How to Use Click-Through Data in Your E-Mail Marketing Campaign - dummies

How to Use Click-Through Data in Your E-Mail Marketing Campaign

By John Arnold

Every time someone clicks a link in your marketing e-mail, you have the opportunity to track the click back to the individual, use the information to accomplish more meaningful objectives, and increase the value of your e-mail list.

You have to be an advanced HTML and database programmer to write your own link-tracking code, so use an e-mail marketing program (EMP) that can generate link-tracking code automatically and provide a click-through report for each e-mail campaign. Constant Contact is a great one.

[Credit: Courtesy of Constant Contact]
Credit: Courtesy of Constant Contact

Using click-through data to target your e-mail offers

Someone clicking an e-mail link in response to an article or offer allows you to make assumptions about your link clicker’s interests. To help you determine your audience’s interests and divide your e-mail list using click-through interests, use these tips:

  • Turn your links into data mines. Clicks are much more meaningful when you write them in ways that affirm the clicker’s personal information. For example, if you sell both golf equipment for both adults and children, send an e-mail that includes a link that points to kids’ golfing tips. Save the names of those who click the kids’ tips link as a list and target kids equipment offers to those customers.

  • Rearrange your e-mails by interest. You don’t need to send a completely different e-mail to each subscriber with a different interest. Instead, make small changes based on the interest list you’re targeting. For example, you can send the same e-mail newsletter to all your lists while changing the Subject line or rearranging the order of your articles to highlight the most interesting content for each interest list.

  • Change your offers by interest. People often respond to calls to action in your e-mails based on the strength of your offers. When you send offers to different interest lists, keep your call to action the same but change your offer according to each interest. For example, if your e-mail contains a call to action asking your audience to take a survey, offer one interest list a discount for taking the survey while offering another interest list special privileges.

Using click-through data to follow-up on your e-mail marketing message

When someone clicks an e-mail link but doesn’t follow through with a purchase or other commitment, you can use your click-through report to follow up with your link clicker and find out what might have caused him to stop short.

Use these tips for following up on the data in your click-through reports by using e-mail as well as other forms of communication:

  • Send a second-chance offer to those link clickers who didn’t follow through by making a purchase or other commitment. You can use another e-mail or a postcard highlighting a more compelling second-chance offer.

  • Send a postcard thanking your link clickers for considering your offer and asking them to consider an alternative product or service.

  • Call your link clickers and ask them whether they have any questions.

  • Send a survey to your link clickers asking them about any interests that the link seems to have uncovered.

  • Thank your subscribers who share your e-mails.

  • Send a postcard to link clickers who unsubscribe from your e-mail list telling them that they are still valued and thanking them for considering your products and services.

Using click-through data for testing your e-mail offers and calls to action

Sending your offers and calls to action to a small, random portion of your e-mail list and tracking your click-through rate allows you to test your offers and calls to action before sending them to your entire e-mail list.

To create and execute your own click-through test:

  1. Randomly select 10 percent of your e-mail list subscribers from your database and copy them to a new database or category in your database.

  2. Create two versions of your e-mail and send each one to half of your test list.

  3. Wait 48 hours and compare each e-mail’s click-through report to see which links received the most clicks.

  4. Create a final version of your e-mail using the elements that produced the most clicks and send it to your entire e-mail list.

If your sample click-through rates are lower than you expect in both versions of your e-mail, adjust your offers or calls to action accordingly and test again using a different test list.