Blast! Self Storage Email Marketing, Part 3: Metrics

February 21, 2012 3
Blast! Self Storage Email Marketing, Part 3: Metrics

Welcome to the third installment of our email marketing series for self-storage. So far, we know that an ethically compiled opt-in list is crucial for reader retention, and proper scheduling is invaluable for expanding an email’s reach. Today, we’ll address some methods for measuring the success of your email campaign with metrics you can’t leave home without.

Rachel Greenfield, Marketing Analyst at SpareFoot, has been our resident advisor through this series. She’s in charge of packaging and sending emails to over 5,000 SpareFoot clients.

Staying on track
Rachel said marketers must have a means of tracking email performance. Email clients like Constant Contact or Mailchimp help streamline the mass email process and offer intuitive analytics to show which emails are being opened when, by whom, and whether or not any links in your message are being clicked. If you don’t feel the need or the financial flexibility to utilize a third-party email client, you’ll need to get cozy with your regular analytics program. Gathering this data will help define your campaign and refine your approach going forward.

Your email tracking efforts should act as a natural extension of your normal marketing campaign tracking. Your facility’s website should already be equipped with an analytics tool like Google Analytics to follow important metrics, including number of page visits, bounce rate and traffic sources. Google Analytics can also be used to track things like how many visits to your website came through a specific email campaign. This is invaluable for determining which features of a particular campaign were effective in garnering website traffic. With enough data, you can even go so far as to determine how your email campaign effects your conversion rate.

3 metrics to get your campaign rolling:

  • New subscribers/unsubscribers. This metric helps you keep track of the size and overall effectiveness of your email campaigns. Unsubscribers who were previously long-time recipients might indicate that your content is losing its relevance or appeal. To build new subscribers, give people a chance to opt in to your marketing emails at every opportunity— from signing a lease to monthly bill notification, from a sign-up sheet on your counter to a sign-up form you link to on social media.
  • Open rate and bounce rate. If you aren’t using an email client, tracking open rates can be accomplished with a simple tool in Google Analytics. Essentially, each email is embedded with a tiny pixel-sized image that feeds you data whenever it is activated by someone opening the email. Keep in mind, this typically requires an HTML-formatted email to enable the image function. Low open rates suggest your list targeting is off, or there is something in the subject header deterring would-be readers. Bounce rates are important for tracking bad email addresses and necessary for keeping a clean list of contacts.
  • Click-through rate. How many times do your readers click through a link in your email? This metric is comparatively easy to track because it directly relates to your normal website analytics and doesn’t require HTML formatting. Corroborating your open rate and click rate can give you some insight as to the effectiveness of your links. For example, divide the number of opens your email received by the number of clicks for a given link, and you should have a nice percentage from which you can determine your next step.

There’s nothing sexy about data, but the fact is that an email campaign is doomed to fail without diligent information gathering. Stay tuned for our next installment of Blast! Self-Storage Marketing Guide. Up next: Choosing the right email client to suit your facility’s marketing goals.

How is your email marketing campaign coming along? Leave all your questions and comments below.

Now be sure to read the other articles in this series: 
Email Marketing 1: List building
Email Marketing 2: Planning and scheduling

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  • Nick

    After years of swearing by Constant Contact, I’ve recently switched over to MailChimp and I actually prefer it. The UI is a little less stuffy.

    Both services will actually allow you to view which links or image links are being clicked through the most, which when given enough data, can tell you where to put your most important calls to action.

    • Rachel Greenfield

      I’m a fan of Mailchimp, too. They are a cool company in general because in the somewhat boring niche industry of email marketing platforms, they keep things fun and interesting. There’s a metaphor for storage somewhere in there…

  • Self Storage Investing

    When something has a good CTR, I try to use that type of content/wording more often.