The best part about switching from direct mail to email is the array of statistical data that you email service provider (ESP) offers. With the wealth of demographic and brand interaction rates, you can find out if you are sending the most effective message. This is why email has the highest return on investment of any form of marketing — more than social media, print, or broadcast advertising.
With all of that data, you may not know what to do with it. Here’s 4 DIY statistics tricks you can try for yourself:
1. A/B Testing
When you change your format or subject headers, do you test to see if the new version is better than the old version? Here’s how:
Split your demographic group in half. Send two types of email to each half of your group and see which leads to higher open rates, click-throughs, and conversions. Test one variable at a time, like only subject headers.
2. Build Customer Profiles
What inherent factors affect why customers open your emails, click on the links, and buy your products because they followed a link? Look at time of day, day of the week, your email format and subject header, and find trends that sweep across groups. See if women of a certain income open your emails at a particular time of day, or if people age 18-25 were attracted to one subject header.
3. Gather Better Data
The best way to gather data is to get it from the customers themselves:
- Allow customers to fill out a profile page when they register with your website. Because asking for a lot of information at this stage can seem tedious, delay some registration fields until later, when customers are more dedicated to your brand. This works well with apps or websites with a social aspect, where customers have incentive to come back repeatedly.
- Offer opinion polls via email and on your website and social media. Make them short, one or two questions.
- Use your ESP to integrate Facebook, Twitter, and email marketing. When customers interact with your page, your ESP will add their Facebook profiles to their email profiles.
4. Monitor Your Ever-Changing Database
Never assume that your database is finished. New people subscribe, emails are abandoned. Even the same customers’ lives change: their tastes change, they move, get married or divorced, change careers, children grow up, and these life events change how they interact with your brand. Once you have their attention with the initial incentive for subscribing, you need marketing data to determine why else they want to read your newsletter.
There’s always more data to analyze . . .
If you’re still feeling lost in a sea of numbers, or you’re looking to do advanced market research, it may be time to hire a consultant. Market research is a complex science of psychology and statistics, and even educated, successful businesspeople may need an expert to get to the bottom of all the details.