3 Creative Ways to Use Click Tracking

It’s no marketing secret that to uncover the opinions of their consumers, big companies go straight to the source by polling, running contests and soliciting feedback. Email marketers are picking up on the trend. Polls and contests are super easy to conduct via email using click tracking. They are cheap, and a viable alternative to costly market research. Enabled by default for all messages, click records the activity of every link in an email. By simply including links in your messages in new, creative ways, you can use click tracking to learn about what your subscribers want and how effective your email is in driving traffic to pages on your website. Let’s look at how three companies are using these tactics to touch base with customers and how you can use your email marketing campaign to do the same.

3 Creative Ways to Use Click Tracking

It’s no marketing secret that to uncover the opinions of their consumers, big companies go straight to the source by polling, running contests and soliciting feedback.


Email marketers are picking up on the trend. Polls and contests are super easy to conduct via email using click tracking. They are cheap, and a viable alternative to costly market research.

Enabled by default for all messages, click records the activity of every link in an email. By simply including links in your messages in new, creative ways, you can use click tracking to learn about what your subscribers want and how effective your email is in driving traffic to pages on your website.

Let’s look at how three companies are using these tactics to touch base with customers and how you can use your email marketing campaign to do the same.

#1 Polling Email Subscribers

Including a poll somewhere in your message sequence can help you identify who your more engaged subscribers are. Take for example this email poll from popular magazine retailer, Spiegel:

Spiegel Email Contest

After voting, I immediately ordered two dresses from the St. Tropez collection (clearly the snazziest collection), then realized what Spiegel was up to.

Even though they could easily use sales information to determine which of the three collections was most successful sales-wise, they included them in this email and asked subscribers to vote for their favorite by clicking through on specific links.

Then, once subscribers clicked to vote, they sent them to the landing page of the collection that they vote for and emailed voters a $10 coupon.

Genius!

#2 Offer Incentives For Clicks

Your email isn’t a final destination. Of course you want subscribers to click through your message and return to your website to buy something from you.

Why not provide an incentive for them to do so? Turning the process of returning back to your site into a competition will excite readers and inspire them to click through.

Jay Moore, a member of the Education Team, was giddy when he received this newsletter from Atlus. He’s kind of a dork.

Atlus Faithful Contest

Not only were they randomly rewarding email subscribers that clicked through, but they also were giving away a free desktop wallpaper to each subscriber. You should see Jay’s desktop right now.

(No, really, you should see it. It was the free Atlus background, but it’s now a picture of him making out with his ferret.)

Using click tracking, Atlus saw which subscribers clicked on the download links, then randomly selected 100 people to receive a free baseball cap.

Sadly, Jay is hatless, but that’s ok because we got a great example for this blog post!

#3 Gauging Interest

It’s easy to guess which of your products interest your customers based on sales history and trends. It’s a lot harder to know for certain what people are truly interested in. Using a simple voting system in an email makes this easier.

When I was looking for examples for this post, our Customer Solutions Team Lead, Erin, sent me this one from Domestications. The home goods catalog retailer sends Erin lots of emails, but she usually doesn’t give them any notice because they tend to be a wee bit pricey. (She is a bargain hunter, after all – a girl after my own heart!)

But with this email, Domestications tried something different. They gave subscribers a chance to influence one product that would go on sale – one thing that Erin might not normally buy, but would consider if it were less expensive.

Domestications

Domestications set up the message so that when readers clicked through, they were directed to the sales page for that product. Erin was jonesin’ for those 600-count sheets, so she clicked through.

Using click tracking, they can determine exactly which product consumers wanted at a discount, then use email to inform subscribers of the outcome.

Poor Erin…the Outdoor Cushions won. 😉

After Clicks Are Tracked

Once your messages are sent, it’s easy to view the click tracking results using QuickStats.

QuickStats

All of the clicks are recorded and displayed in an easy-to-read graph, and you can even send messages to different segments of your voters with just a click of your mouse.

Will you get creative? Share your thoughts and experiences with us below!

10 Comments

  1. erecia

    11/9/2010 11:08 am

    Great Idea guys. I like the voting idea lot.

  2. Susan Negen

    11/9/2010 12:04 pm

    Love this! I’ve had the idea to use click tracking to have readers rate our weekly business tips by clicking on a smiley face (loved it!) neutral face (liked it) or frowney face (what were you thinking??). The click would take them back to our website and the ratings would let us know which topics our readers want to hear about. Your blog post has encouraged me to turn my idea into reality!

  3. Sean Breslin

    11/9/2010 12:22 pm

    Polling is big… and tracking is something I’m realising I should have started a lot sooner.

    You never mentioned polls in a live situation…. perhaps a webinar?

  4. Andy Weil

    11/9/2010 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the idea. Ideas are like seeds that blossom into flowers that beget more seeds. Thanks for this one.

    P.S. I wish you had put a link to the information step by step on just how to do this! This is a suggestion for AWeber to do this from now on if they think is a good idea. Customers like me love information like this and not so much fluff.

  5. Carl the six pack abs guy

    11/9/2010 7:36 pm

    Great tips!

    Will do my best to use the "vote for your favorite" trick in my promotions.

  6. Rebecca Swayze

    11/10/2010 10:32 am

    Thanks everyone! I can’t wait to see how you use this tactic.

    Susan – Great idea! I love the use of smiley faces, it makes it so easy for readers to figure out the obvious.

    Sean – I’ve passed your webinar suggestion along!

  7. Dave Hamer

    11/10/2010 12:16 pm

    Hi Rebecca

    Thanks for this post – it got me thinking, how does your new tracking system handle more than 1 link in an email. E.g. In the 1st example there are 3 links.

    Does it just show 3 graphs?

    Just wondered!

  8. Lori Titus

    11/11/2010 5:02 pm

    I have always hesitated to use this method because not all clicks are tracked. For example, if someone chooses to view emails in only text format (or is unable to view emails in HTML format), then the links aren’t tracked. At least, in past years, this has been a problem. Has this changed?

    What I would LOVE to do is have a voting mechanism as pictured above, but then respond to each segment with a separate email. "Remember when you voted for item A at a deep discount? Well, here it is!" But if part of the email list is not tracked, then those customers who respond via text emails will never receive notice of the sale….

  9. Ryan

    11/12/2010 8:58 am

    I like the ideas this brings to mind.

    The best part is then you can follow up to segments based on their interest. This is an amazing ability because a lot of email marketing is targeting your campaign.

  10. Rebecca Swayze

    11/12/2010 10:25 am

    Dave –
    The analytics tracking shows the activity of each link in both a pie chart and a comprehensive list.

    Lori –
    When you send a plain text message, we still track the activity of the link when click tracking is enabled. You don’t have to worry, all clicks are definitely tracked!

    As for the segments, you can definitely create a segment for each link that is clicked, then send a different email to each.