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Email Marketing Reporting or How to Make Your Metrics Transparent?

7 min read
by Alena Parfisenko
Email marketing is one of the world's most measurable marketing strategies. You can trace everything from who opened and clicked your email campaigns to the subscriber's location and the links they clicked.
But as marketers, we require and desire more granular data, especially when it comes from a channel as effective as email marketing, which yields an astonishing $44 for every $1 spent. This article will explain why analytics are crucial to your email marketing strategy, and provide you with the most informative metrics to measure.

Been there, done that

As a novel email marketer, you may already know that the set of your responsibilities includes reporting on the current email campaign status. And it’s truly nothing new, as every marketing team member has to understand how to present their reports and what kind of metrics they should prioritize.
It is especially true for those marketers who have already presented email reports and their CEO did not understand the report or its terms, or the data didn’t match with other departments. In some cases, the presentation is being held or sent at an inconvenient time. So how can you correctly construct such a report and become victorious in the end?
The answer is clear: report with transparent goals and achievement scheduled at a right time.

Why has email marketing become so important and essential?

Email marketing is an excellent method of communicating with your audience since it provides immediate access at any time. You are not vulnerable to algorithm changes or other external factors that can affect the success of your social media, SEO, and PPC operations. In addition, email does not rely on several people to read and forward each communication.
It is the most effective marketing channel for converting traffic into purchases since each recipient receives a message that was crafted just for them.
This means that your messages will speak to individuals rather than a mass audience and be received accordingly. This may seem like an obvious concept, but not all marketers grasp its significance.
You will also be able to contact and maintain relationships with prospects, customers, and former clients who prefer email over social media or other channels.

How does the typical business marketing funnel work?

Typically, marketers consider the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel.
Users are exploring and learning about your business and what you provide. They may not yet have a clear understanding of their needs and objectives. It is likely that they are also searching in numerous other locations.
Visitors now have sufficient information to begin refining their search and eliminating options. They have invested time in researching and learning about product categories and available options, and are committed to making a purchase.
Before making a purchase, visitors now examine the purchase process and the quality of your digital customer experience in great detail. They may be considering reviews, guarantees, and shipping costs when deciding where to spend their money. Any discounts or special offers they can take advantage of will also influence their decision.

Why are people abandoning shopping carts, and what can you do about it?

The lesson from the data above is that people are abandoning online purchases due to issues that can be fixed by better design and usability.
Lack of payment options
It’s important to offer a variety of payment options as well as credit and debit cards for customers who prefer them, and PayPal is the obvious alternative that many retailers now offer.

It could also be about convenience. Even if a customer can use a credit or debit card, the effort involved in inputting numbers (especially on mobile) means some prefer to use other methods.

It’s also important to match the payment methods offered to local preferences. Preferred online payment methods will vary between markets.

While shoppers in the US and UK generally use card payment or PayPal, there is more variation elsewhere.

For example, ELV, a kind of direct debit payment, is the most popular method for German consumers. IDEAL is a similar method that is popular in the Netherlands.

Other options include deferred payment or credit options, which may help with bigger ticket purchases such as electronics and automotive. These can be offered directly by the retailer or via solutions such as Affirm. Ecommerce websites can’t offer every possible payment option, but by providing choice they can cover most preferences.

Delivery and Returns Policies
Shipping times and costs are a big factor in the purchase decision. The problem is that many websites tend to wait until checkout to reveal the actual shipping costs. This means that customers are adding items to the basket either to find the actual costs or are intending to buy but are then deterred by what they see as excessive costs.

A better option would be upfront information on shipping costs on ecommerce product pages (via a zip code calculator perhaps) or cart pages, so customers don’t have any surprises waiting for them during checkout.

The same applies for ecommerce returns policies. Shoppers are more likely to buy with confidence from an ecommerce website that has easier returns policies.

One option for solving both of these issues is clear messaging before checkout on returns and shipping. It may not be practical for every website, but offers like Nordstrom’s, of free shipping and returns means that shoppers reach checkout without any concerns.
Price Comparison
It’s natural that customers will want to make sure they have found the best price for the product, especially for higher-priced items.

If your prices are competitive, customers may well return after a quick search, or a cart abandonment email sent soon after may be the prompt they need. It’s a tricky one for some retailers, as they don’t want to be sucked into a race to the bottom on price which will damage profitability.

Instead, depending on the product, retailers can compete on aspects that improve the customer experience such as next-day delivery, great website design, or adding extra value. Some websites have become more creative in their attempts to appeal to comparison shoppers.
Lack of Trust
Trust is vitally important in ecommerce. If people have reason to worry about a website, they simply won’t risk entering their card details.

Whether people will trust your website depends on a number of factors:
  • Knowledge of the retailer or brand.
  • A professional website design - If it looks like an old one, don’t expect tons of orders.
  • Website performance - errors and slow-loading pages will ring alarm bells.
  • Clear contact details and customer service links.
  • Social proof – testimonials and reviews from customers. If other customers have bought from the website, this reassures new shoppers.
  • Security logos and trust seals - These can be more important for lesser-known brands, as they offer reassurance to customers.
  • Long and Complicated Checkouts
It’s about making it as easy and short for people as possible. This means good clear design, and form fields that are easily understood. If necessary, use copy to explain form fields or deal with possible customer questions.
Register Before Checkout
Checkout registration adds another step to the process of buying and has been shown to be a barrier to purchasing. It creates extra work for shoppers, which is why guest checkout is a better option. People can still create an account later, but it avoids making it a barrier.

A guest checkout option allows customers to enter an email address and head straight to checkout. It means customers start to complete address and payment details more quickly and makes the process seem like less work.

Some websites send customers straight into checkout forms from the shopping cart page, but a more common approach is to offer the option of guest checkout, login, or registration. Some, like Crate&Barrel, don’t even offer registration, instead telling new customers that they can create an account later if they wish.
Just Looking
Some people just aren’t ready to buy. Perhaps they’re adding items to carts to check the total price, or using the cart as a wish list.

Depending on the product, the research process can take some time. A big purchase like a new PC or TV is likely to involve some consideration, more so for other products. The average holiday purchase process is said to last 45 days, while for automotive it may be even longer.

Websites can at least help shoppers with the research process, which keeps them on a website (and the brand in shopper’s minds) longer.

Product ratings and reviews can help here. Reviews like these on Home Depot are great for helping customers research, presenting unbiased information on product performance and features.

In conclusion

It is crucial that when your email marketing team strategizes the next steps, they track and highlight measurable insights. Without the correct email metrics, marketers cannot quantify how their campaign results align – positively or adversely — with their intended objectives.

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