Email marketing is just as vital in leveraging conversions as it’s ever been. However, many marketers are still failing to track their performance in a meaningful way.
The marketing landscape has evolved at a rapid rate in the 21st Century, but throughout the rise of social media, SEO, and content marketing, email campaigns have always remained top of the food chain. In fact, 73% of marketers still view email marketing as the most effective means of generating online conversions.
While utilising social networking sites can be a strong way of generating greater brand awareness, email-based marketing techniques can give businesses the chance to follow up and generate loyalty among leads with personalised sentiments. Email campaigns can be a canvas for demonstrating a caring, more human personality among businesses which can ultimately lead to higher volumes of conversions.
Recent drops in the organic reach of social media channels have further bolstered the value of email campaigns for marketers. By appearing directly in front of recipients within their inboxes, email marketing can build much stronger relationships between brands and their customers. This feeling of being valued by a business aids leads in finding the motivation they need to make purchases on-site.
While there’s little doubting the effectiveness of email marketing, it’s vital that businesses wield the power of email in a manner that reaches the most customers. With this in mind, it’s worth looking into some of the most valuable techniques in which marketers can track email conversions and turn their strategies into sales.
The Art of Tracking Email Conversions
Email campaigns are worth very little if marketers aren’t tracking the conversions they make. The difference in the number of subscribers recruited to your mailing list will mean very little if you’re unable to get anybody to follow up their interest with a purchase.
In order to make your email marketing efforts more fruitful, it’s important that you utilise some of the wealth of insights available to you. Performing split tests in order to initiate some trial and improvement for your strategies can also be highly effective. If you’re struggling to build a campaign that suits your existing marketing funnels then the cost of failure will be made clear your bottom line.
Fortunately, there are plenty of advanced services on-hand to make the process of gaining email insights much easier. Platforms like Intuit Mailchimp and Constant Contact are particularly adept at displaying metrics that marketers can build on – such as email open rates, click-through rates and various insights into the behaviour of recipients of your campaigns. These insights can help you to identify issues in your campaigns faster without taking significant chunks out of your marketing budgets.
Although getting set up with email analytics platforms can take a chunk out of your budget, the wealth of insights that the array of metrics can tell you will enable your campaigns to be better optimised for the right audience moving forward.
The Power of Performance Tracking
Arguably the most vital tool for marketers to implement is known as ‘beyond the click tracking,’ a system that analyses the path users take once they’ve arrived onto your website from an embedded email link.
It’s through beyond the click tracking that you can monitor the progress of users from tailored landing pages designed to welcome email click-throughs.
If your business intends to track the quality of its campaigns, it’s important to conduct sufficient research before picking an email service. This helps you to view the level of beyond the click tracking that they offer. Significantly, factors like website visitor tracking, conversion points, and automatic tagging of email campaigns are vital for providing marketers with the best assets for conversion optimisation.
Some reasonable platforms for businesses to track their traffic arrivals and conversion sources can be found in the likes of Google Analytics and Finteza – both of which focus heavily on both traffic and UTM tracking.
The Role of Analytics Within Email Marketing
There are few more effective resources for tracking email traffic than Google Analytics. The platform is capable of keeping an eye on your email sales performance by establishing custom advanced segments that can specifically follow visitors from email links to accurately track how specific audiences behave.
Here we can see the overview dashboard within Google Analytics. To create a segment for email marketing campaigns within the platform, you’ll need to select the Audiences option in the dashboard. You’ll then be presented with the option to create a new audience while selecting to track email arrivals.
You will be able to add certain conditions to the segments you create, and a summary will provide a percentage indicator of the size of your visitors that you’ll be dealing with by the margins you set up.
Coding and Tagging Email Links
An imperative part of email marketing comes in the form of creating tracking systems to help you to figure out which campaigns are performing better than others.
To effectively track your email campaigns, the embedded links within your emails should direct users to landing pages that are tagged with tracking parameters. Typically such parameters will involve a series of relevant ‘name-value’ pairs for ease of identification. They also tend to refer to any text that follows a ‘?’ within a website URL.
Above, we can see a series of examples referring to how tagging can work in relation to various URL addresses. Just in case you were wondering about the frequency in which utm is appearing in the examples above, it’s an abbreviation of Urchin Tracking Module.
If you’ve adopted Google Analytics as your platform of choice for monitoring your email campaign efforts, be sure to acquaint yourself Martech Zone’s Google Analytics Campaign Builder that enables marketers to add parameters for specific pages redirected from various email campaigns.
If you’re looking to construct a newsletter that’s sent out on a weekly or monthly basis, it could be worth writing a script that creates an HTML page with tagged links readily included for ease of reference. Many email service providers (ESP) provide integrated UTM tracking that you can enable and automate as well.
Understanding Customer Behaviour
Remember that it’s always useful to conduct some research into the series of features that conversion tracking software offers before taking the plunge and buying into a platform for your business. Ultimately, buying into something that doesn’t fully suit your needs could lead to unavoidable financial losses.
Rather than simply looking into email open rates and click-through metrics, marketers should fully monitor their conversions, which can be useful in understanding the real ROI linked to specific email marketing strategies.
While there’s certainly a lot of basic data out there that helps businesses to check on how many subscribers are bothering to read the emails they’re sent, and which recipients are opting to visit a website after an email enters their inbox, many of these metrics can’t offer the wealth of data that marketers need to fully determine how users are reacting to the campaigns they see unless their on-site behaviour is available to study.
To elaborate on this point, click-through-rates can indicate that a recipient is willing to open an email from your company. But even if a link is being actioned in the majority of cases, it doesn’t always mean that it’s going to result in more conversions. In fact, there’s even a chance that volumes of click-throughs are occurring in a widespread effort for subscribers to unsubscribe from the mailing list.
Learning more about the behaviour of subscribers is vital in gaining a fuller picture of how fruitful your campaigns actually are.
Campaign Monitor has pioneered its click-to-open rate (CTOR), which further illuminates the insights a business can receive into the performance of its campaigns.
Email marketing and content typically go hand-in-hand, and it often a lot of work needs to be done between having a potential customer show a willingness to read your emails and then actively making a purchase. Content helps to build a rapport between businesses and their customers, and it’s important that marketers don’t lose sight of value-adding copy amidst metrics detailing the most effective paths down a sales funnel.
The world of marketing has become more competitive and more technically advanced than ever before. Amidst newer, more intrinsic insights, old fashioned email marketing has remained an unmovable force throughout. With the right blend of research, investment, and the actioning of information, more marketers have the potential to save money while maximising their potential for success. All they need to do is know how to review the messages their sales funnels are giving them.
Disclosure: Martech Zone has affiliate links in this article.