Leveraging Advanced Intelligence in Marketing Automation Reporting
Email marketing is one of the most widely operated digital marketing channels. Email is a straightforward method of reaching customers and increasing lead conversions. Based on its usage, it's safe to say that email marketing is still the wisest option for a successful marketing campaign.
But how can you distinguish which contacts are eager to connect more from those already overwhelmed with too many emails? With Oracle Eloqua, this challenge is handled by leveraging AI and advanced intelligence capabilities, using data science to analyze specific behaviors.
This article describes three innovative takes on marketing automation performance assessment, ones that need to be considered to avoid email burnout and attrition. Read on to achieve the utmost value with minimal invested resources.
When undergoing Fatigue Analysis on your marketing automation audiences, you can determine how fatigued (tired, oversaturated) each of your contacts is because of the email communication they receive.
In a nutshell, the feature allows you to change your message frequency to reduce disengagement and minimize opt-outs, contributing to a better customer relationship by lowering the chance that you trigger a “spammy” emotional response.
Performed autonomously by MarTech platforms, Fatigue Analysis intelligently decides contacts' level of fatigue based on each individual’s prior engagement with campaigns and their predicted chance of disengagement.
When this functionality is enabled in Eloqua, a corresponding Fatigue Level value is generated by the marketing automation software using AI. It is then added to the Fatigue Level contact field for each contact.
More in-depth, the Fatigue Level is calculated using both email open engagement and the number of email messages sent to a given contact in the last 180 days (6 months). So, Fatigue Analysis considers the recency, and the frequency of email sends and email opens.
You may wonder exactly how and why this is important.
Your Eloqua database could comprise inactive contacts. This means that you have an opportunity to send more email communications to more audiences, who would otherwise remain inactive.
Your inactive contacts are those who haven’t received an email from you in the last 45 days (about one and a half months). Of course, some of these contacts are also unreachable (unsubscribed and hard bounce contacts), but many - you could still email.
Ultimately, Fatigue Analysis allows marketers to group their audiences into different segments by saturation level. In Eloqua, these clusters are Inactive, Undersaturated, Just Right, Saturated, and Oversaturated contacts.
But Fatigue Analysis also contributes somewhere else. It helps you to better understand the relationship between email sends and open rates; critical KPIs, which, when in correlation with one another as well as Fatigue, provide unique insights into marketing automation performance.
Using a sends and open rate correlation chart, you can figure out the relationship between your email sends and the total open rate. To allow you to further evaluate engagement rates for multiple segments, this can be performed for each particular Fatigue Level.
In this sense, the correlation chart will comprise a line graph (standing for the Fatigue Level's relative total open rate for the last six months, excluding bounces) and a bar graph (representing the Fatigue Level's total email sends during the last six months).
In the figure below, you can get an idea of how this chart looks for a period of two months.
In terms of functionality and applied use, marketers benefit from such charts to compare each Fatigue Level's relative open rate to its total number of sends, making a clear distinction in both metrics across multiple Fatigue Levels.
For instance, we can see the rate at which Saturated members open emails and compare it to the number of emails they receive. It is expected that Oversaturated and Saturated contacts have a much lower open rate than Just Right or Undersaturated contacts.
This type of graph can confirm your assumption and provide additional insights that you can transform into plans of action. Besides, as you try to reduce the number of emails sent to Oversaturated contacts, you can check the progress of your efforts here.
The correlation between Email Sends and the Email Open Rate is undoubtedly useful when integrated with Fatigue Analysis, but its potential goes way beyond.
Taking a closer look at the Eloqua database, you can split email metrics by region. This allows you to see how contacts from different areas are receiving and engaging with your emails.
In the example chart below, which comprises a one-month email communication overview, we notice that Eloqua sent the most emails from Monday until Thursday, followed by a decrease in the number of emails sent over the weekend. We can see how many emails were sent across multiple regions and take a glance at the email open rate in comparison.
Keeping an eye on the email open rate in correlation to the total number of emails sent, at all times, is something we as marketers know we must always do. We have clear goals and know we can only get our valuable content out there for our prospects’ delight if we first compel subscribers to open our emails.
Charts similar to the one depicted above can be a gold mine for email marketers, allowing us to benchmark our open rate against industry averages, per sector, per geographic area, per fatigue level, or any other segment we see fit.
And, of course, no matter how good we feel about the open rate, we know we can always increase it even more and get our subscribers to open even more emails.
Luckily, if we know how to listen, prospects constantly give us clues on what is valuable for them, and when they expect to receive it.
Below, we’ve listed just a couple of examples of strategies aimed at increasing open rates:
In addition, the email open rate KPI is also influenced by the hour when the email is sent, and not only by the day of the week.
Research shows that subscribers are most likely to open and read emails at the beginning of the day, roughly around 10 AM, or at 1 PM, when they are catching up on their emails after lunch.
Another important factor to note is that 23% of all email opens occur during the first hour after delivery. After 24 hours, an email's chance of being opened may drop below 1%!
Ultimately, when choosing the right hour/day to send emails, past campaigns that had a great outcome provide the clearest indications. A/B testing to investigate best-performing subject lines and content is invaluable at this stage as well. But these techniques involve extra work and time. Besides, imagine the overload of wishing to personalize your emails’ timing for multiple contacts with very different email interaction patterns.
For this reason, it’s wise to adopt a smarter, AI-based tool that makes personalized email send time decisions based on prospect engagement.
In Oracle Eloqua, this is the Send Time Optimization feature.
Send Time Optimization is an Eloqua advanced intelligence cloud service that allows marketing automation professionals to send email communication at the optimal time for each contact. It offers the possibility to engage with potential customers more effectively, gaining their attention through personalization.
This tool autonomously determines the right time (hour) to email each contact, individually, based on when they were historically most attentive to their emails.
However, typical AI send time optimization services can only determine the best time of the day to email. This means that contacts will receive email communication at the optimal time of the day, regardless of the day on which they receive the message.
The exciting part comes when the AI cloud service can establish both the best time of the day and the day of the week. With this option enabled in the marketing automation platform, Eloqua determines which combination of the hour and day is most optimal for each contact.
Ultimately, both Send Time Optimization options can be used when sending Eloqua emails through a complex or straightforward campaign alike. It all depends on what you see fit.
Having said that, we shift our attention slightly towards the bigger picture. A crucial part of an effective marketing automation program is measuring and evaluating current operations.
While many metrics deliver valuable insights, certain indicators are key to assessing effectiveness and performance, deserving special attention.
Ultimately, no matter how satisfied we generally are with our campaign performance, we can always benefit from more Eloqua features to even further drive success. AI-based analytics and intelligent, automatized features have opened extraordinary new doors for marketers - it would be a pity to not leverage them.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of these capabilities, don't hesitate to contact us.
I'd love to think of myself that I help businesses get in touch with their potential customers. I'm a dedicated person to my path and I will confess that I'm in love with Eloqua and pizza