Five tips for turning metrics into money

6 minute read

Here at Sign-Up.to, we want our clients to get the best return possible from their online marketing. That’s why our accounts not only enable you to manage your email, mobile and social marketing in one place, but also provide a wide range of analysis tools for each channel. The most recent additions to our analytics tools, usage statistics and Google Analytics support for data capture forms, can further help you to continuously progress and improve your marketing efforts.

Here are five simple tips for making sense of the numbers.

1. Limit your test variables

Split testing is a great way to identify the most effective techniques, but it’s important to only change one variable at a time. This allows you to identify the aspect which is affecting results by comparing the results of the different versions.

For example, if you wanted to see whether adding personalisation to the subject line of your emails made a difference, you could create one version of your next campaign with personalisation and one without. If the email with personalisation was more successful, you could then test different types of personalisation (for example, first name versus title and surname) and compare results to refine your future campaigns.

2. Take a holistic approach

Focussing on one specific metric can give a very skewed insight into your marketing activities. The size of a database is often an appealing metric to report on, but concentrating on this alone can result in sending (and paying for) tens of thousands of emails while only a handful are opened. It can also be tempting to write subject lines which improve open rates but don’t match the content, resulting in a very low percentage of click-throughs because subscribers are disappointed when they open the email.

While the stand-alone metric (subscriber number or open rate) looks good in both of these cases, the ROI for these campaigns will be incredibly low. It’s important to take a holistic approach to your marketing analysis and ensure that you’re combining data from every conversion point up to and including the goal of a campaign. I recommend taking measures to gradually improve each metric in turn and regularly revisiting them to ensure that your results are improving across the board.

3. Use a statistically significant sample size

This is a really simple concept; the more data points you have, the more accurate your analysis will be. It’s common knowledge that if you toss a coin, the probability of getting heads is 50%*. However, if you tossed a coin four times and it came up heads three times, with no further information you might assume that the probability of a coin coming up heads is 75%. If you tossed the coin 1,000 times, you’re far more likely to get a percentage closer to 50%. The number of samples you take will depend on the amount of resource you have, but generally I use 100 as an absolute minimum.

4. Use percentages

When used consistently, percentages give a sense of scale. For example, a data capture form on your website has 50 subscriptions in one week. If you had 500,000 views, that’s only one hundredth of a percent who have subscribed and we would be concerned as to why so few people were signing up. If the form only had 100 views though, that’s a 50% subscription rate which is really encouraging. From this, the next step would be to drive more traffic to your form page or move the form to a busier page.

5. Use visual aids

Graphs are your friends, especially when you’ve got a lot of data points; they make it easier to spot trends than staring at long lists of figures. If you have a Sign-Up.to account, we do a lot of the hard work for you. You can find a graph of all of your subscribers on the ‘Subscribers’ tab on your Home page, or generate lots of different graphs by using our email analysis tools under the Analyse tab.

Subscriber graph

In summary

My background is heavily scientific so I’m a keen advocate of data analysis. Looking at results and interpreting them is how you glean useful information about events. While marketing is dramatically different compared to my original field (pharmacology), the rules of data analysis still apply. Taking a logical, scientific approach to analysing your marketing activities can be highly beneficial for making sure you don’t overlook your successes and continuously improve the results of marketing campaigns.

What marketing analysis do you do? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below. If you need help with using the analysis tools, you can contact our friendly Support team who will be glad to answer your queries.

 

*Actually, it’s not exactly 50%. There’s a bias towards the side which was facing up when the coin was tossed and a tiny chance that it’ll land on it’s edge.