If you could buy the answer to your company’s ideal email frequency, you wouldn’t be taking the time to read this article. Marketers come to us each year searching for an answer that, without individual analysis, doesn’t exist.
They ask questions like, “How often should we be contacting our marketable database? What is the industry standard?” The answer is always, “It depends on you, your contacts, and their reactions to your communications.”
Every company wants to offer an experience their customers can’t get anywhere else. If you are in the business of differentiating yourself, why would you want a blanket approach to your touchpoint frequency?
This can be an lengthy undertaking, so if you’re wondering where to start, you’ve come to the right place! These steps will get you on your way to a customized, well-performing touchpoint frequency strategy.
1. Define your frequency ranges.
A frequency range represents the number of emails received by a contact in a set time period, usually one month. If you are a small team that sends only a handful of emails, your range may be split individually by 1, 2, 3, or 4 emails, with 5+ emails identified as your highest email frequency. If you are a global enterprise that sends several emails from multiple divisions, your range may be more along the lines of 1-5 or 6-10 emails, with 11+ emails identified as your highest range.
2. Identify the total contacts in each frequency range every month.
Now that you have defined your email ranges, calculate the number of contacts that fall into each range per month. The easiest way to accomplish this is the newest Oracle Eloqua OBIEE report, Email Frequency by Month. This report shows the past 7 months of frequency data and the number of contacts emailed within frequency ranges of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6-10, and 11+ emails.
If you wish to customize your email frequency ranges further than the predefined report measures, the next best option is to export the email send activity to a data warehouse and visualize the data with your own business intelligence (BI) application.
3. Measure the response rates within each frequency range.
It is not enough to understand your outbound communication trends; you must also be aware of the market’s response to those trends. Your team may assume that emailing a contact more than twice a week causes exhaustion; however, the data could prove otherwise.
Unfortunately, there are no out-of-the-box reports that detail email frequency response rates. This is where access to external resources and extended platforms can really help. But, should your team lack these resources, we have a creative approach to measure your frequency trends utilizing the Oracle Eloqua OBIEE product.
Option A: Ideal Approach; Resources Abound
To create the most complete picture of your touchpoint strategy performance, a separate BI application is necessary. Although the Oracle Eloqua OBIEE platform can provide answers to most marketing questions, the tables available for reporting are limited. Oracle Eloqua OBIEE does not offer the ability to join data to create custom reporting tables.
To fully visualize the performance of your frequency trends, you will need to export, via API, at least 3 data cornerstones:
- Email Send Activity
- Response Activity
Once the information is available in a data warehouse, the analytics team will need to construct the logic to join these 3 data sets. The resulting table must be representative of frequency ranges, the total number of contacts in each frequency range, and the response rates in relation to each frequency range. Once consolidated, a visual representation of that data is a huge milestone that can continue to be leveraged by your organization.
Option B: Creative Approach; Resources Constrained
We are not all lucky enough to external resources to do the heavy lifting. But, where there are challenges, there can be big rewards: Enter sample sets and Oracle Eloqua OBIEE parent/child reporting capabilities.
Without a BI tool, you will be limited to sample set evaluations. It’s the most efficient way to evaluate your touchpoint frequency. This means that assumptions will be made based on the sample set included in the analysis and extrapolated to the entirety of the database until you have found the touchpoint frequency sweet spot.
First, utilize the Email Send subject area to create a report showing all contacts included within a frequency range. This can be accomplished by adding a column for the contact’s email address and filtering the Email Send Date/Time to establish a timeframe, as well as the Total Sends metric to establish the range. The report results will display all of the contacts targeted a certain number of times within your selected timeframe.
Next, utilize the Email Analysis by Send Date subject area to create a report that filters information based on the results of the Email Send report. Add the Activities metrics as columns to your report, and apply a filter to limit the report’s results to the “results of another analysis.” This type of parent/child reporting capability is similar to an automated VLOOKUP in Excel.
Once each frequency range is established with its own set of parent/child reports, your team can export the reports, cross-reference the results and gauge the success of your frequency strategy.
4. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Once analyzed and implemented, you must continue to monitor your touchpoint frequency strategy. It is not enough to say, “I’m done! What’s next?” Instead, your touchpoint frequency should be revisited at least annually, if not on a quarterly basis. In the world of digital marketing, customer expectations change as quickly as the technology.
A customer’s ideal brand experience is becoming more personal as time moves forward. Our biggest challenge? Change, adjusting our sails to discontinue blanket assumptions and address each unique participant in the funnel. An active, agile touchpoint strategy is the first step to making a target market feel important. Are you ready to get personal?
Questions about your email strategy or looking for some extra assistance? Contact us for help.