Why we track • To learn more about our audience • To see what techniques work • As part of an end-to-end tracking tactic to measure success • To make decisions that improve communications
How do we make decisions with the data? • The data can be compared with similar communications to other groups • How does the communication stack up against others? • For publications, or varied communications to the same group, look longitudinally • What trends are identifiable over time?
What decisions might we make? • Content changes • Design changes • Frequency changes • Add or drop a publication or channel
Consider that… • Audience engagement drops over time • Audiences themselves change over time • List hygiene can help
What is tracked • Links, or “clickthrough tracking” • Message opens
Clickthrough tracking • Clickthrough tracking changes links • Links take the recipient/clicker to another system • That system records the click • The system redirects the user to their final destination
Clickthrough example • We want users to visit umn.edu • We enable clickthrough tracking • The system produces a different URL • Lyris might produce http://ecommunication.umn.edu/t/93781/4795559/41608/0/
Clickthrough data • Total clicks • Unique clicks – number of links clicked by different recipients (the same user clicking a link repeatedly is only one unique click) • Click rate – unique/#recipients • Total, unique, and rate also done by URL
Open tracking • Opens are tracked by an invisible image • The image is given a unique URL to identify the recipient who opened the message • A clickthrough implies the message was opened
Open tracking’s shortcoming • Recipients must load images (or click a tracked link) to be counted as having opened a message • Most e-mail clients won’t automatically load images from senders that are not recognized • The text part of the message doesn’t contain images; <Mascot>Mail users
Open data • Total opens • Unique opens – a recipient opening the message more than once isn’t counted repeatedly • Open rate - unique/#recipients
What to use? • Clickthrough tracking is a better measure • Clickthroughs measure ‘real’ action on the part of recipients • Open tracking is useful for trends over time
Varied messages, varied results • How you craft your message impacts clicks • If the message enumerates everything recipients need to know, why would someone click? • There’s a middle ground (e.g., U of M Brief) • Is the audience opt-in or opt-out? • Who is the audience? • What day and time was it sent?
What is a good clickthrough rate? • No single standard • Opt-in vs. opt-out groups vary greatly • Opt-in is preferred • We don’t have good data internally • One source* showed 1st half of 2008 data with mean click rates varying from 0.78% for one industry to 6.66% for another *mailer mailer Email Marketing Metric Report 1H 2008 http://www.mailermailer.com/metrics.rwp
To summarize • Don’t just send, track, analyze, improve • Look at your data • Make decisions based on your data
What are you doing? • Speakers, questions, discussion • Laura Johnson, Marketing Communications, University Relations • Adam Overland and Matt Sumera, Internal Communications, University Relations • Others? (feel free)