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For email channels, should you attribute program status success based off of an open or click and why?

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For email channels, should you attribute program status success based off of an open or click and why?

Hi All!

Question:

For email channels, should you attribute program success based off of an open or click and why?

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: For email channels, should you attribute program status success based off of an open or click and why?

For Email programs I rarely if ever have that as a stand along program and never have opens or clicks as a success step.  Let's take a look at the example if you do.

I have an email promoting white paper A.

I have a Content Program:  white paper A - captures people who fills out the form = success.  This is for anyone across any channel that fills out the form.

I have a Web Asset Program:  white paper A - capture people who fills out the form = success from anyone who is organically driven here i.e. not social, not paid, not adwords,

LinkedIn Program :  White paper A

etc. 

If I send an email, if this is a nurture email I put it in the nurture channel, again, I don't set a success.

If I am just blasting it to just send it, I would not set opens or clicks as success.  The success is captured in the other programs stated above.

I receive the email, I fill out the form, I become a member in both the content program and the web asset program. 

The reason why I don't set a success in the email program is because of the MT attribution.  Marketo actually does a pretty good job on the linear MT attribution. 

In a parallel universe, I set success at Email clicks.  I send out an email, you click on it.  You buy something.  That email program get's a portion of the credit. 

I look at my reports and see that emails are contributing significantly to pipeline.  I should do more emails.  So I should send 50 emails, and pipeline will get attributed to anyone who clicks.  You end up diluting the usefulness of the attribution.

I buy something for 100,000

I was sent 9 emails and I clicked on 4, I went to a webinar and sat there for 60 min. 

4 email program success (20,000 each for the success) = $80,000

1 webinar program success (20,000)

When you look at your reports you will see email have a huge influence on pipeline and takes away credit from the usefulness of the attribution data. 

Summary - emails should be a part of a nurture program or another tactic. 

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7 REPLIES 7
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Level 8

Re: For email channels, should you attribute program success based off of an open or click and why?

Good question and very tricky.

The subject line is responsible for the open, the content is responsible for the click.  I'm guessing the ultimate goal is to drive people to your website?

Is it possible that email by itself is too vague? Is the email just a tactic for a larger campaign? 

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Re: For email channels, should you attribute program success based off of an open or click and why?

Hi Robb,

We use email marketing (email blasts, drip campaigns, and nurture campaigns) at almost all stages in our revenue model.  We send email campaigns to drive engagement with our emails in hopes that they (wherever they are at in the buying journey) are led to purchasing from us for the first time or drive repeat business. 

The tactic is usually for them to engage with some content such as a whitepaper, brochure, case study, etc or use a hard cta to bring them to our web site's contact us, request a quote, or trial forms.  Sometimes we just want them to engage with the email content (read the email).

I am asking this question because we are working on setting everything up RIGHT for the first time.  We what to attribute success properly so that we can say that yes this person who now has an opportunity was influence by this email program.  We are working on setting ourselves up for success with reporting in regards to Multi-Touch and more.

I guess the question really is what constitutes as being "influenced" by an email?

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Re: For email channels, should you attribute program success based off of an open or click and why?

This is a question with regards to defining program status success for an email channel.  Maybe that was not clear in my original question.  I updated the original question post to include "status".

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Level 8

Re: For email channels, should you attribute program success based off of an open or click and why?

It's a great question and one that I'm also thinking about. Attribution is everyone goal and setting up campaigns can be tricky in Marketo, which can be very tactic based.  It's not easy to say "For this strategy, here are all the channels employed and all of the channels that worked well."  if you're trying to drive opportunities, for example, you know first touch and last touch but you don't have a way to say "Opened X many Nurture emails, attended 2 webinars on the topic, viewed 5 web pages, downloaded a white paper, etc. etc." You can look at those all separately but not in an analytical way that shows contribution to opportunity.

So here's where you have to think about hand-offs.  For example, let's say you have a piece of gated content.

1. You send emails promoting the content.

2. You have digital ads pointed to the content.

3. You have it as a touch in your nurture

4. You have SEO tactics to draw people there.

At the end of the day, you want to maintain 1 program with that gated asset so you can see who all filled out the form.  You have a couple of options:

1. In the Gated Asset, create lists for all of the tactics (email, nurture, SEO, ads, etc).  When someone fills out the form, put them in a list that attributes them to the source.

2. Create a dynamic campaign ID that shows the name of the gated asset and the source.

3. Create success steps for the asset that shows how people reached it

I mean, ultimately an email doesn't create the opportunity. The email is bait that moves the lead to the next step that moves that to be put in contact with sales who create the opp, right? You email them to see a white paper, for which they give you information. If they don't bite, you offer them a video, etc.

Sorry to ramble on, but I'm thinking about this too and Marketo unfortunately is a "last touch" tracking program for the most part. You'll know they filled out the form for the white paper which scored enough to qualify for sales but you don't know that it was the email that drove them there or it took 7 impressions from multiple channels before they finally filled out the form. Maybe they saw the ad, visited the web pages, were part of the nurture but finally they got an email and said "OK, I'll check them out." That email wasn't the 1 and only thing that earned that form fill, it was just the button they found at the right time but now you're saying that a dollar invested in email is far better than a dollar invested in paid search or digital ads or nurture.

So for now, maybe just set success as "Clicked Link."

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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: For email channels, should you attribute program status success based off of an open or click and why?

It depends on your business as well as the flow of the journey.

Example for most asset CTAs

  1. Send an email
  2. lead opens (not really that engaged, so no Success)
  3. lead clicks (ok, engaged, MAYBE Success)
  4. lead ends up on web page, fills out form (SUCCESS!!)

So most of us send this type of email and I wouldn't consider it a success until the form fill.

If it's "just' an email with no other follow up, then a click might not be there at all.

Think of your Program Channels as "What's the goal here"?

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Re: For email channels, should you attribute program status success based off of an open or click and why?

Hi Josh,

Wouldn't it make sense that the success should be a click since once they click the link to go to the website the content on the website now has influence?  The email could have been a success to drive them somewhere but the page was a failure.

Let's say you do it the way I described and if all goes well and dandy:

  1. The email program will receive success since they clicked a link and will be attributed credit in a MT world
  2. The program tracking the web form will receive credit since they filled out a form on it and will be attributed credit in a MT world.

Thoughts?

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Level 7 - Champion

Re: For email channels, should you attribute program status success based off of an open or click and why?

For Email programs I rarely if ever have that as a stand along program and never have opens or clicks as a success step.  Let's take a look at the example if you do.

I have an email promoting white paper A.

I have a Content Program:  white paper A - captures people who fills out the form = success.  This is for anyone across any channel that fills out the form.

I have a Web Asset Program:  white paper A - capture people who fills out the form = success from anyone who is organically driven here i.e. not social, not paid, not adwords,

LinkedIn Program :  White paper A

etc. 

If I send an email, if this is a nurture email I put it in the nurture channel, again, I don't set a success.

If I am just blasting it to just send it, I would not set opens or clicks as success.  The success is captured in the other programs stated above.

I receive the email, I fill out the form, I become a member in both the content program and the web asset program. 

The reason why I don't set a success in the email program is because of the MT attribution.  Marketo actually does a pretty good job on the linear MT attribution. 

In a parallel universe, I set success at Email clicks.  I send out an email, you click on it.  You buy something.  That email program get's a portion of the credit. 

I look at my reports and see that emails are contributing significantly to pipeline.  I should do more emails.  So I should send 50 emails, and pipeline will get attributed to anyone who clicks.  You end up diluting the usefulness of the attribution.

I buy something for 100,000

I was sent 9 emails and I clicked on 4, I went to a webinar and sat there for 60 min. 

4 email program success (20,000 each for the success) = $80,000

1 webinar program success (20,000)

When you look at your reports you will see email have a huge influence on pipeline and takes away credit from the usefulness of the attribution data. 

Summary - emails should be a part of a nurture program or another tactic. 

View solution in original post