Email Marketing Metrics: The Value of Clickstream Data
The Value of Clickstream Data
Clickstream data is a record of a user’s Internet activity, including the landing page and exit point, the order of the page views, and the amount of time spent on each page. This information is becoming increasingly valuable as it shows you how visitors are interacting with your website. For example, clickstream data could show an online auto dealer that a visitor spent 10 minutes on its website researching hybrid cards. The visitor spent three minutes reading about the hybrid Camry, one minute reading about the Prius, and six minutes reading about the Civic. The fact that the visitor only researched hybrid cars lets the dealer know what type of vehicle the customer is searching for, and the fact that the visitor spent twice as much time researching the Civic tells the dealer that there is a good chance the visitor is most interested in that particular car.
Tying clickstream data into your email marketing solution provides an even greater advantage. According to JupiterResearch, emails that leverage clickstream data generate revenue that is four times higher than untargeted campaigns and increase net profits by 18 percent over undifferentiated broadcast campaigns. However, the practice has yet to be implemented by the majority of email marketers as JupiterResearch found that only 30 percent of email marketers tag their emails with web analytics identifiers. Even more surprisingly, only 15 percent import clickstream data into their email application and only 13 percent use clickstream to target subscribers.
These numbers are sure to rise this year as relevancy continues to play an even greater role in email marketing campaigns and as more ESPs integrate web analytics into their offerings. Several partnerships currently exist between ESPs and web analytics firms such as Omniture and Coremetrics. However, Listrak chose to integrate its solution with Google Analytics as it is a free tool that many organizations are already using so it does not generate additional costs for implementation or training. Listrak offers a free Google Analytics Integration Tutorial as well as a white paper entitled “Using Google Analytics to Increase Reporting Capabilities of Email Marketing Campaigns and Boost Relevancy and Response” for anyone interested in learning more.
An email marketing solution that is integrated with web analytics will take your campaign metrics to new levels. Email metrics can only track subscribers to the point where they click-through the call-to-action button. While it is important to know which subscribers opened the message and how many clicks each call-to-action button received, it is imperative to know what happened after the subscribers clicked-through to the landing page. This is the value of clickstream data as it not only allows you to tie conversions back to a particular email campaign, but it also allows you to understand how visitors interact with your website. Clickstream data provides essential profiling information on each visitor as you can quickly see what pages were visited and how much time was spent on each page.
Using our example above, the online auto dealer could send a targeted email campaign to its contacts that are interested in hybrid cars using either the profiling data obtained during the subscription process or through the clickstream data. The email could contain information on the Prius, Camry, and Civic hybrids, and could direct recipients to the website to print out a special incentive for test driving one of the cars. Because the email is targeted to the recipient’s exact interests and needs, it will have high open, read, and click-through rates. However, the online auto dealer can then track the message through web analytics to learn how many recipients took advantage of each offer and which offer was most appealing to each individual participant. Knowing that a visitor spent six minutes on the hybrid Civic webpage is helpful to the dealer, but knowing that the visitor was given special incentives on three different cars and he chose the Civic lets the dealer know without a doubt that the visitor prefers that car.
Most importantly, the information gained through the clickstream data isn’t dependent on the number of messages sent or delivered, so unlike the open, read, and click-through metrics, the validity of the data remains intact.