September 24, 2007

A Question For E-Mail Multichannel Marketers

Ok e-mail marketers, here's a question for you:

You send a catalog to customers on Monday, expecting to get $3.00 demand per catalog.

Next, you send an e-mail campaign to customers on Wednesday, expecting to yield $0.20 demand per e-mail sent.

A customer receives both the catalog, and the e-mail campaign. The customer does not open the e-mail campaign, does not click-through the e-mail to the website.

On Sunday, the customer visits the website, and chooses to order merchandise. The customer spends $100.00.

I have a feeling that the catalog marketers want credit for the full $100.00 order.

I want to hear from you, the e-mail marketer. How much of the $100.00 order should be allocated to the marketing activity you executed on Wednesday?


  1. Kevin, one (of many) reasons why there is no absolute way to assign "credit" in multi-channel scenarios is image suppression and rendering issues related to email.

    According to your example, the user did not open or click on the email but that is not possible to be 100% conclusive as I could have received and read the email and then purchased but my email client (for instance Yahoo or Gmail) may have not displayed the images, which prevents me from being counted as an open.
    Therefore, the catalog folks would be incorrect in getting 100% credit.

    An imperfect situation no doubt but email can often get too much or not enough credit depending on how you measure it. Our multi-channel clients struggle with this and we have done some pretty interesting work on helping them develop the right and most balanced formula to best capture email's impact on multi-layered campaigns.

    The fact that deliverablity, preview panes and rendering issues has become increasingly more challenging just shows you that you can't count things like an open as a true measurement on who really did read the email. The same goes for the other side of the coin - if I had a 40% open rate, it does not mean 40% actually read my emails.

    Great topic though. I would be interested in hearing from the retail client side on this one.

  2. So in this case, how would you assign credit?

    What percentage of the $100 goes to catalog, what percentage goes to e-mail, and what percentage goes to "organic", meaning no marketing activity drove the order?


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