It’s no secret that marketers now need to account for how each tactic and channel contribute to business growth. If they aren’t, they are selling themselves short. Email marketing is no exception—time and budgets invested into email acquisition and retention programs must deliver measurable results.

The good news is that by doing just one thing, adding call and text message tracking to email campaigns, marketers can generate more leads with their existing tactics and also, increase the measurable ROI. If, as an email marketer, you think you have already tried every optimization strategy to lift your conversion rates, read on and you may discover something you have not yet tested.

Start by measuring more and reporting higher ROI

To report ROI and influence on business growth, marketers use all means possible to accurately measure their campaign performance and count every lead they deliver. Or do they? A survey released by CMO Council and Deloitte in December 2016 makes clear that measuring campaign lead generation and ROI are significant challenges for CMOs. More than 73% of survey respondents use revenue growth as a key measure of success. Yet, only three per cent claim that they are extremely effective at communicating and quantifying marketing’s impact on the business. The majority of respondents (46% are getting better while 22% are working on it) are on the path to tying business growth back to their own efforts but are not quite there yet.

This means that most marketers, including email marketers, are not happy with how they measure their campaign performance, which results in not getting the full credit for all the leads they bring in. Even with the abundance of email marketing automation tools, gaps in attribution still exist and many marketers find they are not equipped with the necessary technology to track every lead and optimize their marketing based on a holistic, complete picture.

What can you do about it? First, understand how your email marketing is currently being measured and then see if there is anything you are missing when reporting on performance. Calls and text messages are two responses to emails that are often ignored yet boost both the measurable ROI and consumer engagement. To go deeper into how email call and text tracking delivers an immediate positive impact, read this detailed guide visit our website for a detailed guide (link in bio) and try measuring more than the traditional opens, clicks, and form fill conversions.

Improve further by adding more ways to respond that speak to the growing mobile audience

Currently, email marketing remains one of the most effective marketing channels with an estimated $38 return for every one dollar spent, according to a 2015 report by DMM. Despite the rise in influencer marketing, display ads and paid SEO, email has not been rendered obsolete and ineffective. Instead, it’s a healthy avenue for growth, but it’s not being used to its full potential to generate more engagement and has not been fully quantified with the most accurate attribution, a phone call or a text—two potential ways to respond to emails that are being ignored by marketers and not attributed to the email campaign that drove them. These response types are especially relevant and natural for today’s mobile consumers.

Why is a phone call or a text two of the most meaningful responses to an email campaign? When customers call or text a business, they are showing a level of engagement and intent to purchase that is significantly stronger than if they were to simply click through to a website.

If Google’s change to call extensions wasn’t enough proof (they will now automatically add call extensions to ads that don’t have them running when a phone number is prominently displayed on a website) their research on the path to purchase tells the rest of the story: 61% of mobile searchers state that click-to-call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process. When consumers pick up the phone, they are already past the inspiration phase and ready to make a purchase.

Offering texting to consumers is just as critical as a phone call for capturing those leads, once again validated by Google, which added text extensions on ads in fall 2016. Google recognizes that texting is set to completely transform consumer engagement in the coming years and the results are already astounding. One early adopter of Google’s message extension, Auto & General, saw an 80% higher conversion rate when they added it to ads. Imagine the potential effect on emails and landing pages when texting becomes an option for mobile consumers. As anything in email marketing, it is worth testing!

Capturing those qualified leads, the ones who make a call or send a text message, becomes important for measuring email campaign performance, when gaining full attribution is on the line. The traditional key ways to measure the success of email marketing programs can significantly benefit from making calls and texts a part of your reporting:

Conversions: How you define conversions needs to be consumer-centric. Consumers are increasingly on mobile devices and offering natural ways to respond such as texting and calling the business can attract even more responses. Adding ‘text us’ and ‘call us’ CTAs and reporting on them as conversions along with the ‘traditional’ purchases, form fills or landing page visits increases the number of meaningful data points, giving email marketers a full picture of their performance.

Overall ROI: Research shows that marketers are not happy with how they report on this gold standard of quantifying a campaign’s success. The impact of tracking calls and texts driven by email campaigns is two-fold: first, it increases your measured ROI and, second, it can boost the actual number of responses. If you offer more ways to connect with the business, you are more likely to get more leads from today’s educated mobile consumer who expects convenience, immediacy and control. With the same amount of budget allocated to your email campaigns, you can immediately see an improvement in performance.

Optimize with more tools and more data

The next step is to actively optimize campaigns through testing email formats and copy and analyzing the results. For testing a few variables, all that is needed are text-enabled call tracking numbers. But for large multi-variant tests or if you want to direct consumers to your landing pages, dynamic number insertion (or DNI), a technology that inserts a unique phone number for each page view, will provide the most flexibility and the most accurate data. Consider a few scenarios a marketer may face when testing call and text tracking from email campaigns.

Scenario 1: Text-enabled call tracking numbers for mobile-friendly consumer engagement

The most mobile-friendly option allows consumers to call directly from an email. Within the copy, they see a clickable phone number or a ‘call us’ button that directs them to their native voice call app. Instead of clicking through to a landing page, which can decrease engagement for mobile consumers, this option allows for a seamless switch between channels – email to call. If you wish to offer a texting option as well, use a text-enabled call tracking number and your ‘text us’ button will open a native text app for consumer to reach out to the business.

If marketers want to test two emails, all they need are two text-enabled call tracking numbers to begin. In the reporting on a dashboard or through an integration in the preferred email automation software, you will immediately see how many consumers called your business from each email and can see which version attracted more responses.

Scenario 2: Dynamic number insertion for boosting omnichannel engagement

If the campaign goal is to direct a consumer to a landing page or to test large multi-variant campaigns, dynamic number insertion will provide the most accurate and scalable results. Instead of including a clickable call tracking number that begins a call, a unique call tracking number appears on the landing page through dynamic number insertion for each click-through. DNI draws numbers from a pool matched to the expected traffic to the landing page, so no two simultaneous visitors see the same phone number. DNI minimizes the number of tracking lines needed for a campaign while providing high level of accuracy in the data.

In the reporting, marketers can see the number of calls or texts that came from an email campaign and they will also be able to link back the impressions and other pageviews on the site. If the visitor calls, marketers can see the call duration, the time and date of the call, caller ID and whether the call was answered or went to voicemail. For text responses, marketers will also be able to link the text back to the email, see why those consumers contacted the business and pass the hot lead on to sales to continue the conversation immediately.

What does this all mean for you?

Marketers who are not considering including and tracking phone calls and text messages across multiple marketing tactics, including email campaigns, are not optimizing their mobile marketing strategy for all possible channels to engage consumers. Email marketers should test everything at their disposal to stay relevant and to drive the ROI and call tracking numbers and texting are prime candidates for the new wave of email marketing innovation.

If you test or take away anything from this article, remember these four key points:

  • Engage consumers by giving them the option to easily call a business from emails to accelerate their journey from ad to purchase.
  • Increase engagement with text-enabled numbers by allowing consumers to connect with a business on their terms.
  • Know which emails are driving calls or texts to landing pages through dynamic number insertion technology.
  • Offering more channels to engage consumers and to gain a competitive edge.

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Direct Marketing.

 

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Olga Zakharenkava

Olga Zakharenkava is passionate about marketing and excels at helping businesses choose the right technology to solve their challenges. She spent the past 15 years immersed in marketing, tech and leadership, building great products and teams in startups and established enterprises. At Telmetrics (www.telmetrics.com), Olga helps marketers interpret rich data from consumer phone interactions and optimize their advertising campaigns to convert more callers into satisfied customers. https://ca.linkedin.com/in/olgazakharenkava

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