Writing the perfect marketing email can be tricky, so it's understandable that you might want to hit 'send' and move on as quickly as possible. But that doesn't mean you should.
Have you ever thought about what happens to your carefully crafted email once it lands in recipients' inboxes? Do clients even read it or click on any of the links? The good news is that with email tracking it's now possible to find out the answers to these questions (and more).
What is email tracking?
Email tracking is the process of monitoring your sent emails to learn what actions, if any, the recipient has taken. The process can provide useful information such as whether the recipient has opened the email and which links and/or attachments they've clicked on. It also allows you to track other key metrics such as bounce rates and unsubscribes.
So, how does it work? Email tracking software places an invisible pixel in the email which can detect the time and date that the above actions took place – clever stuff! This data can then be analysed and used to inform your firm's future email campaigns and marketing activity.
It's important to note, however, that email tracking only works when the recipient downloads the images from your email (usually with a simple click of a button). Many of your clients will use an email platform such as Outlook, which has image download automatically turned off. This means there's a risk the recipient may not download the pixel which enables email tracking. It's also possible for mail users to disable email tracking on platforms such as Gmail, even when images are displayed.
How can email tracking help you?
It saves time
In the days before email tracking, you may have sent an email and then sat around wondering whether it actually reached the recipient. Did it go into their junk mail or, worse still, has it been lost in cyberspace? This agonising wait often prompted another email (or maybe even a phone call) to check the person received the original message. However, using email tracking software means you'll no longer need to do this (assuming, of course, that the recipient has enabled the images in the email – see above).
By tracking emails you'll be able to check whether an email was delivered and if, or when, it was opened. This saves crucial time as it removes the need for unnecessary follow-up contact. It might be that the person received the email and simply isn't replying, but at least you'll know!
It provides useful marketing insights
Email tracking can give you a valuable insight into the actions and behaviour of your clients and/or prospects. By monitoring key metrics, you'll be able to determine which emails have the most success and then use these findings to inform future campaigns.
Analysing email data can help to drive your firm's email marketing in the following ways:
- It allows you to see the type of content that performs well – do certain topics or particular phrases get more people clicking? Or does the tone (formal, informal etc) have a noticeable effect on click-through or conversion rates?
- It helps you to gauge which email designs work best – does a particular layout or email template have more success than others? Or do certain types of images or graphics influence people's behaviour?
- You can see which subject lines are the most effective – the subject line can make or break an email campaign, so it's important to get it right. Analysing data from previous campaigns enables you to see which type of subject lines scored the highest open-rates
- You can determine the best time to send emails – looking at data from your previous campaigns allows you to see which day of the week (as well as time of day) has historically generated the most successful response.
Using this information when planning future email campaigns should help you to achieve a better return on investment for your marketing spend.
How to turn on email tracking
If you have an accWEBSITE with us and then you can reap the benefits of email tracking on monthly/Budget newswires and emails sent via mailENGINE+/Mailshot Manager.
To take advantage of this facility, simply email email@example.com with a request to turn on email tracking. It's that easy!
To find out more about our accWEBSITE service, visit www.accsys.org/accwebsite.