pages for performance from email.
If the goal of your email send is to drive conversions, you have to make sure you’re doing so. Getting people to click on your email is only the first step. If your landing pages aren’t getting visitors to follow through, turn to the data.
With a clear insight into your email data, you can look at email click-through rates alongside conversion rates from email visitors. If your email performance is lagging behind, you can then take steps to optimize your landing pages for email conversions.
It could be as simple as ensuring your landing pages are mobile-friendly. 55% of email is opened on mobile devices, but mobile users are far less likely to convert than users on desktop or tablet. This can partly be attributed to intent: many users turn to their phones when they want to browse while waiting for desktop access to take the final step. Still, making the mobile experience as seamless as possible can help you make up the difference.
4) Use email data to find trends in year-over-year or month-over-month communication.
When you’ve got mounds of data at your disposal, it can be hard to find meaningful insights in the bigger picture. After all, it’s important to assess the performance of individual campaigns, but you can’t forget to look at trends in email performance by week, month, or even year.
That’s why it’s critical to match up with an ESP that 1) shows email performance during particular time periods, and 2) provides a way to compare that performance with the previous time period (month-over-month, year-over-year, etc.).
It can give you an aerial view of how your email program is performing, what kinds of campaigns are working, or what times of year you may need to tweak your strategy.
5) Deploy high-converting email capture widgets without harming website KPIs.
Growing your email list is the first step to nurturing audiences and driving revenue, which is why you need to pay close attention to the strategies and tactics you use to grow your list.
It’s a delicate balance. Active capture widgets grab your audience’ attention more effectively than static forms, but overly aggressive email capture tactics can scare off subscribers. Even worse, a poor site experience may keep visitors from returning to your site at all.
PostUp’s audience development solutions integrate with Google Analytics and other analytics to ensure capture widgets maximize email conversions without hurting site KPIs. With integrated data solutions, emailers can conduct rigorous testing that helps them walk the fine line between conversion and aversion.
6) Find and use the right marketing channel for the job.
Email is pretty good, but it can’t do everything.
Depending on the job, it may be more effective to turn to your other marketing channels. If your goal is to go viral, naturally you’d turn to social media. Meanwhile, if you’ve got big news, you may be better served by push notifications or SMS. But how can you tell for sure?
That’s right, data. With a clear picture of your data, you can assess whether messaging on particular channels delivers improved performance. Better analytics have helped PostUp clients see whether email, SMS, or a combination of the two was most effective for reaching their goals.
7) Identify parts of your email list for more powerful segmentation.
The data is clear: email segmentation leads to higher ROI. But you can’t segment just to segment and expect to see email revenue fall from the sky. You need data to seek out the parts of your list that would benefit from specialized communication.
What are some ways you can segment your list to drive better results?
- Publishers can target their most engaged newsletter subscribers with personalized content based on their viewing history
- Political or nonprofit groups can identify the segments of their list most likely to donate, then experiment with sending them special campaigns.
- Ecommerce brands can isolate certain segments of their list based on purchase history and send specialized campaigns around related products.
With actionable insights into subscriber engagement, you can take steps to drive more of that engagement. But the effects aren’t limited to your already-engaged subscribers.
8) Optimize your email re-engagement campaigns.
When looking at your email program analytics, you’ll likely find large segments of your list who haven’t engaged with your email.
It happens; new email subscribers tend to be twice as engaged as more tenured subscribers. Email engagement falls over time, and sometimes it drops down to nothing, which is where email re-engagement campaigns come in handy.
Better data can even help you automate your re-engagement campaigns, ensuring that you contact lapsed subscribers at the point where they’re most likely to re-engage. For some of our clients, we’ve found that point to be at about 18 months; for you, it might be different.
9) Calculate your email ROI
You’ve heard the statistics—that email drives $38 for every $1 spent—but what exactly is email doing for you?
The PostUp platform integrates with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and other solutions to put your data at your fingertips. Then, our Tableau integration brings clarity to those metrics, helping our clients calculate just how much revenue they generate with each email they send.
When you’ve got a clear picture of audience data—which visitors go where, what kind of content they visit, who converts—you can pinpoint how well your email is performing and, in turn, pinpoint how much revenue it drives for you.
Still, gaining these insights can take time. That’s where smarter data solutions come into play.
10) Save time on email reporting.
Ultimately, having data is about making decisions that improve. When you’ve got more time to put your data to use, you’ve got more time to improve.
PostUp has plenty of experience helping clients save time. Check out the case studies to see for yourself:
- When it comes to golf, less is more. PostUp took Golf Channel’s reporting time from 45 minutes down to just 5.
- PostUp saved this company 5 hours per week on reporting.
- We don’t just save time on email reporting; we help publishers cut down their email assembly time as well.
With all that extra time in your day, you might just be able to take that longer way to work.
Editor, PostUp PlayBook