February 25, 2009

E-Mail Forensics

You're asking more and more for projects that are vaguely similar to what I would call "E-Mail Forensics".
  • Tell me how e-mail buyers perform.
  • Tell me how e-mail clickers perform. Do they become buyers?
  • Tell me how e-mail inactives perform? Should I prune them?
  • What merchandise divisions do my e-mail customer file purchase from?
  • What merchandise divisions do my e-mail customer file view online?
  • Does my e-mail list purchase offline? Do e-mails influence offline behavior?
  • What is the lifetime value of an e-mail address?
  • Are there hidden "personas" in my e-mail file? Can you identify them?
  • Can you simulate the impact of zero, one, two, three e-mail campaigns per week?
  • Are the vendors right? Should I do the additional work to create personalized, targeted e-mail campaigns?
  • Does the merchandise offered in an e-mail marketing campaign end up being the merchandise that is purchased online by e-mail subscribers?
  • Does e-mail marketing drive incremental sales, or are all of the sales cannibalized from other sources?
  • What is the average life of an e-mail address? What happens to long-term value when an e-mail subscriber unsubscribes?
  • How does e-mail marketing interact with catalog marketing?
  • How does e-mail marketing interact with paid search?
  • If e-mail marketing causes paid search to happen, should I be conducting a fully integrated profit and loss statement? How do I do that?
  • How can I accurately forecast the incremental sales of each e-mail marketing campaign?
  • How should I merchandise each e-mail marketing campaign to maximize sales?
  • Is it important to collect e-mail marketing addresses in stores?
  • What is the five year sales trajectory of my e-mail customer file?
  • If an individual customer has three e-mail addresses, which e-mail address should I market to?
  • If an e-mail marketing message causes a customer to visit the website and not purchase, have I improved the net present value of my customer file?
  • How does a "square inch" analysis translate to e-mail marketing?
  • Can you segment my e-mail file into actionable customer cohorts?
  • Are various e-mail suffixes (@gmail.com) more valuable than others?
These are the questions you're asking me to address. Combined, they form a product, a product I loosely call "E-Mail Forensics".

What am I missing? What would you like to see in an e-mail forensics project? Ready to work on a project? Send me an e-mail with your needs!


  1. Anonymous6:47 PM

    ok i am adding one i got recently: what's the best drop date (sat/sun/mon/... or after/before a catalog) for an emailing? does it even matter?

  2. For many folks, the dates don't have to interact with before/after a catalog.

    Businesses that don't have a retail presence get good results on Mon/Tue ... those with a retail presence get a good result on Thr/Fri (driving customers into the store on the weekend).

  3. A customized subject line also has a great impact and ensure that your email is actually opened.


  4. Great list. Here are a few items I've thought about:

    Acquisition: Am I cost effectively acquiring new opt-ins? Have I effectively optimized this process? Am I testing new channels?

    Engagement: Are you properly welcoming you new registrant by reinforcing key differentiators, offering special promtions, etc.? Are you including devices to solicit consumer feedback and opinion (e.g., rate this article/product)?

    Productivity: Are you automating or triggering emails known drive ROI (e.g., welcome emails, abandoned shopping carts, other lifecycle events)?

    Demographics: How impact does age or gender have on email performance?

    Value: What is the average dollar value of an email address in my database (overall and by key segments)?

    Hope this help.

  5. Sure, those are good ideas!!


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