Email analytics can be an incredibly powerful tool. The most obvious use for analytics is to gauge the success of an email campaign, but it can also be used to gather a lot of information about your readership. As part of our Advanced Analytics tools, we offer a downloadable report called the “Subscriber-level Campaign Report.” This report contains a huge amount of information presented on a granular/individual level. We do this so that you can use the information in the report to segment your list for maximum advantage. You can greatly increase your open rates and click-throughs by targeting the exact slice of your audience you want to. To gain access to this kind of reporting, you’ll need to use a merge tag in your campaign. In this blog I’ll discuss what a merge tag is, as well as some of the possible uses for the Subscriber-level Campaign Report and where to find it.
What’s a Merge Tag?
A merge tag is a small code snippet that is provided by your ESP. Each ESP is different, so you’ll have to check out their documentation to find out what their merge tag looks like. When you do a send, the ESP will “merge” the data you have for your customers into the email. For instance, a merge tag for the customer’s first name can be used in the salutation for the email. When it gets sent, the tag will be replaced with the string in the “first name” field in your subscriber list.
For example, an email’s salutation (with merge tag) might look like this, “Good morning, *|FNAME|*.” That tag gets replaced for each recipient, so for Jan Smith it looks like this, “Good morning, Jan.” Jan will see her name there, Ben will see his instead, and so on for each recipient.
We use the merge tag to uniquely identify each recipient by their email address, so that we can associate data about the campaign to them.
How can we use the report to improve our marketing efforts?
We’ll take a look at the most useful data this report provides, column by column.
This is the date when the email was opened. The time stamp is set in your account settings (not determined by where it was opened).
You can use this data for a few different things. First, it gives you a good idea of how attentive your audience is to your emails. If you see more than half of your opens happening 2-3 days after the send, you may want to avoid “One Day Only Sale” promotions. You can also use this to retarget customers who may have opened the email too late to take advantage of an offer. Use the time of day part of this time stamp to help determine when your audience is most receptive to your emails. You can then adjust your send time to hit this key time perfectly on your next send.
This is the email address of the customer who opened it.
Use the email addresses as your key to segment off of for retargeting.
This is how long the email was open.
Check out our series on engagement for more on how to use this stat in your marketing efforts. You could use this to segment your list and retarget those recipients that opened it for less than 2 seconds. Just change the subject line and try again!
This is the client the email was opened in.
This lets you know what clients to test in and optimize your email for. If you see that a large number of opens are happening on Gmail and Outlook 2013, for instance, you should concentrate your optimization efforts on those clients to make sure that your readers are having a good experience.
This is the environment the email was opened in: Web, Desktop or Mobile.
This lets you know what kind of users you have: business users at a desktop, mobile users on the go, or web users who can do either. High mobile opens could indicate that you need to work more on responsive design. High desktop numbers are often associated with seeing most opens during business hours. Check out the “opened” data to confirm this. If that’s the case, you may want to adjust sending time to optimize for business hours.
This is the operating system that the email was opened in.
This can indicate how tech savvy your audience is. Platform should have no effect on the email’s appearance, so you don’t need to test based on these results.
Mobile Device and Browser
These are the device version and browser that the email was opened in.
This is another set of data that lets you know what to test for. It can also be an indicator of tech savviness.
This is the rendering engine of the email client or browser.
Take a look at which of these are most popular. Whichever rendering engine/browser is most popular is the one you should be doing your pre-testing (viewing the email as a .html file) in. In this way you can try to cut down on any errors that will affect the majority of your readership.
This is the name of the country in which it was opened.
Should you create a more international version of your email? Seeing what countries your emails have the most opens in will help you to determine this. You may want to add alternate language links or even segment based on country if you have a lot of international opens.
City and State
This is the city and state in which it was opened.
If you have a more regional list, you can use this info for localization. For example, you could send out an email that lists the nearest retail location of your business or lists their city in the subject line as a way of catching their attention.
Latitude and Longitude
This is the latitude and longitude at which it was opened.
This data could be used to plot opens on a map, if needed. We show you opens by country in our test results, but don’t go so far as to plot them on a map.
Where do I download the Subscriber-Level Campaign Report?
Downloading the report is easy. Just follow these steps:
- Log in to Email on Acid.
- Click on “Analytics Inbox” at the top of the left navigation bar. Open the desired campaign.
- Click on “Download CSV.”
- Find the line, “Click here to download a subscriber-level campaign report,” and click “here.”
- The download should begin immediately.
While we already touched on some awesome tactics for leveraging this report, like measuring engagement and segmenting your list, the applications are limitless. From deploying your email based off of geographic location to creating a profile of who your readers really are, we want you to get crazy with interpreting and applying this data!
What could you do with the data in this report? This blog covers some ideas on how to use this data, but we’re sure that it could be used for a lot more. Let us know how you use the report in the comments below.