Why Do You Need Business Intelligence For Email Analytics?

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Krzysztof Wabia

Oct 7, 2022 • 8 min read
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Email marketing campaigns can be an extremely profitable tool, bringing as much ROI as $36 for each dollar spent. However, to access the untapped potential, your efforts need to be built on solid data and insights. Despite the basic email marketing analytics available in CRM tools, email marketers need access to bespoke, more customized analyses to maximize the effects of their work.

Email marketing comes with multiple variables to test. Which subject line works better? Should you broadcast in the morning or in the afternoon? Which customer segment should receive more mailings?

Some of the answers can be found in CRM class tools, such as Hubspot or Salesforce CRM. However, their analysis tools are incomplete and often force specialists to export data to Excel to carry out further analyses on their own.

The solution to this problem is to build professional, customized business intelligence (BI) dashboards that will provide all the necessary information in one place, increasing efficiency and minimizing the time needed to work with spreadsheets.

Analytics of email marketing data

Most often, the goal of email marketing is to target customers or prospects and encourage them to take an action, such as buying your product or getting in contact. So how do you raise the odds of success?

Why should you analyze email data?

The use of data collected from previous mailing campaigns can be used to select the optimal frequency, time of sending, target group, and email version. By making data-driven decisions, we increase the chances of campaign success and sales growth.

How do you use email marketing analytics?

Most CRM tools include an analytical module that shows the key performance indicators and dimensions, along with a trend analysis. Sometimes we also get automatically generated forecasts or other models. The most important email marketing metrics include:

  • Open rate
  • Click through rate (or click to open rate)
  • Bounce rate
  • Delivery rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Spam complaints

By analyzing historical data, specialists decide how best to run the campaign. Often, the charts have limited customization options and appear in different places on the portal, which might be time-consuming and insufficient.

How can business intelligence enhance standard email analytics?

If you want to unlock the potential of your email analytics, business intelligence tools like Tableau or Power BI should be your go-to solution. After loading the data into the data warehouse, BI tools give you full freedom in processing and visualizing the data.

BI specialists are able to create tailor-made dashboards where everything is in one place. You can easily analyze progress, compare data, and find actionable insights which would be otherwise unavailable.

Go beyond the limits of standard email analytics tools

What can you achieve with BI tools? Let us show you some of the low-hanging fruits which can be achieved by simply allowing specialists to slice and dice the data you are already collecting. We’ll also showcase examples that require slightly more preparation but give you a bigger advantage when making decisions.

Define custom email metrics and track them on your own dashboard

First, don't be afraid to define new email marketing metrics that better meet your business needs.

It could even be a simple modification of what you already use. You can create new KPIs to share with other stakeholders. In BI tools, it is very easy to do and visualize, both as tracking changes in time and as slice and dice by every dimension.

Advanced search and aggregations

In the next step, give specialists the possibility of advanced, multidimensional filtering and data split by various dimensions.

Depending on the business, the customer group, date and time of dispatch (including time zones), location, device, and many others may be important. It is important that you can analyze only a specific slice of data and that you can benchmark the data of one tick against the mean or compare with other groups.

Although this functionality, similar to pivot tables, seems very simple, it is rarely fully available in classic tools.

Mailing results analysis depending on broadcast time

Marketing specialists complain about the limited ability to analyze mailing results depending on the broadcast time. It is very important that the emails reach the recipients in the time that we judge as the best based on historical data. If the company you work for operates on a global or regional basis, it is important to adjust this dispatch time to the recipient's local time. In BI tools you can easily create a dashboard with such analytics and gain a big advantage.

What percentage of success belongs to email marketing? Attribution model

A common problem – especially for B2B businesses – is that the buyer’s journey is long and complex. An attribution model helps you verify the indirect impact of each marketing channel, with email being one of those.

The concept is to attribute a share of success to each individual email marketing campaign. Sometimes the basic models are available in CRM tools. However, for this type of analyst to bring real benefits, it is best to tailor it specifically to your business.

The biggest problem with these types of models is the input data, so it's important to be fully aware of how it works in your marketing platform in order to draw conclusions. We can achieve this with relatively little effort with the help of a data scientist, and the results can be shown and analyzed in BI tools.

Forecasting and “what-if” scenarios

In order to take email marketing analytics to a higher level, apart from descriptive analytics and charts, you need to use forecasting methods and modeling “what-if” scenarios.

Thanks to this, you are able to see the expected results of the campaign you plan to send and compare several scenarios to choose the best one. To make the forecast, you will need the help of data scientists. You can start with simple models and do the visualization and comparison of scenarios in BI tools.

Visual analytics of A/B testing

The A/B testing method is one of the basic functionalities that help in optimizing the efforts. First, you release two alternative versions of a mailing to small groups, and then compare which one generates better results and choose it to send to a wider audience.

Many CRM tools offer basic analytics of this type, but in order to get the most out of it, you should adapt the analysis of results and the scope of tests to your business. BI tools will allow you to quickly generate a dashboard that visually compares the results and offers the possibility of suggesting the necessary actions.

How to get the most out of email analytics with a business intelligence tool?

The way to see your email campaigns data in the BI tool should start with the selection and setting of your:

  • Data warehousing tool
  • ETL / ELT processes (extracting, transforming, and loading your raw data)
  • Business intelligence tool and environment

If your environment is already set up, define a roadmap, prioritize what you want to achieve, define and collect requirements, and then start building dashboards to maximize the outcome of your email marketing efforts.

If you need help at any stage, reach out to Netguru. Our team of data engineers and business intelligence specialists has extensive experience in marketing analysis. We will be happy to assist you in achieving your goals.

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Krzysztof Wabia

Krzysztof Wabia works as a Senior Business Intelligence Specialist at Netguru. He is skilled in...
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