There are more sophisticated ways to integrate email metrics with other marketing metrics, said Jeanne S. Jennings, a consultant for Email Marketing Strategy. She suggested merging e-commerce data with email metrics to help segment lists and provide better targeting. “You need to be able to track revenue by list, and the key to that is [knowing] the number of sales, total revenue generated and the number of items per sale,” she said. “The idea is [marketers should] be able to track revenue that comes from the email channel and be able to track it from a specific campaign and specific emails in a campaign.”
This starts with lead scoring, Jennings said. Once marketers figure out how valuable a lead is based on its score, then they can start adding email metrics to that score—did the customer consent to a demo, did they download a white paper? Eventually, you can see which pieces of creative are driving good results and which aren't doing much to push the prospect along the sales funnel.
Social metrics are another data set that email marketers can mine for gold. Some marketers are using third-party social intelligence companies such as Fliptop Inc. and Connection Engine to marry their own email data with publicly available social profile data, said Ari Osur, general manager at ClearSaleing, an analytics and attribution company. “These companies pull in your email data and overlay it so you can see how many channels people are engaging with your company in.” Marketers can use that data to see which channels are most used. If the best customers are engaging with a company via Twitter, Facebook, email and LinkedIn, marketers may want to craft campaigns to get prospects and customers who provide less revenue onto those channels, Osur said.
Marketers can also use simple social metrics by, for example, creating a list of active influencers and sending them early news and offers ahead of time, said Return Path's Sather. And the most important goal for any social program, Jennings said, is to get those who friend, or retweet or join a group to sign up for email marketing programs as well.
In the end, marketers must start using all their analytics and tools if they want to keep up, said Forrester's O'Connell. “In a world where the consumer's behavior is so sophisticated ... marketers just need to get smarter and savvier about how they communicate,” she said. “No one makes purchasing decisions in channel silos, so marketers need to take a more multichannel approach to measurement; and attribution moves us closer to alignment.”