Recently, we got a chance to review campaigns run by two different agencies for their clients. The objective was to take a look at the data, the mailers and arrive at recommendations for revising their strategy going forward.
What are the specific things we looked for? Here are some of the ways in which we looked at the data:
- Reviewed each campaign separately
- Compared the campaign performance against industry benchmarks for open rates and click through rates (CTRs)
- Studied mails with highest open rate, CTR, unsubscription rate, largest contrast between open rate and CTR, etc
- Studied the subject lines, especially the ones with open rates above and below industry benchmarks
- Looked for patterns in the day and time performance of email blasts
- Stayed alert for any data discrepancy being shown in a tool or content errors that affect CTAs
- Studied the frequency of mailers received by a subscriber to determine mail fatigue
Here are some of the things we found:
Poor performance of campaigns
For both the campaigns, we saw lower than industry standards for open and click through rates. This is easily attributed to unverified databases, and no work done on segmenting them. Even with opt-in databases, the performance was low, indicating a clear need for segmentation.
A review of lists and campaigns sent them threw up instances of many people receiving the same mails over and over again, which of course doesn’t serve any purpose. Clearly the old and perhaps spammy practices of running email campaigns still continue. And the data shows it doesn’t work. Agencies can now take this data to their clients and say that the strategy has to change. Get focused, get specific, get engagement.
An in-depth review of the content threw up some interesting data for agencies to work with. When the From field used a generic impersonal name of a department or office, the open rates were abysmal. Use of small CTA buttons or not having a specific CTA, lack of images, and too much content stuffed into a busy layout were some of the things we observed.
Based on the campaign data, we came up with recommendations to help the agencies do the following:
- How to proceed with database segmentation for various lists
- What kind of mailing frequencies to work with
- The areas in which they could do A/B testing to improve engagement rates. These included testing of size of CTA buttons, offers, different day to send the emails, and different layouts for specific types of mailers
- Possibilities of how content could be approached differently
The reports were well received by both the agencies, as it has helped them work on their strategy for the year. As a matter of fact, one of the agencies has recorded a 42% increase in their open-rates and a 34% increase in their CTR so far in 2017.