September 19, 2002, 12:00 AM

What the e-mail open rate doesn’t tell marketers

Marketers who spend on e-mail marketing without investing in analytics to track the on-site behavior of shoppers are missing the boat, Jupiter reports.


Many marketers judge the effectiveness of e-mail marketing campaigns simply on the number of recipients who open the message, but the open rate is only of limited usefulness in evaluating a campaign or planning future campaigns, according to findings from Jupiter Research.

Some 25%of companies polled by Jupiter say they are planning to implement an e-mail marketing application within a year, but most had no plans to implement either e-mail marketing or customer-level clickstream analysis to go with it. Retailers that don’t invest in analytical capabilities to track customer’s behavior on a site after they click through will be wasting some of their investment in e-mail marketing campaigns, Jupiter contends.

By contrast, e-mail campaigns that factor in relevant data gathered from clickstream analysis can boost response rates and sales significantly. Jupiter cites an online sports apparel retailer who assembled the customer list for an e-mail campaign offering NFL jerseys based not only on recency-frequency-monetary data from past purchasers and geographic data showing which shoppers lived close to NFL teams, but also on clickstream data that identified shoppers who had frequently viewed apparel on the site in the past year. The response rate was 62% and the promotion achieved sales of $1 million over the previous year’s campaign, which did not use clickstream data.


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