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The Power of Data: Email Marketing’s Worst Kept Secret

Digital Growth
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In the digital age, data has become one of the most expensive commodities, and at one point was argued to be more valuable than oil. And given its availability and importance in our daily lives, it’s tough to argue against the value of data.

When it comes to the world of email marketing, the power of data is perhaps one of the worst-kept secrets. But you may well be wondering why you should be tapping into your well of data and how you can use it effectively to craft highly targeted, personalised email campaigns.

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a novice just starting out, emails are still one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal when it comes to enhancing both your sales and your business’s reputation. So, join us as we delve deeper into how and why utilising data is the secret to taking your email strategy to that next level.

User engagement insights

Let’s start by taking a look at user engagement, as this is one of the key areas that email data can enlighten you on. 

We all think we know exactly what our customers want when it comes to updates and promotions – but the key word here is ‘think’.

Instead, we suggest taking a data-driven approach, using your email service provider (ESP)’s analytical dashboards to harvest juicy insights on your customer base’s behaviours. 

Data better informs strategy by indicating what’s working and what’s not - but what exactly can it tell you and what indicators should you be looking out for? Well, some of the key insights it can provide you with include:

  • How many customers are opening your emails?
  • How many clicks is the email receiving?
  • What are they clicking on?
  • What time are customers opening the emails?
  • How many users unsubscribed?

Using data to source the answers to the above questions should provide you with a comprehensive top-level overview of how your emails are performing. These insights can then be used to help you increase future open rates and improve the overall quality (and success) of your templates.

Revenue reporting

What the above data doesn’t show you is how effective your email strategy has been on your profit margins.

Sure, engagement metrics are important, but email marketers can be guilty of shouting about data and metrics that don’t actually have a direct impact on the business’s bottom line. 

Instead, we’d suggest delving a little deeper into your ESP dashboards or even Google Analytics to establish how much revenue your email marketing efforts are driving.

This will require analysing different metrics to answer a different set of revenue reporting questions which can determine the monetary success of your email marketing efforts: 

  • How many purchases were made as a direct result of the campaign?
  • What revenue was driven by the campaign?
  • How many leads did your campaign drive?

Most ESPs now provide a UTM link for each email call-to-action (CTA), allowing tracking to be easily recorded and data to be easily sourced.

With access to these valuable metrics, you’ll have a better indication of which email campaigns have delivered from a revenue point of view - allowing you to optimise your strategy to ensure the most efficient use of resources and budget.

A/B Testing

Interestingly, perhaps the most useful data at your disposal can’t be found on any ESP dashboard or in any Google Analytics account. With email marketing, it’s all about the tried and tested method of A/B testing. 

A/B testing is the practice of sending out two different email templates within the same campaign to analyse which proves the most successful. The data mined from this process offers an effective way to delve into your customer’s mindset.

You can’t rest on your laurels here, though - like everything digital, results will change. To truly harness the power of A/B testing data, these experiments should be conducted regularly to test, analyse and adjust for optimal impact.

With A/B testing, you can experiment with subject lines, content and imagery. The key is to make just one change per campaign in order to make it easier to monitor the results. Also, keep your data tracking consistent, so you can quickly and easily analyse and compare different data sets.

With a highly targeted approach, you can better understand how and why users react differently to different emails. When analysing your A/B testing results, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do some segments have a higher open rate than others?
  • Why do some seasonal campaigns work better than others?

By using data to make more informed decisions, you can begin better optimising your email strategies to incorporate different contextual factors, including audience segments and seasonality – establishing a more targeted approach to marketing.

Final takeaways

Ultimately, your email marketing goals will define what data you choose to track and utilise.

For example, if you’re looking to bolster brand awareness, open and click-through rates are highly valuable. However, if you’re a known brand looking to increase sales through email marketing, ROI and conversion rates are the more crucial figures.

Tracking your key performance indicators is a great way to get started with data-driven email marketing, but the real power of email data lies in the way you interpret and utilise it.

To make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed, start with the basics first so you can determine trends around customer engagement and actions. You can then expand on this by analysing more granular metrics once you’re confident in your ability to harness data logically and effectively.

With ecommerce only continuing to grow, there’s never been a better time to ensure your email marketing is hitting the mark. If you’re short on time or knowledge, though, there’s no need to fret.

At Land, we love all things data, so drop us an email at hello@landdigital.agency or give us a call on 0191 511 1014 to find out how we can harness data to help your business grow.

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