Ohad Hecht | September 20, 2012
Looking into the details. Yes. Looking into the details, crunching numbers, setting up goals and checking how far we are from them is vital to being a successful marketer.
It is your clients that eventually vote for what they like and don’t like – you simply can’t allow yourself to be blind-folded.
Why should I bring this up now? The first reason is that every now and then, I come across companies who set up vague objectives and have difficulties measuring the response from their recipients. As such, they are unable to correct telling deviations from their marketing targets. These companies pay the price by losing the interest of their clients, resulting in decrease of subscriptions, revenues, reputation, or all of the above. If you’re still in this realm (god forbid…), read this article from Hubspot and please, please assign objectives, and start measuring your marketing. I’d be more than happy to help if you’ll send me a note.
The second reason is that you’d always want to benchmark your performance against those of other companies in your industry/country/province/language/customer demographics (take your pick here) or any relevant segment and set your targets to what other marketers out there are doing.
So let’s look at what other marketers are doing, particularly their goals when tracking their programs, the results from the ‘sales emails’, and the effectiveness of automated programs.
Email metrics tracked
The main challenge as can be seen by the chart is that most marketers still look at open and click-through rates being the most ‘telling’ metric, but they only describe what happens at the surface. In order to measure better the performance of email and any other channel, marketers need to look at conversions and engagement of email with other channels. Comparing the stats between B2B and B2C shows similar results in terms of setting up of KPI’s.
Metrics applied to ‘sales emails’
Many companies who run such programs are doing so to generate direct sales. How? Simply by directing audiences to a web/mobile site or app and completing a purchase. Simple, right?
Looking at the below numbers, it shows that many companies are still looking at open (open first) and click rates (2nd) as the main objective for sales emails.
Less than 2 percent of the surveyed companies (B2C and B2B) look at conversions to sales, as the ultimate measurement to the success of the campaign.
If you are running campaigns in order to sell more products, then you need to ensure you’re assigning the right metrics. Under these cases, the most straightforward metric is simply the dollars made from each campaign. Are you getting higher returns, simply breaking-even or actually losing money from your marketing initiatives? In other words, is effort really meeting your expectations and/or targets?
A bit off topic but worth mentioning – look at how many customers are deflective/inactive, and what do you do to bring them back. It is interesting to find that 43 percent of companies do not actively monitor their customers’ status. Only a mere 11 percent were able to define a customer to be inactive after 11 months of inactivity. Depending on the industry and products and services offered, my recommendation is a 3-6 months span to deem a customer as ‘inactive’.
Automation and its effectiveness
If you’re a regular… you’ll hear I’ve been raving about automation and mobile. I am a great believer in mobile as a channel and think that one should always automate marketing processes whenever possible. After all, this was what computers and processors were built for.
But let’s see the marketers take on the subject matter vs. mine:
The good news is that I am not in minority… both B2C and B2B marketers find that automation is an effective process for sales, engagement, content-sharing, etc.
Traditionally, automation was developed for B2B where sales cycles are longer. Each converted lead means additional substantial revenues and the need for different messages in different parts of the sales cycle is very important to maintain an efficient pipeline management.
With automation solutions becoming more widespread together with increased expertise and knowledge among marketer’s, automation solutions are gaining traction in B2C sectors as well. I’d recommend for those of you who do not automate their processes to start exploring and trying simple methods such as triggers or as even full-scale ROI-driven marketing automation solution.
In my next column, I’ll work with you on building blueprints for your automation processes. Till then, stay tuned.
Email word image on homepage via Shutterstock.