What to Send When You Track Sales

In a recent survey of 80,000 email marketers, over 80 percent of respondents told AWeber that it is “very valuable” to them to know which subscribers purchase their products. With sales tracking, you can easily see how many sales your email marketing campaigns generate, as well as how many dollars that campaign brings in. Let’s look at how you can use your campaign sales tracking results.

In a recent survey of AWeber customers, over 80% of respondents told us that it is “very valuable” to them to know which subscribers purchase their products.

With sales tracking, you can easily see how many sales your email marketing campaigns generate, as well as how many dollars that campaign brings in. As the survey results indicate, that information is highly important.

But once you have that data, many of you are uncertain about the kinds of emails can you send to encourage repeat purchases. Fewer than 15% of those surveyed actually use sales tracking! Let’s look at how you can use your campaign sales tracking results.

Tracked Sales: Valuable Information

So if over 80% of our survey respondents think it is “very valuable” to track sales, why are fewer than 15% actually using this tool?

It’s not as hard as you might think to put sales tracking information to good use. You only have to set up sales tracking once for each product you sell.

The most difficult part is simply thinking of what kinds of emails to send after your subscribers buy. Here are two of the most effective types of emails you can send after an initial sale.

Theme-Based Emails

Jay, our webinar talent extraordinaire, is crazy about comics. He particularly loves Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Batman and buys comic books on Amazon.com from time to time.

Recently he pointed out that Amazon does a great job of sending relevant suggestions based on his recent purchases. They periodically email him with other superhero titles that they think he will enjoy.

While he doesn’t always buy from these suggestion emails, Jay gives serious consideration to the recommendations, which is an opportunity for Amazon to make a repeat sale that might not have happened otherwise.

Amazon also sends me recommendation emails based on my recent camera purchase, and you’ll see that my email is much different from Jay’s. I don’t normally order from Amazon, so they can’t recommend as many products because they are unsure of my interests.

Sales tracking gives you the knowledge to do the same exact thing with your own emails. You can see which products subscribers are buying and how much they are paying, then segment your list based on that information and send specific, targeted content that relates to the genre of their original purchases.

Related Product Emails

When winter rolled around last year, the dealership that I bought my car from wasted no time at all sending me a cold weather email.

Their message was timely and direct – they knew I had purchased a car in the summer, so they sent me this winter email to remind me that I might need snow tires and all weather floor mats:

I didn’t give any thought to the remote start or the iPod integration they were offering, but their email did get me thinking. What would I do if it snowed and I couldn’t make my 45 minute commute because my car couldn’t handle the roads?

You can send similar emails to your subscribers, and they don’t have to be as important as the winter weather email from Mazda. After I bought an iPad, Apple also sent me an email that featured “the perfect companion pieces”:

The iPad works well on its own, but this email showed me a handful of little goodies that would make the whole iPad experience cooler.

Recommending add-ons at checkout has been a retail tactic for years; you might as well use sales tracking to apply the technique to your email campaign. Compile a list of products that compliment each other, then add them to emails created only for customers who purchase specific things.

Sales Tracking References

Need some more information before you jump into sales tracking? These links will get you started:

Are You Convinced?

It’s not hard to put your sales tracking data to work making you more money, it just takes some planning and a few examples to kick your imagination into gear.

Will you try any of the tactics we discussed? If you do, drop us a line and tell us how they work for you in the comments below.


  1. Jay

    3/17/2011 11:39 am

    Excellent post about tracking, I always knew we could do, but never thought to do it. It’s a good time to start. Thanks for the post.

  2. Aaron Schulman

    3/17/2011 11:57 am

    Hi Rebecca,

    Can you set up sales tracking that goes from an Aweber email link directly to an affiliate site (with your embedded affiliate tracking code in the Aweber email link)?

    How would you do this?

    Also- Just as relevant as the most recent Google Algorithm is concerned- Amazon.com’s Google “relevance” ranking actually improved with the most recent Google Algorithm updates-

    Amazon.com is phenomenal at many things, but 2 in particular that I recently read about- anyone that wants to improve conversion rates should certainly study their entire process (and perhaps be a customer to learn how they follow through and sell) but two things in particular that they are excellent with are

    1) Conversion process and
    2) Relevance in Search Marketing and follow through

    Many sites with farmed and scraped content took major hits, but Amazon.com actually improved in indexes – so they are doing a lot of things right!

    Thanks for this post Rebecca.

  3. DI

    3/20/2011 10:23 pm

    Tracking is essential to increasing your conversion rate. It’s great that you laid it all out in black and white!

  4. Matt Alston

    4/9/2011 5:04 pm

    There is only one way to optimize conversions. Track the clicks and sales and then split test your ads.

    It sounds simple but it has some challenges.

    The first real issue is to be able to track the actual result or the sale. That is not available if you do not bring your customer back to your site at the completion of the sale.

    Technically this Thank You page which is often overlooked in most peoples site design is left to the default in the shopping cart.

    By simply using the shopping cart return URL to point to a thank you page in your domain you get a place to put the post sale tracking code. I use the query string to extract sale value and things as well.

    Even more important is the Thank You page is where you start the dialog of possible related and follow-on sales.

    It does take some time to set all that up but the more comprehensive you system design the higher your conversion rate can grow.

    Traffic is tough to get so why not increase your revenue by increasing average sale value not traffic.

    Your tracking tools are very handy and I am one of those that actually reads the data.