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Out of ‘Site’, Out of Mind?

How often are you sending out your email campaigns? Email frequency is going to vary by customer, seasonality and a variety of other factors, of course, but at a minimum you need to be communicating with your customers at least once per month. If you let more than a month go by without contacting your users they forget about you and your site is no longer in the forefront of their minds. When they are ready to make a purchase you are ‘out of site, out of mind.’ Additionally allowing a large gap in between sends will often result in a large number of unsubscribes when you resume sending because customers have forgotten about you. In fact you should email as frequently as you can as long you can add tangible value to your customers.

Value can be measured by keeping track of a few key performance indicators:

Open Rate – Are your customers opening the email, or is it left in a lonely folder

Click through Rate – Are they interested enough in the content to click through your
email to visit your site

Unsubscribe Rate – Are you too clingy? Are they requesting an email restraining order
by Unsubscribing? You don’t want to be forgotten, but they also
need a chance to miss you

Conversion Rate – Are they not only clicking through your emails, but purchasing items
once they arrive on your site? Are you getting into their heads AND their wallets?

Keep track of these metrics and you’ll get a sense if you are adding value or not. If you email too frequently, open rates, click through rates and conversion rates will decrease and unsubscribe rates will increase. We like to see open rates around 20%, click through rates around 10%, unsubscribe rates under .75% and conversion rates about 5%.

“How do I know what my Conversion Rate is? I have no way to track this, do I?”
Obviously you have not talked to Christina because this is her favorite tip for clients!

Check back next week for the answer to this question and many more.

Optimize email for mobile devices

According to a report from Knotice over 20% of retail email is opened on a mobile device. This number has certainly grown since Q4 2010. Are your emails optimized for a mobile device? According to Kathie Ross of Email Energetics you should follow these tips in the design of your email:
1. Include pre-header text at the top that is clickable
2. Include link to mobile version which is a text version.
3. Top navigation should be text links
4. Use alt text on images

Checking mobile usage in Google Analytics

Do you know how many visitors are accessing your website via a mobile device?

Mobile commerce is one of the hottest topics being discussed in eCommerce. However, mobile commerce is tiny compared to overall web sales. According to Forrester’s Mobile Commerce Forecast, 2011 To 2016, retailers can expect an average of 2% of their online sales to be transacted using a mobile device in 2011. According to the report this number is expected to grow to 7% of total online sales by 2016.

Where do you fall on the spectrum? Do you need to have a bigger mobile presence? Do the math. If online sales via a mobile device is a significant dollar amount it is probably time to begin investing in a mobile solution for your website. You can’t know unless you’re reviewing the data. Start by checking monthly. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website you can check your mobile usage stats by going to Visitors > Mobile > Mobile Devices.

If you are using the new version of Google Analytics go to Visitors > Technology > Mobile


The Next Big Thing: Multi-channel Funnels

Want to see how all your marketing efforts work together to create a conversion? The new Multi-Channel Funnels feature in Google Analytics does this by showing you all the marketing efforts (or channels) a buyer interacted with prior to purchasing. It includes everything: organic search, paid search, affiliates, ads, social networks and more. Here’s an introductory video on multi-channel funnels.

Google Product Extentions: U.S. School Supply

I’ve pointed out product extensions before as a great way to increase AdWord effectiveness. Here’s another example of how powerful they can appear in relation to a growing number of product photos in the limited ad space Google provides. U.S. School Supply not only gets the usual blurb with the usual link, but five additional links, photos of product and price listings… all for no difference in the CPC (cost per click).

You can read more about enabling Google Product Extensions here.

Oh, and did you notice the stars in the lower right corner, next to the Pottery Barn ad ( That’s another neat little trick for increasing conversions from AdWords. It’s called “Seller Rating Extensions” and Google claims they get an average 17% higher CTR (click through rate) than ads without them. You can read more about them here.

Product Extensions Drive AdWord Conversions

We’re always trying to find ways to increase conversions from AdWords, and here’s a great one. You can expand your AdWords listing with extremely specific merchandise information by enabling what Google calls “product extensions”. As you can see from the photo, when I search for “order soccer trophies online” I get the expected collection of ads down the right side of Google, but Dinn Trophy has enabled product extensions, so their ad stands out in the crowd. They’re paying the same CPC (cost-per-click) regardless of whether a user clicks on the main text or any of the specific offers within the product list.

So how do you get this working? This article from Google walks you through it. You need to be using Google Merchant Center, but you’re already doing that, right? 🙂