Why analysing newsletter subscribers actions is importantMarch 12, 2011 2:33 pm Email Communications, Website Analytics
You produce an email newsletter and you send it out to your list of subscribers. Then what?
Hopefully you’ll have things set up so that you can identify the dates and times that subscribers have opened the email newsletter and when they’ve clicked through to more details on your website (if not, ask us how this can be done easily and cheaply).
But do you go any further than that? Take, for example, the screenshot below, which shows the interaction of just one subscriber to the last Custwin email newsletter sent out …
What the screenshot doesn’t show you is the name of the subscriber who clicked through to the website, via a particular link, at 14:52 on 28th February. This in itself isn’t that exciting because the person just looked at the one article. However, if you’re also running a strong system that allows you to dig deeper into website visitors, you get a bigger picture.
Each month, a week after the email newsletter has been sent out, we look at the website statistics to see whether any clicks in from the email newsletters have resulted in people looking at more than just the landing page. Doing this helped us to identify the person who came directly into the article page, and who then went on to look at other pages within the website …
While we expect the majority of people to do no more than click through on links from the email newsletters, it’s interesting when people go on to look at more within the Custwin website. Taking that screenshot above we can see that the person was mostly interested in what clients have to say about us. By taking that revealing website entry time of 14:52 we can cross reference to the statistics from the email newsletter sendout. This shows us that the person who clicked through on a link from our newsletter actually went on to look at other pages of the website. And best of all, we know who that person is.
So, we know the name of a newsletter subscriber who clicked through from a link in the newsletter and went on to look at certain pages of the website. If we’d looked at the newsletter sendout stats alone, that wouldn’t have told us enough. If we’d looked at the main website statistics data it also wouldn’t have told us enough. By combining the two together we get the full picture.
In this particular example, the implication is that the newsletter subscriber may possibly be in a position whereby they’re lacking in business (hence the initial interest in the newsletter article that discussed the challenges of getting a good Google ranking, followed by looking at the Custwin testimonials page as part of their website visit). We won’t actually directly do anything with that knowledge but when/if we’re next in contact with that subscriber we may have the opportunity to open up a discussion about how things are going in their business.
You’re probably thinking: “blimey, that’s a hell of a lot of effort isn’t it?” and yes, that’s a fair point. My argument would be that an email newsletter should aim to build trust in the company, with a view to gaining some business from that trust built over a period of time. Without fail we gain at least one new client every month, purely from building trust through our email newsletters – that makes it very profitable. Therefore, by better understanding how people interact with our email newsletters and website we put ourselves in a position where we understand our subscribers pretty well, out of which sometimes come opportunities.
So if you’re sending out email newsletters and aren’t already analysing not just those who click through from the newsletters, but how they then navigate further into your website, then you may be missing out on what could be useful knowledge and maybe even future clients.