As the holiday season approaches, reviewing your cross-channel marketing programs and ensuring everything is set for success and earning maximum return is critical. But with more data points to evaluate than ever before and so many ways to look at a program, where should you prioritize your audit now (and throughout the year)? Read on for our recommendations and tips.

Start with the Basics

At the highest level, you should always have a pulse on the click-through and conversion rates for your email and SMS campaigns, plus open rates for email campaigns. These are some of the longest-used KPIs in digital marketing and give good general insight into campaign effectiveness – telling you your messages are piquing interest, getting contacts back to your site, and hopefully converting. Additionally, these KPIs can help you isolate topics and target strategies that work better than others to influence your ongoing calendar. Any engagement and conversion activity gaps point to issues related to resonance, timeliness, and even deliverability.

Similarly, you should have a general idea of how traffic moves through your automated campaigns. These messages should convert higher than your one-off broadcast campaigns, and the volume should follow the same trend lines as your website traffic. Peaks or valleys could imply technical issues or opportunities for optimization. 

Finally, regularly monitoring your acquisition sources and subscription points for consistent traffic is also a good idea. Like with your automated campaigns, gaps in activity could mean it’s time to update strategies, do a technical audit, or run A/B split tests to improve performance. Acquiring new subscribers keeps your programs alive, so it’s crucial to have effective, functioning sources. There are various examples of company dashboards you can follow to organize and track your metrics.

Get To the Next Level

Taking these high-level KPIs a step further allows you to gain even more insight into how your program performs and how your subscribers interact with your brand messaging. Routinely look at your Revenue Per Message, Average Order Value, and Unique Click results for more detail into how much revenue your emails and text messages are bringing in. These owned channels should be converting at a higher rate than others like Paid Search and Social, and they should be getting more activity per message. Inspect your top-performing messages further to see what helped contribute towards those larger results; maybe it’s the products you recommend, specific categories, number of CTAs, or others.

If you haven’t looked at these KPIs before, you can compare them against benchmarks for a starting point. But it’s critical to set your own goals and targets. Benchmarking exercises can be nuanced with lots of different factors, and you know your business best!

Look Beyond List Growth

Another second-level opportunity to track performance is through your active list growth. Building a solid cross-channel list is imperative, as contacts who subscribe to both email and SMS programs have upwards of 30% higher Lifetime Value than single-channel subscribers. Therefore, you should focus on bringing engaged contacts like this to your program. Whether you classify engagement based on clicks, conversions, or a combination, your active audience segment should grow throughout the year. Before the holidays and Q4, take the opportunity to do some list cleaning and record segment sizes to see how they (hopefully) advance over time.

With that, monitoring the acquisition rates of your popups and other opt-in strategies is essential to ensure they’re successfully bringing in these engaged contacts. The traffic should be consistent with your website trends, as mentioned above, but so should your signup rates – When there’s an increase in activity, there should be more subscription events. When you see the reverse happening or acquisition flatlining, it’s time to test and change strategies.

Ensure the Automations are Flowing

Automated campaigns are earning more revenue share than ever in cross-channel marketing programs, so it’s imperative to review overall automation activity regularly. Message volume should be aligned with onsite activity, as they’re triggered by browsing, abandoning a cart, and making a purchase, so any lapse in activity could point to technical issues or opportunities for a refresh. We’ve proven that initiating these campaigns nearly immediately after an onsite event brings the highest return and conversion potential. You’ll want to ensure all your automations are set up and working effectively to maximize your ROI. To see the full picture, you could try tools like chatbot ROI calculator to sense the returnings of the messaging strategy.

Measure Against Yourself, Not Just Others

As mentioned previously, comparing your program results to benchmarks and your competitors can help but also be very nuanced. Remember always to measure your KPIs against your historical performance and individual goals to quantify success and growth for the cleanest comparison. Consider AOV, total list, total volume, etc. which aren't usually disclosed in benchmarking exercises. Plus, spikes and short increases in onsite traffic and message volume can adjust performance rates, so you’ll know what to exclude or hide in your analysis better than anyone else. There’s always a bit of a numbers game to play!

As discussed previously, A/B split testing is the best way to glean direct insights from your subscribers and should be planned throughout the year to inform optimizations. Take some time for final testing before the holidays NOW to get your strategies in place. Always look for statistical significance and re-test as needed before changing your email and SMS plans.

Get Started Today

It’s important to revisit both the basics and second-level KPIs of your cross-channel email and Text Message Marketing program every so often to ensure all cylinders are firing correctly. More data points can cause some confusion, but gems within provide the insights you need to understand how everything is working and where there’s room for improvement. Your Listrak Account Manager can work with you to interpret results and KPIs and find optimization opportunities. Stay tuned here and check out our other resources for more information on reviewing your program and measuring success. 

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