How the Reporting Tab Can Help You Send Effective Content
Never Underestimate the Power of the Reporting Tab
How many of you just LOVE reading charts, graphs, and other metrics reports? I’ll bet I didn’t get many raised hands but probably got a few rolled eyes. It surprises me how few people get excited about looking at reports. In fact, many never even set up Google Analytics to see what happens on their websites or watch the data from their social media accounts. We make decisions all the time about the content that we share, our headlines, our keywords, our blog topics, email campaign subject lines, calls to action, list enticements, etc. Too many of us make those decisions in a vacuum, when we could be learning from past successes (or mistakes), instead. So let’s take a closer look at the Reporting tab in Constant Contact and how it can quickly and easily help us make better content choices.
This is the Trend Overview graph that is part of the basic dashboard in your Reporting section. It tracks the Open and Click rates for your campaigns. You can see which emails had zero clicks, which ones had many clicks, and if you are lucky, you can find those emails that got every person who opened them to take an action.
If you are careful in how you name your campaigns, you can start to see trends in which types of emails were the most engaging without even opening the individual campaigns. From my above example, you can quickly see that the emails I sent out after each of my seminars or webinars got the most opens and the most clicks.
Based on this quick glance, I can draw a few conclusions about what makes one of my message types more effective:
My subject lines were consistent and clear about the purpose of the email
I know that I had promised to send a follow up, and that I sent it either the day of or the day after my class, making it timely and expected.
The clickable content was something that most of the people who opened the message actually wanted to have.
What about the campaigns that had no clicks at all. Those might take a little bit more digging to figure out, but you can easily open each campaign by scrolling down, sorting by the Click Through Rate column, and then picking the Campaign Name for those with 0% clicks.
In one case, I realized my call to action was very hard to find (no button, just a text link). In the others, I noticed that I was sending out special offers for new accounts. Since most of the people I was sending to were already Constant Contact customers, those offers weren’t of any use to them. Based on these two observations, I can make better decisions for future emails such as:
Always include a very visible and easily clicked call to action in the form of a button or enlarged (16-18 pt.) text link.
Segment my lists to track existing clients versus potential clients, and only send offers relevant to each type.
Make sure offers and promotions don’t make up the bulk of my emails to those lists. Make sure I follow a value-first philosophy with them.
I didn’t have to dig very deeply into reports in order to make a few key observations about my email content. The Reporting tab is a powerful tool, not one that should be avoided. I encourage you to check it regularly, even if you only take a few moments to glance and find out if people open and click. I also encourage you to put some thought into how you name your various campaigns so that you can draw conclusions with a quick glance at the graph. Are you thinking, "Hey, reports are exciting!" now? No? Well, I hope I’ve at least encouraged you to view those graphs and look at your analytics. Measuring = Marketing.