We have emphasised that returns from email marketing are what differentiates us from other methods of marketing, those ones with a lower return on investment. We can target an email with a precision unknown just a few years ago.
Your subscribers can be classified in other, more traditional ways than by returns only. Do not, think of them as old fashioned or past their sell-by date as they are every bit as important now as before we went digital. They are fairly blunt instruments on their own but by using email marketing software we increase their usefulness by a considerable factor.
Such information can come via a variety of routes, e.g. by questionnaires, focus groups and also by information that is available to you as soon as they start to be your customers. Let’s take, for an easy to understand example, how people subscribe to your email marketing list.
This might well be the major factor in their lifecycle. For instance, those that came via your newsletter would be familiar with your products, know the company and, if your publication was of use to them, loyalty might well be a factor. You would treat these people in a different way to other subscribers.
The difference can be more subtle. For instance, those who used the click-through button in the email proper could well respond to different emails to those who clicked for further technical information and found the button there more tempting. The latter group would respond, you might think, to a more technically detailed marketing email, one concentrating on specification and the latest technological gubbins than the former.
The only way you will be able to tell is to test via a segmented email list and check the returns.
Subscribers arriving by other routes might also be familiar with your products. A satisfied customer who purchased by means other than a marketing email who then subscribes, the gold standard, will probably respond differently to who picked up a flyer from a retail outlet. Again, the way to find out is to run a test.
You might have invested in a stand at a trade fair with one of the targets being to have a specific number sign ups to your email marketing list. With targets comes pressure to hit them and some of those who were convinced to give their email address might not be as committed as those who click through on our website.
Trade fairs tend to provide more B2B than consumers, so should be treated differently. Also, higher than normal unsubscribes are more likely so calculating the cost per subscriber should be delayed until the returns from the first couple of campaigns are considered. Trade fairs are expensive.
Non email marketing software generated metrics seem, on the face of it, to be yesterday’s marketing, and to an extent they are. On their own they are crude definitions of a customer. We don’t have to make the best of a bad job though. Don’t ignore focus groups, questionnaires and other such methods of gaining information. They can be turned into precision instruments by way of your returns.