Email Marketing - Cleaning Data

Episode 12 Digital Marketing Video

Email Marketing Video
7 mins

Focussing on the two key email marketing measures, open rate and click through rate, the video will explore how these measures can be used to improve your email results ad clean your email data. We’ll explore why cleaning your email data is essential, a step by step process for data cleansing and a re-engagement process for lapsed subscribers.


Hi, I'm Daniel from Target Internet, and in this video, we're going to talk about improving the results from your email campaigns by cleaning your email data.

So I'll go through and explain this step by step. Fundamentally the biggest problem in email marketing isn't really spam anymore. Spam is still a huge issue, but there are improved spam filters, and we just need to make sure your email is getting delivered through those. But what we're talking about a lot in the industry now is not the spam, but what we're referring to as BACN. I promise you that is a real industry term spelled B-A-C-N with no O for some reason. So BACN is all that stuff you subscribe to, all those emails you subscribe to when you bought products, whatever it may be, but you never read the email. So the email just comes in time after time, and is deleted immediately. You never bother reading it.

Now if we're judging our email campaign success by looking at the amounts we send, we're doing the wrong thing, because we're taking a volume-based approach. So we need to look at our emails, and make sure we're sending it to people that actually want our emails, not people that are just getting them and deleting them immediately. So there's a number of steps you can use this to go through. What we'll talk about is how you can use the two fundamental measures in email marketing, open rates and click-through rates, to clean your email data. And what we're going to do is we're going to segment our email results, and the responses we get into four different quadrants.

So, first of all, high open rate and high click-through rate. So those people that always open and always click on your emails, they're your email champions. Those are the people that are always looking at your email content. Potentially, you could email those people more regularly, but what you probably want to do is engage with those people more.

Those people that open and click regularly are the most likely to respond to questionnaires, surveys, and those sorts of things as well. So that's one segment, and we don't have a problem with them there. They're working very well for us. Then we've got the people that open regularly but don't click. So they are opening our emails. They like the subject lines.

They like when we're sending them, but they're not so keen on our content. We're driving them to click-through to our websites. Therefore, we need to stimulate click-through rate. So to stimulate click-through rate, you fundamentally need to test content. The right length of copy, call to action, design, and those sorts of things.

So we're starting to develop a bit of a testing strategy. The other end of things, we've got someone that's got a low open rate but high click-through rate. Which means they don't open very often, but when they do, they like what they see and they click-through to our website. So in that scenario, you need to go through and make sure you're stimulating open rate. Which basically means testing subject lines, and testing when we're sending, and potentially testing the from address that we're sending from as well. The reason I say potentially testing the from address is that you don't want to keep changing your form address, because spam filters build up trust over time, and if you keep changing you're not really building that trust.

But in order to stimulate open rate, it's really about the subject line and when you're sending your emails.

So we've already got three quadrants, those people who open and click all the time, great let's try to engage with them more. Those people who aren't opening as much as we like will go through, and will test out different subject lines, and different times of day to send. Those people who aren't clicking as much as we like, we'll go through, and try to test out different content, and layout. And then there's one final quadrant, and these are the people that aren't opening and aren't clicking.

Now we shouldn't give up on these people immediately, but it's very likely lots of people in that quadrant aren't ever going to open and click on your emails. And what's happening is every time you send an email out, they're not responding. So overall, your average open rates and click-through rates, it's actually pushing them down. And you're never going to achieve best practice levels because of that.

What you probably want to do with these people that aren't opening and clicking is take them out and run the next stage of the process on them. And that stage is basically going through a re-engagement process. And you're probably going to send a series of three, I'd say, emails to them. And what you do is you send the first email out, and you say, "We haven't heard from you in a while. Here's something specifically or you." Maybe a free piece of content, a special offer, whatever it may be. If they don't respond to that, you trigger another email after seven days, and you say, "We still haven't heard from you.

Here's something else that's spectacularly great just for you." If you don't hear from them, you trigger a third email, maybe after seven days again. And if you don't get a response from that third email, you can be pretty sure that those people aren't very likely to ever respond to your emails. So you're going to take them off of your main list.

Now I don't necessarily recommend deleting them, but then what you might do is start to go through any email those people a lot less regularly. So you might email them once a month, or once a quarter, or something instead of maybe a weekly email. The reason being otherwise what you're doing is emailing someone that doesn't want your emails, and you're basically saying, "We're annoying. We're annoying. We're annoying." And it's not got for your brand. It's a negative brand touch point.

Now if you're wondering, "Well, this is all fine. Where do I actually get these open and click-through rate from?" Your email service provider, your ESP, whichever one you're using, should give you open and click-through rates, and you should be able to filter your list by those rates. You can go through and export through to a spreadsheet and kind of chop the data up. Different systems approach it differently.

So, for example, something like Mail Chimp gives you a star rating. And you could approach it really simply by say anything with a five-star rating is someone that always opens and always clicks. We're going to send them a survey. People on zero or one star, we've got a problem with those people. Let's try and re-engage with them.

But ideally, you're going into those four segments that I described by open and click-through rate, and you're going to go through, and you're going to come up with a testing process, and that is engage with the people that are already engaging with you. Go through and try to stimulate open rate or click-through rate. And then those people that aren't responding, work out a way of using some emails to actually re-engage with them, or if they don't re-engage, remove them from the list. Now that process of sending out a series of triggered emails can actually be automated as well.

So pretty much every email service provider now it gives you the opportunity to trigger emails automatically. So you could say, "Anybody in this particular list." And you could build a list with that particular group of people, trigger an email, if they don't respond, trigger another one, and so on as well. So it takes out a lot of the work that's fundamentally involved. Then, what we're doing is getting more from the list that we've already got, we're pushing up our open rates, and click-through rate, and we're taking off the people that don't want your emails anymore. So overall, our average open rates and click-through rates should give us a much better impression of really what we're getting from that list, because it's not being dragged down by people that are never going to respond anyway.

If you go through this process on a fairly regular basis, you will always improve your open rates, your click-through rates, you'll drive more traffic to your website, and then you have the opportunity of doing more with your campaigns as well.

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