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Email Marketing Attribution: How to Measure the Impact of your Email Efforts

Email marketing attribution is a great way to give credit to channels or touch points in your sales and marketing funnel.

By keeping track of these touchpoints’ return on investment (ROI), marketers can figure out which channels are the most valuable. This lets them maximize their budget while still making the most money possible.

In this article, we’ll talk about different ways to figure out the attribution of your email marketing based on your trackable metrics. We’ll also show you where to look for the information you need so you can see how much your email marketing campaign is really worth.

What is the attribution of email marketing?
Email marketing used to be very easy to keep track of. Email marketing attribution usually goes like this: your prospect gets your email, opens it, clicks through to your website, and then becomes a customer by buying something.

Isn’t it simple and easy?

It was, until more than one channel came along. Along the path of the sales funnel, there are now several points where a customer could decide to buy. With these extra touchpoints, it’s harder to figure out who did what using standard methods.

For example, if the subject line of your email says “In-Store Clearance!,” a subscriber may go to the store without even opening the email, since it’s clear what to do from the subject line.

This kind of customer behavior would make you undervalue the return on investment (ROI) of your email, especially if you only used “opens” as a metric for attribution.

Undervaluing can also happen when you have a hashtag in the subject line that gets people to do something on social media. You could also use native inbox links like Gmail’s Quick Action buttons, or you could put hamburger menus in your messages that let customers interact with you and buy things without leaving their inboxes.

Customers are more likely to act when they can track and place orders without leaving their inbox. However, this makes it harder to measure the power of email. This is especially true since you aren’t using the usual ways to make sales.

So, how can you use attribution in email marketing to figure out the effect on important metrics? Onward!

ROI can be shown with email marketing attribution.
To figure out what the real benefits of your email campaign are, you need to know and measure how your emails affect people. Also, you need to know how effective your email was even if it wasn’t opened or clicked.

The halo effect is the name for this grouping of benefits on touchpoints (other than email by email marketing) that add up to a whole.

Most email attribution models, on the other hand, can’t account for this halo effect because it can’t be measured with standard email attribution metrics.

Email marketers usually choose one of several ways to measure attribution, each of which takes into account a few simple factors:

First click/touch: This metric gives credit to the first channel in your conversion path and shows you how people find you online. Problem: Your visitors might look at a few other channels before deciding to buy from you through this one.
Last touch or click: This metric is the opposite of first click. It gives all of the credit to the last channel your visitor landed on before converting, no matter how many other channels they’ve seen. It is one of the easiest metrics to set up and track. But this metric doesn’t take into account channels in the middle of the funnel, so it’s not usually seen as a good measurement.
Linear tracking: This method gives all of the channels in your funnel the same amount of value. It’s better because it lets other touchpoints be counted toward revenue, but it can cause some channels to be over- or undervalued.
Positional tracking: This method gives 40% of the conversion credit to the first and last clicks. The rest of the percentage points go to the middle channels. This is only a problem if you have a long sales funnel.
Time-decay tracking: This model uses a simple algorithm to give more weight to touchpoints that are closer to a conversion than those that are farther away. It’s the best model because it lets all channels be taken into account.
These are good for getting a general idea of how your email marketing is doing, but they can’t tell the whole story. The number of possible channels and touchpoints that are part of the digital marketing formula makes these simple calculations less reliable.

In their digital marketing strategies, marketing teams today use at least 13 different marketing tactics, three advertising channels, and up to seven social media platforms, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s annual report.

Use an attribution method that takes into account all possible touchpoints and the halo to figure out how much your email marketing campaign is worth. This is very important, especially since marketing techniques are getting more complicated.

Look at sales to find out how email really affects your business.
Start with a revenue analysis to figure out how email really affects all channels that bring in money. To do this, use all the ways your business already markets itself. Then, use your current attribution model (opens, clicks, touches, positions, and algorithms) to figure out how much money you made.

Take this new number and divide it by the number of days your email was sent versus the number of days it wasn’t sent. Then, figure out what the results are.

When email marketing is done well, it will have a “halo effect” on sales.
Most likely, you’ll start to see numbers that stay the same. One of these numbers is how much you make on average each day. You should send emails on days when you make more money through all of your channels, including social media, affiliate programs, paid search, and natural search.

These results directly show that the “halo effect” of email is an important thing to think about when figuring out how your email marketing strategy affects your total revenue.

When we see results like these, we remember how important it is to have a consistent email attribution model that lets you look at every channel for more accurate ROI calculations.

Use this plan to show that email marketing is worth it for your business.
If you can expand your strategy for tracking revenue beyond simple clicks and opens, you can show your marketing team the full impact of email on both online and offline sales.

In turn, this information will make it much easier to get money and help.

Create an attribution model that works for your business.
If you still need more help figuring out how to break down and assign values to all of your touchpoints, you can create a custom attribution model based on your business and channels.

Google Analytics has a customizable model for attribution that lets you use Last, First, Time Decay, Linear, and Position-based models. Then you can add any other things that your team thinks are important.

You’ll need to decide which metrics and criteria your custom model will use. To do this, you’ll need to know the mix of channels you’re using now and how your business has done over time. Last, you should keep track of how much you spend on marketing.

To decide which touchpoints and metrics to include in your formula, ask yourself:

What do you want your subscribers to do the most?
Are you trying to reach a certain number of people?
Do people buy from you more than once? If so, how do they act most of the time?
Do you have any goals for engagement, and do they have anything to do with making money?
Do you have it set up so that offline conversions from Universal Analytics are sent to Google Analytics?
After you decide which micro-goals and metrics to look at, you can more accurately account for touchpoints, channels, and customer behaviors. Track these things as they move through the sales funnel to see how your email marketing is working.

As was said above, digging deeper into the email halo gives you a clear picture of how email marketing affects the growth of your business. With these numbers, you can argue for a bigger budget and make sure your business gets the most out of email marketing’s good return on investment.

Wrap up
You’ve now seen how different things can make it hard to figure out who should get credit for email marketing. Changes in technology, more marketing channels, and more points of contact are all things to keep in mind.

Standard attribution calculations can still be used to figure out ROI, but there are other ways to figure out how email marketing affects your company’s sales.

You can also use custom attribution models in addition to the common ones. Use analysis of income. Make a custom model that focuses on your marketing spending, how you use channels, and the metrics you want to track. Make a plan that lets you figure out how email affects your business’s bottom line.

Using these extra details from the halo effect of email marketing, it will be easy to convince your marketing team that email marketing is an important and profitable digital marketing strategy.