Apr 28, 2010

Optimise according to your goals!

One funny thing about email marketing is that 75% of the success of a strategy relies on the Database itself.
You can come up with the finest campaign of all times, if you send it to a poor quality database, you won't get any good results.

This has been said quite a few times already on this blog, I tell it once more: the DB quality is the core of the business.

Now, having that in mind there's a very "funny" thing I've noticed after several years working for an ESP is that each and every database reacts in very different ways according to a couple of elements:
1 - Lead origin :
The way the lead was collected will have a great impact on how the database reacts (in a positive or negative way) to your broadcasts and you probably shouldn't address people the the same way.
People that subscribe to your newsletter on your website are probably expecting a lot more of news from you than some guy that (sometimes "accidentally") opted in to your list through some poor quality coreg campaign on some affiliation campaign.

2 - Your industry :
People also seem to expect a given number of emails per week/month according to the list to which they subscribe.
Some of my clients that run "private shopping clubs" kind of businesses usually broadcast each day to their full DB and get pretty good results and a very low complaint rate. On the other hand, my retailer clients that dare broadcast several times a week (over twice more or less) get an instant increase of the unsubscribe and complaint rates.

Amazingly enough it seems people are likely to react similarly according to these two elements among a database, I can therefore only strongly advise that you try to segment your database according to the origin of the lead and test for yourself what triggers the best results for each target.

Apr 21, 2010

Score your DataBase !

One of the most important things for a successful email strategy is to know your Data Base.

We have discussed more than once on this blog the importance of analyzing the reactions of your DB to estimate what "turns it on" and what "turns it off".

But knowing your DB goes far beyond that, it also means to have a good and honest vision of its quality.

I've been playing with reports, for quite some time now in search for a formula that would give an easily understandable and relevant snapshot of the database quality.

After quite a lot of thinking around, I came out with the following recipe that I am willing to share with you guys:

Let's take the following numbers:
A - Unique openings (per campaign)
B - Unique clicks (per campaign)
C - The number of orders (if tracked) (per campaign)
D - The number of sent emails

Then you can run the following calculation:
[(A + (B * 2) + (C * 5)) / D] * 100 = Score
The result of this calculation will always be between 0 and 800 (don't expect to ever reach 800 ;p, I expect most DBs to score between 25 and 100)

The good thing once you have calculated your DB score is that you can score with quite the same calculation method the profiles inside your DB (and for example keep only the highest scores or even better, the profiles that score above your DB score to improve your DB quality).

For the emails inside the DB, the formula is the same:
A - Unique openings (per campaign)
B - Unique clicks (per campaign)
C - The number of orders (if tracked) (per campaign)
D - The number of received emails

The formula remains:
[(A + (B * 2) + (C * 5)) / D] * 100 = Score

Once you have both scores, you will easily identify subscribers that are lagging behind, lowering your campaign results and sender reputation and the most valuable addresses in your DB.

This can be the first step towards success.