How To Improve Email Marketing Analytics Accuracy And ROI Results

how to improve email marketing analytics accuracy emails click traps

Email marketing is still very much alive and effective in 2021. But how do you get the most out of your emails and newsletter blasts? Here are some tips to make the most of your email marketing while improving analytics accuracy. 

Do you have a click trap set up in your emails? I do now. One of the questions folks ask when they’re looking at email marketing results is how reliable or trustworthy the email analytics results are. It’s a well-established fact, especially in B2B email marketing, that some corporate email systems scan our email marketing messages and click on every single link to determine whether a link contains malware or other threats. Naturally, in discussions about the impact of email marketing, these spurious clicks come up, especially if someone wants to argue against the value of email marketing. “Email marketing analytics can’t be relied on,” they’ll argue as they sip their stale, bitter coffee, “bots are clicking on everything on our emails!"

What is the savvy email marketer to do? Set up email click traps so that you know how many invalid clicks there are in every marketing message you send out. Somewhere in this newsletter, I’ve set up a single punctuation mark is linked to a tracking link. I’ve made it to a URL that exists, but with special Google Analytics tracking codes so I can disregard that traffic - it’s clearly being done by bots and not humans, because the likelihood that you’ll even know to look for it (well, you do now, but you didn’t in previous weeks) is so small that clicking on it is highly unlikely. 

Click Traps: what do we do with this spam bot email clicking data? 

First, we know out of every send, how many clicks to discount. If I have 2,000 clicks in a newsletter on 20 links (so 100 clicks per link), but my click trap shows 5 clicks, then I know I only have 95 clicks per link in reality. Second, I know which subscribers have firewalls that are clicking on everything. That helps me understand what percentage of my list is behind such firewalls. Typically, big corporations and highly-regulated companies have such detection mechanisms, so that may be a useful proxy for certain kinds of companies and professionals on my list. Third, I know which traffic to discount in Google Analytics - and how much of it. I can, in my Google Analytics exports, remove or filter traffic with my specific click tracking campaign to get a true understanding of how much traffic to discount as bot traffic if Google Analytics doesn’t already catch it with its built-in bot filters. Knowing how much traffic in any given email is junk is a powerful, useful thing to know. Consider implementing click traps in your email marketing to diagnose how many of your clicks aren’t valid. 

Email Marketing A Preferred Medium

Last week, I asked you a one-question poll to start the newsletter, about which format you’d prefer content from me in. The results were interesting: Poll results Email came in a solid first place, followed by text blogs, then video, then audio. Dead last by a considerable margin was live streaming. This is unsurprising; we spoke a couple weeks ago about the need to make content faster, to let audiences consume our information faster so they can move onto the next thing in their lives. It’s absolutely no surprise that you don’t want more appointment-based content, needing to show up at a specific date and time to receive the content. Who has time for that any more? Email, of course, is not only the fastest form of content in terms of the medium (text), it’s also the least amount of effort for the audience because it arrives to you directly. You don’t need to remember to go anywhere - it comes to you. 

The other thing the poll generated was interest in how it works. It’s very straightforward, if you look at the underlying code behind the scenes: Poll code Each of the links in the poll goes to the same thank you page, but each is tagged with an arbitrary value (the answer) as well as the same data in a Google Analytics UTM tag. 

The results above are directly from my Google Analytics account. This accomplishes a few different things. First, it makes the traffic trackable in my system of record - I don’t need a second piece of software added to my technology stack. Second, it’s a sanity check on my email marketing software. Are the numbers close, or are there a ton more clicks in email than people who actually showed up to my website? Third, if this were a mission-critical product, something I really cared about, I would be able to enroll people who clicked on a specific answer into a retargeting audience to encourage them to purchase at a later date. I’ve obviously had no need to do that with this poll, but by using the technologies already built into things like Google Analytics and Google Ads, I could accomplish quite a lot from a single click. I encourage you to use similar tech tricks in your own email communications to better analyze the needs of your audience without adding to your tech stack’s budget or complexity. In the new year, I’m going to take your guidance as part of my overall content plan, so thank you for those who took the poll. If you’ve got some additional thoughts about content in the new year, I’d love to hear them

Improve Email Marketing Results And Emailing Analytics

Generally, with any kind of marketing campaign, people need to see your message 7 to 12 times before they take action. This is why email marketing is so effective. It allows you to easily send a number of messages in a affordable manner and develop a long lasting relationship with your target audience so that they turn into customers for life. Here are 5 strategies to maximize the success of your email marketing. 

1. Know Your Customer. The more you know about your customer, the better. What are their problems and how can you help them? When you know the answers to these questions it will help you to make your email marketing campaign more relevant. Before sending the email you need to make sure that the recipient is actually a prospective customer for your product or service. 

2. Always Provide Value. Email marketing is about developing a relationship with the people on your database. There is a presumption that if you send too many emails, it will aggravate your recipients. But if you don't send emails on a regular basis they will forget about you. People will only get irritated if you send them rubbish, so every email should provide something value. Don't just continually blast out sales messages. If you would not send the email to your best friend, then don't send it to the people on your email marketing list. 

3. Grab Attention With Your Email Subject Line. Your subject line is like the headline of an advertisement. This is what people will see in their email inbox. If they don't like it and if it doesn't make them want to read the content of the email they will ignore or delete it. Never send an email without a subject line. If you do, it will most likely get deleted as soon as it lands in the recipient's inbox. 

4. Develop A Relationship. You need to build a relationship with the people on your list so that they start to like and trust you. Email marketing is not a hit and run medium. Your subscribers need to know that you are a real person, just like they are. People will be more inclined to buy from you again and again when you have built up a relationship with them. Email personalization can accomplish higher results but use it carefully. When used too much it can seem to be a bit creepy. 

5. Use An Autoresponder. Your email marketing is much more effective if you use email marketing software and an autoresponder. Email marketing software can capture the email information of your prospects and send information back to them immediately, regardless of where they are located or what time of the day it is. Auto-responders can handle multiple customer lists and send out different messages, keeping track of who you send it to, what the subject line was, the body of the email, open rates, click-through rates and how many previous email messages you have sent. 

Keep these email marketing tips in mind to improve your analytics accuracy and ROI results in 2021!

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