We have come to one of the most important aspects of running a targeted email campaign, and our last blog post in this series. Reporting and renewal is arguably the most crucial part of your targeted email campaign, but is often the least thought-out or planned. Reporting on an advertising campaign, done well with forethought, can create a long-lasting client relationship. Reporting provides the opportunity for renewal, where you can position varied and cohesive products to continually bring results to your client.

Many people think reporting is simply creating a document with campaign results. However, that rarely delivers the desired outcome for an Account Executive. Walking your advertiser through a campaign’s report is as important to an Account Executive and a renewal, as your initial conversation is to the first sale.


Reporting Metrics

There are a handful of reporting options available to you with a targeted email campaign: open rate, click-through rate, click to open rate, and UTM code parameters if they’re implemented. And maybe most interesting, the match back of a postal file to actual sales data.

Let’s review these options in some detail.

Open Rate – The percentage of the total number of users who opened the email. This rate is typically most indicative of the subject line’s quality and good targeting. Was it the right user, and were they interested enough to take the next step and read the email?

Click Through Rate – The percentage of users who clicked on one link in your email, versus the total send. CTR is more a measure of the continuity of the email message; does the subject line match the content of the email, usually followed by an inviting call to action?

Click to Open Rate – The percentage of users who clicked, measured against the number of people who opened the email. CTOR measures the email content’s quality. Is the content interesting enough for users to take action?

UTM Parameters – This is a piece of code your client can drop into any page of their website. The UTM parameter measures traffic from the email to your client’s website. UTM codes are provided by Google, are platform/campaign-type agnostic and can be used with any type of campaign, including an email.

Postal File – This is the only offline measurement of a targeted email campaign. It provides your client with the first name, last name and physical address of everyone who received the email. Your client can match this list back to actual sales over several months after the campaign has run. A postal file provides the missing piece: measurement from online to offline. While no form of attribution can provide 100 percent complete “causation”, the postal file “match-back” to sales provides simple, concrete correlation between the email sent and related sales.


Tell the Story

This information can be very impactful, but it must be used to tell a story. How do these metrics layer together to detail the campaign’s success, and provide insight into how to make the next campaign more impactful and drive better results?

Telling the results story doesn’t have to be complicated and, in most cases, can be linear.

Start from the beginning. Did the subject line produce a competitive open rate? Was it enticing enough to get users to read more? If not, how could the subject line have been better? Did it match the targeting, or was the message right for the email recipients?

When the email was opened, how does the CTR look? Did it perform to industry standard? If so, make sure you tell your client. A good CTR shows that the targeting, subject line and email’s message all aligned, it made sense to the user and they followed through to the client’s website. If the CTR was not what you expected, one of these pieces was off. But which one? Walk your client through the data, and make improvement suggestions for the next email.

If the CTR wasn’t what you expected, look deeper at the CTOR. If there’s a strong CTOR and a low CTR, that’s a good indication that the subject line wasn’t good. But, the content of the email struck a chord, and users reacted to it by clicking a link.

If you see both a good CTR and CTOR, your client’s messaging and offer were good. How can you do more of that? Make recommendations and suggestions.

A good open rate with a poor CTOR is what we see most often. This suggests good targeting and a solid subject line, with a poor-quality or insufficient offer in the email.

UTM parameters can be trickier as those are set up on your client’s website. In some cases this information is hard to acquire. As your client’s partner, you can help by setting up the UTM code for them. Ask your client about the parameters, and encourage them to share with you as much of the website analytics as possible.

UTM parameters detail part of the final piece of the analysis: Of the users who clicked a link in the email, what did they do when they got to your client’s website? Did they take the action your client wanted? If they did, great! Call it out. If they didn’t, it’s okay. This isn’t necessarily due to the email campaign, but perhaps more because of the client’s website.

Did the landing page messaging match that of the email? Was the client asking the user to work too hard for a result? Did the reader have to provide too much personal information, or click to another page to get what was offered? Was the information promised in the email even on the website? Although the client’s website isn’t necessarily your responsibility, it’s beneficial to have this conversation and guide your client to great results.

Lastly, review the postal file. The postal file is, in most cases, the best indicator of success. It allows your advertiser to see actual sales by matching the names of people who received the email and subsequently purchased products or services.

Most SMB’s have trouble making this connection through digital advertising. They don’t have an ecommerce website, and their Google Analytics is not set up or isn’t detailed enough to track measurable results. They can see the open rates, CTR, and CTOR are good, but they cannot make the connection to what that means for sales. The postal file eliminates the confusion, which in turn helps toward renewals, so make sure to include it.

Ultimately you can use all the metrics from your targeted email campaign to create a positive picture, and to make recommendations and changes for renewal. Metrics and reporting work together, allowing you as the expert to suggest adjustments for the next campaign to generate better results and ROI.

Thank you for following our targeted email series. We hope it was helpful. Targeted email reaches the right people, with the right positioning and message, and delivers an effective campaign that creates the opportunity to re-target. The cost-effective frequency with clear success metrics helps generate positive client relationships. Targeted email grows your digital revenue, increases margins and drives ROI for your clients.

Stay tuned for our bonus blog post: How to Use Targeted Email for the Holiday Season.