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Is my email marketing working?

Daniel Lack - Email

So you’re producing your regular email marketing campaigns, sending them out to your customers and now it’s time to see the fruits of your labour, and this is where you need to decide what you want to know about your hard work. This article concerns the area that is probably nearest to your heart – the content you have created. Has it been seen by the recipient after they have opened it, and then has it worked in getting a response.

Of course you can ask sales to monitor calls, or pump out reports from your stock system to look at sales of the products on promotion during the first 48 hours after delivery of the campaign. Unfortunately, these aren’t the most accurate of measures – products will sell during this period through outbound calls or general business and this affects both of these reproting methods – if you can get them at all. So it’s time to use the back-end of your trusty IVC email marketing platform.

But what area of the reporting will help to determine whether or not the content is effective, if any of it. Many email marketing companies will drive the point that they can do everything they can in terms of delivery and data management, but content is down to you – it’s their disclaimer against poor delivery rates, junked emails and low opens. However that leaves the marketers in the cold. Until now…

The elements we’re concerned about here are the content layout and the content itself. And to work out how effective your email marketing campaign is we use one area of the report to do this. Click to Open Rates (CTOR). Remember we’re not including delivery or subject lines in this article, just whether or not your content is working – the one thing as a marketer that you are directly responsible for and the one thing that is the hardest to get right and measure it’s effectiveness.

What is CTOR? (And how can it help your email marketing activity?)

CTOR measures only the interaction of those who opened the email. You sent it to 10,000 people and your open rate gives you a 25% result. Your unique open rate shows 10%, but why are you interested in that figure at this point. The fact is you’re not. 1,000 people clicked on your email, great to measure your CPA, look at messages delivered and junk rates, but no good for content. Content effectiveness can only be measured by looking at those who opened the email, as those are the only recipients that saw it. You can’t say that your content wasn’t great because 90% of those it was sent to didn’t click. The chances are they didn’t see it as they didn’t open it (that’s another topic!).

CTOR says that out of 2,500 recipients (25% opened from 10,000), 1,000 people clicked and engaged with it – a much higher percentage – 40%. Now we can see the effectiveness of the content start to take shape. 40% of your customers were interested, and we can use traditional direct marketing techniques to engage with these interested parties. The IVC platform starts to come into it’s own, using behavioural queries and advanced data fields to take these intereted parties associated with the business area promoted in that campaign, and build up records based on their responses. Everytime you want to engage with these recipients, or push an offer out on certain products, you know who to send it to, eliminating the sending of unwanted emails to parties who will eventually stop reading your mails as each time they open them, there is nothing relevant. And if they stop reading them, they end up in the junk box and soon, off your list! Then you can’t reach them with new products or relevant promtions for them.

CTOR can help with the following:

  • How relevant is the content to the demographic you’re sending it to.
  • Is the offer a good one.
  • Are you sending your offer out at the right time.
  • Is your email displaying properly once opened or in the preview pane – too many images to download for example.
  • Have you worded your offer in a way that is clear and understood.
  • Have you included the relevant calls to action.

So CTOR is the yardstick for any email marketing content, and if you’re doing it right – it should be the one figure that remains unaffected by the open or unique click rates – in fact it should be constant across the campaigns for a particular product or service. Of course, using data on it’s own is only half the story, and looking at all the data, and over a period provides a more complete picture of your campaigns, for example CTOR can also help as a combined measurement when looking at messages getting through spam filters. A low open rate and/or click through rate might mean poor delivery, but could be a bad subject line, bad offer, bad layout etc. If the CTOR is low, and this is constant over a period of time and offers, then you have a clearer picture of the problems and it’s time to look at delivery and subject lines a bit more closely.

For more information or to see CTOR in action, give us a call on 020 8736 0036 or book a demo of our email platform here.


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