Get the answers to your questions about how email opens are tracked and reported.
We know you’ve heard, but we’ll say it again –
How is your subject? Interesting enough to open? How about your call to action? So intriguing enough that you want to click it?
Good! But opens and clicks only measure interest. They’re not your end goal.
Your goal is to make sales. It’s the revenue from customer purchases that keeps you afloat. So a broadcast’s true worth can be measured in the sales it generates.
The trick is finding out how to put the message together in a way that prompts the most purchases. With a little setup, you can do this right in your AWeber account.
Step 1: Set Up Sales Tracking
First, you’ll need to make sure you’re tracking the purchases subscribers are making in response to each broadcast.
You can do this with sales tracking. If you’ve already set this up, skip to step 2. If you haven’t yet, head over to our Knowledge Base and follow these steps.
Once you’re ready, it’s time for…
Step 2: Tweak Your Promotional Broadcast
Start with your original broadcast design. The goal is to see if a different version will sell more, so you’ll need to create that other version.
To get started, take a look at:
- Your call to action.
- Your text-to-image ratio.
- Your preheader.
- Your format.
- Your images and copy.
Step 3: Split Test For the Winning Design
To figure out which design will generate more sales, use the broadcast split testing feature in your account. This sends each version to a randomly selected, equally sized audience so you’ll get the most accurate results.
After the broadcasts go out, follow the QuickStats for each version to keep track of sales. (Just click on the subject on the Broadcast page to see how they’re doing.)
Once you have the winning version, you know what design to use for future promotions!
How Likely Are You to Follow These Steps?
Does setting up sales tracking and a split test sound like something you’re likely to do?
If it does, what changes do you think you’ll test? We’d love to hear about your results!
If not, what’s standing in your way?
That’s the sound of a subscriber opening your last marketing email – and opening a mental door to more information on that particular subject.
Then there’s that other sound: the silence. That’s a subscriber who didn’t open their door this time.
In one scenario, you got to share some information. In the other, you didn’t. But in both, you’re still standing on the doorstep. So what to do next?
Make the Most of Your Doorstep Status
In either case, if you shrug and walk away, you’ve given up. Stick around and follow up. Sending a second email based on who opened and who didn’t can prompt a second wave of purchases.
This is called behavioral targeting: responding to subscribers’ behavior to get more response from the list and promotions you already have in place. It’s so effective, 71% of our customers report that they plan to do more of it in upcoming months.
Don’t Just Stand There – Go In!
Your marketing emails probably cover a myriad of topics. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might promote your menu, your wine selection and your catering service.
When you see people consistently open messages about one of these things, you’ve found your niche for that particular topic. Follow up with them!
- If they’ve shown interest in a product you’re advertising, put together a compelling reason to purchase with a call to take the next step.
- If they usually open the emails you send about a particular topic, go more in-depth. Provide helpful details, tell background stories.
- Explain where you hope to take things, and ask questions. These are your interested customers. These are the people who know most about the topic and will have the most helpful feedback to give.
How to Knock at the Unopened Doors
Sometimes, it’s not anything you did. Your readers are swamped with work or on vacation or their lives have changed and they’re no longer interested.
And sometimes they just aren’t gripped by what they see in the inbox.
So try again. Let a little time go by to make sure you aren’t sending into the same circumstances. Then change the way you present the content and resend it to just the people who didn’t open it.
Here are some suggestions for changing the presentation:
- If your email is a newsletter that covers several topics, the one your subject line mentioned the first time might not be the most interesting to your readers. Choose a different subject as the primary content and change your subject line accordingly.
- If your email covers just one topic, try changing the subject line. Think about what problem or question someone might have that your email answers, and highlight that.
If Knocking Doesn’t Work, Ring the Doorbell
You might notice that some of your subscribers haven’t opened a message in a long time. These are fatigued subscribers. They’ve checked out, but they haven’t left the building yet.
Knocking Around the Block
There are also messages you could send to follow up with subscribers who clicked (or didn’t click) on your links and who purchased (or didn’t purchase) from your emails. We’ll be talking about those in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes open!
Do you send messages to subscribers based on whether or not they opened previous emails? What do you send them?
Your subscribers are busy people. It’s completely normal for a percentage of your messages to go unopened each time you broadcast – that is just the nature of email marketing.
But for all of the busy people on your list, there are also email addresses that belong to genuinely disinterested subscribers and it is difficult to separate them from the busy ones.
A reengagement campaign can help you identify those subscribers that still want to hear from you and part ways with the ones who don’t.
Inactivity and Why It Matters to Your Campaign
Inactive subscribers include all contacts who haven’t opened or clicked through your messages over an extended period of time.
With all of the emails that your subscribers receive on a daily basis, it is easy for them to lose interest in your campaign for a variety of reasons – from bland subject lines and irrelevant message content to a change in their lifestyle or financial situation.
It’s a reality that you must accept: if subscribers no longer fit your target audience, they will quickly become inactive and take up space on your list.
According to a study by Merkle Interactive Services (PDF), subscribers who receive permission-based, promotional messages delete 55% of those emails without ever opening them.
That is over half of all requested email!
You want your subscribers to open your mail no matter what when they request it, but if you don’t address the truth that subscribers interests change over the course of your campaign, you run the risk of losing subscriber attention and damaging your deliverability and reputation.
As the late Stefan Pollard points out in an article about engagement and deliverability for clickz.com, the “top metrics generated from activity that make up a sender’s reputation include bounce rates, spam complaints, and recipient interaction.”
Many ISPs now look at what recipients have been doing with your emails when deciding whether your messages belong in the inbox. All interactions (both positive and negative) are noted so that the ISPs can get a better idea of your individual reputation as a sender.
You always want your subscribers to interact positively with your messages so that they are delivered consistently. A bloated list full of inactive addresses will not perform well and could negatively impact your sender reputation.
How to Handle Inactive Subscribers
Assess the Situation
How often are you sending emails? Is the information about your product or service something that a subscriber would value? The frequency and relevancy of your messages go into a subscriber’s decision to stop interacting with you.
Identify the Inactives
On the Search Subscribers page in your account, you can find out exactly who hasn’t opened your messages in a certain amount of time.
Perform a search for “No Opens” since a previous date. Most marketers find that 90 days without opening is an appropriate time-frame, however you can always adjust the length to suit the needs of your campaign.
Finally, save the segment so that you can send emails only to those subscribers.
Send a Series of Reengagement Messages
Even back when your inactive subscribers were engaged, they didn’t open or click on every single message from you. And they won’t all open/click on your first try at reengaging them.
To find the people who are really still interested in your campaign, set up a series of three broadcast messages that make it easy for them to take action.
Send the second message to people who didn’t respond to the first one by creating a new segment after you send the first message, and then send the third message to people who didn’t respond to the second.
For example, to email non-openers, click the “Unopened” button:
Then scroll down and click the “Send Directly to These Subscribers” button:
Make it very clear starting with the second message that if they do not take action you will remove them from your email list. If they still haven’t responded by the third and final message, use urgency tactics to let subscribers know that they will never, ever hear from you again unless they take immediate action.
Not sure what kind of information to include in your emails?
- Send a survey, asking them to provide feedback and offer suggestions for content that they would like to see.
- Create a whitepaper or a download about your particular service or specialty.
- Reward subscribers for (hopefully) taking action: include exclusive coupons or discounts for products.
Know When to Say Goodbye
Going into this task, you must accept that there will be people who don’t respond to your reengagement messages. Although it’s hard to let go of those subscribers, you want the most responsive and interested list in the long run.
Stay firm with the decision to remove inactive subscribers. Run one final search for people who haven’t opened your messages and delete them from your list for good.
Ever Run a Reengagement Campaign?
What was your experience? Was it hard to let go of subscribers in that final moment?
The trouble with data, of course, is that sometimes it’s hard to know which data is important and worth focusing on. Not to mention that for it to be valuable, the data has to be actionable, too.
Last week we leaked some information about a soon-to-be-released tool that not only helps you see how your email marketing campaigns perform, but also makes it easy to take action to increase your response rates and conversions.
And now, it’s here.
Announcing Broadcast QuickStats
QuickStats makes it easy to understand how your broadcasts performed by showing you:
- Web Hits/Traffic
Some screenshots of QuickStats (click to see full-size images):
Even better, you can use the data to identify responsive and non-responsive groups of subscribers – those people who:
- Opened the email
- Didn’t open it
- Clicked a given link
- Didn’t click that link
- Made a purchase (did you know that you can track email-driven sales in AWeber?)
Not Only Are QuickStats Useful and Easy-to-Read… They’re Actionable, Too!
This is by far my favorite part.
One of the most powerful things you can do when you know who clicked a link, or didn’t open an email, is segment out those subscribers and broadcast only to them:
It’s an effective way to talk to people who are interested in a particular product, feature, part of your website or anything else you’re linking to.
Plus, when you’re able to identify who didn’t open or click, and then email only those people, you can:
- Make an alternate offer
- Find out what their objections are
- Send other targeted and relevant email campaigns to increase your conversions
Learn More About QuickStats in a Free, One-Hour Webinar
On Wednesday, August 4th, we’ll give you a tour of QuickStats, show you how it works and answer your questions about it, live!
Sign up to discover:
- How QuickStats shows you how your emails performed
- How to easily segment your list in 1 click to create highly targeted, relevant campaigns to responsive and non-responsive subscribers
Plus, get your questions about QuickStats answered live!
Date: Wednesday, August 4th
3 – 4 PM ET (Convert Time)
What Do You Think?
How will being able to see at a glance how your broadcasts perform, identify potentially profitable subscriber segments, and quickly and easily create and deliver targeted campaigns to them affect your business?
We’d love to hear how you’ll use QuickStats to increase your response rates and conversions – tell us!
For the longest time in the history of forever, email analytics has been an all or nothing affair. You’re either tracking your email marketing campaigns or you’re not.
The problem: there is a ton of data that gets tracked and sifting through it all can be overwhelming. It’s like trying to find a back issue of Field & Stream in the Library of Congress. You’re better off going to your local library where they only carry the stuff that’s relevant to you.
We took that terrible analogy and applied it to AWeber’s Email Analytics. As a supplement to our full reports page, in the near future we’re rolling out Broadcast QuickStats. You’ll be able to view the most pertinent statistics for your messages grouped together on one super slick page.
Click that big grey play button in the video below to check out our design and development teams as they discuss both building QuickStats, and what it will do for you.
Broadcast QuickStats makes it easier than ever for you to not only see how your emails perform, but also identify responsive and non-responsive subscribers, and quickly segment those groups and deliver relevant, targeted email marketing campaigns to them.
Sneak Peek Screenshots
You saw a bit of Broadcast QuickStats in the video; here are some screenshots from it. Click to view the full-size images:
When’s It Coming Out?
Broadcast QuickStats will be launching in accounts with Email Analytics very soon.
In the meantime, let us know what you think!
But for every scalawag salesguy, there are dozens of serviceable and accommodating sales reps that truly want to help you find the best product out there.
They engage you, ask you questions and soak up clues that could possibly aid them in closing the sale. They aren’t pushy, overbearing or deceitful, but instead they’re informative, helpful and driven to find a good fit for you – no matter if you’re buying a car, a pair of shoes, a puppy or a television.
Give Subscribers What They Want
When you segment your list, your email campaign assists your prospective customers and clients by providing them with emails that match their specific interests, just the same way a salesman would.
Here’s a compilation of our most informative segmentation posts to help you turn your campaign into a selling machine.
Start Segmenting: 3 Easy Steps
If you have more than one web form on your website and you’d like to track which form pulls in the most subscribers, learn how to segment using our ad tracking feature.
Email Web Analytics: 2 New Segmenting and Targeting Options
Ever wonder which subscribers aren’t opening your emails? Want to know who is clicking on certain links to your website? Segmentation makes both of those things possible.
Email Segmentation: 5 Groups You Can Easily Target
Learn how to focus on your non-responsive subscribers and those people who actually open your messages to make your campaign more relevant.
Email Segmentation: More Groups to Target
New subscribers and people who click on links throughout your messages are also important groups to target. Figure out how and why you should follow those subscriber trends in this post.
Segment Customers to Build Loyalty
When you have an existing customer base, it’s important to focus your energy on retention. Keeping those buyers happy and encouraging repeat business can be tricky. Take a softer approach to win their loyalty using segmentation.
Email Segmentation: Easily Target Customers
Your existing customers are just as important to your business as new ones. Reward repeat customers for their loyalty and drive repeat purchases by separating them from the masses and sending them specialized messages.
Email Segmentation Lifts Sales over $31,000
Ever run into a predicament and send a message to the wrong group of people? Here’s how to correct the mess up.
Segmentation Screwups: How to Recover
When you have an existing customer base, it’s important to focus your energy on retention. Keeping those buyers happy and encouraging repeat business can be tricky. Take a softer approach to win their loyalty using segmentation.
See for Yourself
If you haven’t tried segmenting your campaign before, there’s no time like the present to try it out.
Hopefully your subscribers will thank you for providing timely, relevant and targeted information by spending their hard-earned money with your company.
You can find out yourself by segmenting your list. Sorting subscribers into segments based on various criteria means you can send them the emails you know they want – all without reading their minds.
Your subscribers will be impressed not only by your apparent ESP, but by the customized quality of your emails.
You can segment your list in all kinds of ways, including how recently subscribers signed up, where they live and what preferences they’ve indicated on web forms or surveys.
Let’s practice your mind-reading skills now: below are six ways to segment your list. Which ones will let you send custom emails that your subscribers will appreciate?
Segment to Find Out What Readers Want
Online sign-up location.
You can guess a lot about a person based on the page of your site they sign up from. Should you email promos for women’s clothing or kids shoes? Healthy recipes or cafe coupons?
By applying ad tracking to your web forms, you’ll have more than a premonition to go on – you’ll be able to segment by subscribers’ “add” method.
Bonus: You get a glimpse of the nature of your audience this way, so you can create content you know will be well-received.
You can also segment by subscribers’ interests. For example, your car dealership might want to see which subscribers drive which brands. You may also want to send broadcasts about those brands to those specific customers.
To find out what cars subscribers drive, create a custom field to add to your web form. This will cause it to appear in your subscriber search options. Simply search for the answer you’re looking for to create the segment you need.
Subscribers may communicate their interests and preferences in surveys instead of on your web form. Don’t worry; you can still segment according to their answers.
For example, your real estate agency may want to email listings to your clients. Each client only wants listings for the neighborhoods they’re house-hunting in.
To make this happen, send out a survey asking clients to click on their neighborhoods of interest. Link each option back to a hidden page on your site. Then create segments according to which links were clicked.
Prospects vs. customers.
Segmenting helps you market differently to those who have bought from you and those who haven’t.
For example, you could send e-book customers suggestions for practically applying ideas from the book or recommend similar products. Prospects still have to be sold on the merits of making the purchase.
You can create these segments in AWeber by applying sales tracking and searching for any subscribers whose sale amount is greater than $0. And when you’re ready to email your customer segment, check out these content ideas.
Online vs. offline customers.
While customers who visit your store might be interested in on-site event announcements, online customers are more likely to prefer coupon codes.
As described above, online customers can be found with sales tracking. It’s just as easy to segment customers who signed up in your store. When you import them to your list, apply an ad tracking category (such as “in-store”). Then you can segment by the add method “import” and your chosen ad category.
With just a little effort, you can keep your messages appropriate across the globe. Segment based on driving distance to your location, seasonal and climate differences and the times your emails will arrive in each time zone.
Create a custom field that asks for location, then add it to your web form. Search subscribers by location to send each group the appropriate messages. If your readers marvel at your accuracy, just tell them you have a sixth sense for these things.
How Much is Too Much?
How deeply you segment depends on how much time you can dedicate to customizing your emails. You may opt to segment only one way, or your list might benefit from a serious break-down. Some companies hyper-segment: for example, Cetaphil creates 400-3,000 versions per send.
So put down your crystal ball and pick up a pencil. Start brainstorming ways you can sort through your list to give each subscriber the experience you already know they’re looking for.
Because after all, you don’t have to be a mind reader to know there’s no such thing as too-relevant email.
You may already know about our Email Analytics features. These powerful tools allow you to target your list with pinpoint accuracy, sending messages that respond to subscriber activity.
Anywhere you install our analytics, you can track which of your subscribers visit that page. You can send email newsletters to subscribers who visit your order page, or who look at a specific page or product on your website.
We’ve recently taken things a step further, allowing you to track subscribers who click download links on your site.
How Does It Work?
Any download link on your website can be modified to track subscribers that use it. I came across this post on Chris Brogan’s blog, and I thought to myself that this would be a perfect place to start tracking downloads.
This kind of page, with a free download, is the perfect place to implement download tracking. We could easily follow up with subscribers who downloaded the PDF, asking for feedback on the content in the download, or even linking to related products.
Let’s take a look at the HTML for that download link as it is now:
And that’s it – when a subscriber clicks that link, it will be tracked as a page hit to the download!
What Is It For?
Now that we are tracking which subscribers are downloading the PDF, its time to put that information to work. We can now segment our list and send a message to those people.
To do so, we’ll first search our list for hits to the download’s URL – this is in our AWeber account, under the Subscribers tab, Search.
Next, we save this search as a segment so that we can refer to it later:
Now we can create a broadcast and send it out to that segment, directing their attention back to our site with links to similar resources, or maybe just asking for input on the content of the PDF.
How Do I Get Started?
You can take a look at our knowledge base article for more detail on the process – for a more “plug and play” experience, you can just copy and paste this code:
Simply replace the “example.com” URL in BOTH places with the URL of your download, place this link on a page that has your AWeber analytics installed, and you’ll be good to go!