Sep 9, 2008

Tracking Conversions and ROI from your email marketing campaigns

rev-created.jpgI’m one of those pseudo-techies (the official term is Designerd) that understands analytics and all that, but looking at my Google Analytics reports always makes me feel like I’m in Calculus IV class again. My palms get all sweaty, I get a little dizzy and confused by all the numbers, and I just focus on the "pretty pretty graphs."

So a little while ago, I picked up Web Analytics: An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik. It’s a nice book that gives practical advice on what kind of things you can measure with different analytics packages, and more importantly, what they mean for your business. Check it out if you love your analytics stats, but you don’t feel like you’re using them to your maximum potential.

Avinash blogs over at Occam’s Razor, and in our research for MailChimp’s Analytics360 tool, I stumbled across: Excellent Analytics Tip#5: Conversion Rate Basics & Best Practices

I noticed this:

Tip #1: Always show revenue next to conversion rate. Conversion rate just by itself can be misleading in terms of opportunity for any website. So my recommendation is to show the actual revenue number (or leads or newsletter sign ups or whatever is your conversion) next to the conversion rate %.

Point being, some of your highest conversion rates don’t always mean most revenue.

In MailChimp’s Analytics360 tool, we pull stats from your Google Analytics account, and mash them up with your email marketing reports, to put it all into context. You’ll see exactly what your campaign’s conversion rate and revenue is, side-by-side. Here’s a screenshot from an actual customer’s MailChimp campaign report:

analytics360-screen2.jpg

You’ll notice in the screenshot that we pull in a bunch of other stats from Google Analytics. Now, these stats have always been available to you there in Google, but when they’re mashed into your email report, you get new context.

Now, instead of having a tab open with your MailChimp report, and another tab open with analytics, and then cross tabulating all the numbers into Microsoft Excel, or your calculator, you can just get a bird’s eye view of it all in one place: "This email campaign generated 969 visits to my site, and each subscriber who visited bought roughly $86.38 worth of stuff, and my overall ROI was almost 7,000%. Man, I so deserve a raise."

MailChimp’s Analytics360 is totally free for our customers. It’s an add-on that you activate under your Account Settings. If you run an e-commerce site, and you use Google Analytics, you should give it a try (especially for the upcoming holiday season). Here’s how to set it up: