Question: How can I use Web analytics to improve my e-mail marketing?

Published on .

Most Popular

Answer: To combat consumers’ growing impatience with spam and irrelevant permission-based e-mail messages, marketing experts and analysts have been urging e-mail marketers to adopt advanced tactics that boost customer loyalty, campaign response and e-mail marketing ROI.

One way to do this is by optimizing the integration between your e-mail marketing and Web analytics platforms. This enables a two-way flow of actionable information that allows you to more efficiently target and trigger e-mail campaigns based on Web-site clickstream data – the details of how visitors interact with your Web site.

But the engineering challenge, expense and time required for such an undertaking discourages most marketers from even trying. However, learning to extract e-mail marketing ROI from the formulaic machinery of databases, business objectives and procedures doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds – or as many make it.

The best approach is simply to start small. Lay the groundwork necessary to implement a single e-mail marketing tactic. Launch your campaign, prove the ROI and then move on to the next. By integrating as you go, the task becomes much more manageable, and you can get campaigns off the ground more quickly.

Some tactics you can try that combine e-mail marketing with Web analytics data include:

  1. For shopping cart or Web-form abandonment, send customers an e-mail reminder encouraging them to return and complete their transaction, and consider offering an incentive to get them to do so.
  2. Send customers a message based on what pages, categories or products and services they browse on your site.
  3. Renew and refresh relationships with customers who have returned to your site after an extended absence by sending an e-mail message based on their last purchase or most recent page views.

According to a May 2005 study on the ROI of relevance, JupiterResearch reported that crafting these types of highly-relevant e-mail messages can generate nine times more improvement in revenue and as much as 32 times more improvement in net profit over undifferentiated broadcast campaigns. Even after including additional Web analytics spending, the use of Web site clickstream data as a targeting attribute still significantly improves both top-line and bottom-line results.

So if you’re ready to get started, check with your e-mail service provider to see whether it already has a working relationship in place with your Web analytics vendor to make your integration tasks easier. And start small, one tactic at a time. Do this, and you soon could be taking your e-mail marketing to new levels of success.

Elaine O’Gorman is VP-strategy at Silverpop (, a provider of e-mail marketing solutions.

In this article: