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Conversion, Conversion, Conversion

October 22, 2010

When it comes to e-newsletters, most companies undervalue just how much their readership statistics are worth. Detailed readership information should not be regarded as just another page of empty numbers to trawl through, but a window into your customer’s mind. And if you aren't looking through that window, you're missing out on potential leads, sales and revenue.

Most email recipients are busy people who receive hundreds of messages every day. So, if a reader opens your e-newsletter and reads an article; maybe even returning to it more than once - this behaviour is a positive indication that they need something that your article offered: information, a tip, a product or a service. And this is your chance to connect with that reader and convert that click into a customer.

Maximising your e-newsletter statistics 

The statistical report that you get when you send your e-newsletter, gives you information at many levels. Yes, it’s useful to look at your campaign overview; but to find out what your readers are really thinking, you need to delve much deeper into the views and clicks report. This information is valuable sales data that your business should be using. 

All marketers love the views and clicks report, as they can discover:

  • Who read the newsletter
  • Which articles each person read
  • How many times a reader looked back at an article

And from this information, they can determine:

  • The products and services of interest to readers
  • The subjects of real interest to readers
  • The subjects that are not of great interest to readers 
  • The readers who are most likely to buy

Understanding the value of every click 

The key to getting the most out of your e-newsletter report is to understanding the value of every click. When you understand that each click represents a potential customer, you'll understand the repeat value that your e-newsletter can create.

Understanding the value of every new customer 

You may wonder how this information translates into a return on investment. To work this out, you need to consider the lifetime value of a customer for your business. The formula for getting this value is different for every company, but you'll want to include such factors as:

  • The average revenue of a first-time sale
  • The average cost of operations supporting a customer in a year
  • The average amount a customer spends with your company in a year

A simple analysis will give you an idea of the return you get for every customer and when you have those numbers in front of you, it makes you realise that you simply cannot afford to ignore following up on the leads that your e-newsletter generates.

Use your e-newsletter to test

If you’re sending the exact same e-newsletter to your entire contact list, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to test various parts of your campaign. By segmenting two recipient groups and sending slightly different versions to each, you can read differences in reception to determine the most effective techniques. Use your communication to test various subject lines, article titles, and images. You can also run tests by segmenting customers and non-customers to see which of the groups has a higher read rate. Just remember not to change too many things between the different e-newsletters, as you then might not be able to tell which of the changes caused a higher read rate.

You can also test to determine what days and times of the week have the highest read rate. E-newsletters sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays typically have the highest read rate, but it could be different depending on your customer base. Test on various days of the week to determine what works best with your customers.

Allow Replies

Do you allow customers to reply to your e-newsletter email ? If responses get sent to a no reply or some auto-response mailbox, then your valuable customer input is falling on deaf ears. Maybe customers are having problems viewing the email, or have suggestions for improvement, or just want to say something nice. Make sure that recipients can respond via email and that those responses are sent to someone on your marketing team.

Use Unique URLs to Track Links in Your E-newsletter

If you have links that direct the reader to your website, you want to make sure you know if they are coming from your message or somewhere else. If you use Google Analytics, you can track all of the sources by which users are navigating to your site. To figure out what percentage of your traffic is from your e-newsletter, populate your content with uniquely generated links that will let you know where that person came from. Unless you use unique URLs, people clicking on those links will just show up as direct visitors in Google Analytics.

Include Surveys to Boost Participation

Maybe you’ve sent surveys or put them on your website to learn more about people interested in your product or service. To maximise data volume, include surveys as well. There’s no need to dream up a new survey every e-newsletter, but linking to a survey every now and again is a great way to draw more participants and get more data.

Use a reliable email marketing software platform

Of course, doing all of the above is made a whole lot easier if you use a reliable platform like Extravision.

So, remember the next time you are working on your e-newsletter, it isn’t just to send out information; it can be a valuable return on investment if you use the statistics carefully; as well as having a lot of potential for collecting information too – valuable insights that can help you learn more about your customers and build a better business. 
 

If you need any more information, please call 0161 817 2929 or email [email protected]
 

Posted by Paul Latham
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