Marketing Evaluation

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1 Knowledge Guide: Marketing Evaluation How well is your marketing performing? virtualroi May 2009 by: Sally Lowery Online Marketing Manager

2 Marketing Evaluation Think back on your marketing efforts. Does it seem that you previously saw a greater return on your marketing than you have recently? Most of us work very hard to develop our marketing programs. Then, as we achieve success, they drop in priority and we turn our attention to the improvement of other marketing activities. However, as much as we might like them to, campaigns aren't capable of running on long-term auto-pilot. Factors such as an inundated inbox, customer trust, brand loyalty, purchase cycles, and buyer interest greatly impact your campaign's performance. Developing an ongoing program to consistently evaluate your campaigns and assess their metrics will ensure success. In this whitepaper we have included six critical factors in assessing your campaign performance. Use this information to see how your current marketing efforts stack up. Define Marketing Goals What do you want to accomplish with your marketing campaign? This is an essential question that must be answered prior to crafting your message, call to action, and imagery. If your group's focus is lead generation as opposed to sales conversion, then the preferred tactics used in your campaign will differ greatly. By defining your goals, you are also better able to determine the metrics by which to gauge the campaign's performance. In addition, you gain the ability to finely tune landing experiences that drive toward your specific goal. Other marketing goals include: Direct Selling Driving traffic to a Web site Driving traffic to an offline store or location Branding Brand Involvement Building Relationships Assess Metrics to Benchmark Once you've defined the goal of your campaign, you must identify the metrics that you will trend to evaluate performance. Are you currently tracking metrics? What are they? Are they actionable, i.e. metrics that offer you leverage in optimizing the campaign? Metrics can include: Deliverability Spam Rate Acquisition Rate Open Rate Click Through Rate Unsubscribe Rate. 1

3 When we are benchmarking, there are two different approaches to use, both of which yield useful intelligence about our campaign performance. One is to benchmark performance against prior experience for this brand or marketing program. The other is to benchmark against industry norms. The first answers the question: "Are we doing better than we used to?" The second answers the question: "Are we doing as well as we should be?" Most organizations begin by answering the first question because it is the information that is most easily obtainable. If you don't have a history of tracking your performance metrics, there is no better time to start than the present. Then routinely evaluate your latest campaign against previous campaigns, especially those against similar lists or using similar tactics. By varying one aspect of the campaign at a time, you can build a valuable warehouse of marketing intelligence that will help you improve your campaigns on each iteration. Industry statistics are harder to come by. But, if you can find statistics on your competitive set, that is most useful. Check with various marketing organizations that support your industry to see if they offer the information you need. This information can be a great resource for your evaluation of delivery, opens and click rates. Delivery Rate Deliverability is a metric that must be measured to determine whether or not your is actually making its way to the intended recipient's inbox. Optimization of this metric often includes monitoring for list fatigue as well as honoring the customer's preferences. In order to determine your deliverability, you should measure: Number of complaints Number of bounces Number of messages sent Size of the messages. Spam Rate Are you analyzing your campaign's abuse report rate? This measurement gives valuable insight into the perception of your campaigns. Are your permission-based customers viewing messages as spam due to frequency or content? Do your opt-in recipients truly believe that they opted in to receive messages from you? Do they believe that they opted in for the type and frequency of messages you send them? Once you determine your campaign's "spamminess," try adjustments to message relevance, frequency, or call to action in order to reduce spam complaints. Ask your list members what they want and then honor those requests in your mailing activity. Acquisition Rate Whether qualifying an acquisition as a lead conversion or a purchase conversion, analyzing a campaign's performance on cost per acquisition can be insightful. You may also wish to include a campaign's conversion rate to aid in determining its effectiveness. Open Rate Are your messages being opened once delivered? Open rate is an important measure in determining the effectiveness of your subject line or the trust factor of your "from" address. Open rate is determined by the quantity of your send versus those that open. Most marketing providers trend this data for you. 2

4 Click-Through Rate Your message has been opened, but are your customers responding to the content or call to action? By measuring your click through rate you can determine if the content is relevant to your customer and urges them to learn more. To establish your click through rate on a campaign, analyze the ratio of s sent to the number of clicks. Unsubscribe Rate Are customers unsubscribing from your campaigns at higher rates than previous historical trends? If the answer is yes, then it may be time to rethink your campaign's frequency and relevancy. Measuring your unsubscribe rate is essential to keeping a "clean" list. Most providers monitor your unsubscribe rate to help you better understand your overall campaign performance. Determining your unsubscribe rate can be done at a campaign level or across all marketing campaigns. To calculate your unsubscribe rate, measure the ration of sends to unsubscribes. Ensure Deliverability Deliverability Measurement Legitimate doesn't always land in your customer's inbox. According to MarketingSherpa, "25% of business-to-consumer marketers surveyed said they've seen a significant increase in bounce rates." How do you ensure that your s successfully reach your customer? Incorporating best practices into your marketing will benefit your delivery. Monitoring your campaign delivery rates, cleansing your data routinely, and requesting to be added to the customer's address book are just a few ways to safeguard your from landing in the spam filter. In addition, it's critical to maintain a healthy relationship with the ISPs to which you are sending . A trusted marketing provider such as virtualroi's vmail takes care to constantly evaluate ISP relationships and address any issues that arise. Spam Spam is defined by Yahoo! Mail as "whatever consumers don't want in their inbox". Over time marketing has evolved as less of a measurable definition of what spam is considered and more as a qualitative metric determined by the recipient. As an organization, you need to ensure that your marketing focuses on your customers' expectations including content preferences, relevancy, and frequency. If your customer finds no value in the being delivered, regardless of opt-in, then it isn't a good . Are you viewing spam reports to determine if the messages you are delivering are the right message at the right time? Test, Test, and Re-test Testing is critical for marketing success. Creating different landing experiences, offers, call to actions, imagery, and content allows you to optimize your campaign to its greatest potential. We've included two possible modes of testing: A/B testing: testing one element of a campaign against another. It may include varying the offer, call to action, look, or subject line of a message. Multivariate Testing: Testing multiple changes simultaneously in a live environment. 3

5 Relevancy Delivering a message that doesn't speak to the customer can disengage a valuable relationship. marketing has evolved from utilizing a one-off broadcast campaign to employing a strategic program that targets the customer with a relevant message at the appropriate time. Consider this: according to Jupiter Research, "untargeted campaigns have open rates of only 20%, a click through of only 9.5% and conversion rates of only about 1%. On the other hand, targeted campaigns have a 33% open rate on average, a 14% click-through rate, and a conversion rate of 3.9%". Engaging your audience with content and offers that are delivered strategically will uplift your message in an extremely competitive market. Creating a message that meets the needs of your customers enhances your relationship as well as reinforces your trust factor. Segmentation One of the most prevalent reasons for an being ignored is irrelevant content. Segmentation ensures that your message is delivered at the right time, to the right person, with the right content. You can choose to segment your audience based on data such as behavior, preferences, or demographics. It's important to collect the data through a list management tool so that it is easy to integrate segmentation within your campaign. Determine what segmentation meets the needs of your overall business objectives. Perhaps you choose to segment a campaign on the purchase value of a customer, or perhaps you believe a product-based segmentation will yield a higher return. Whatever your choice, make certain that the message and offer complement the segmentation. Optimization Now that you've determined your metrics and addressed the deliverability and relevancy of your campaign, it is time for optimization. Analyze your metrics and determine where there is opportunity to increase performance and convert low hanging fruit. Your initial strategies may change, which means that you will need to continually adjust your campaign. Or, perhaps, the end goal you were hoping to achieve doesn't yield the response you had hoped. Don't be hesitant to shift resources. About virtualroi virtualroi is a B2B digital marketing agency specialising in marketing, delivering optimised solutions to our clients. The agency boasts expert knowledge in all areas of digital marketing, encompassing: (deliverability, design, programming, optimisation and broadcasting) Data (merge, purge, consolidation, standardisation, acquisition and verification) Design (optimisation for deliverability, preview panes, image blocking) Technology (independent broadcast platforms on a fully managed or self-services basis) Consultancy (bespoke development, outsourcing, marketing and support services) virtualroi has extensive experience in delivering integrated digital marketing programs, solutions and technologies. This covers both end-user and channel target audiences internationally. 4

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