Actionable Data: Making Money with Metrics

Samuel James Coleridge, in his most famous work The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, wrote the following, now ubiquitous phrase:

Water, water everywhere, [but] not a drop to drink”.

It’s a cruel and hopeless visual. The titular mariner is lost at sea – and although he is surrounded by cool, blue seawater, he is slowly dying of thirst.   

I’m sure that’s a familiar feeling. Most digital marketers have found themselves in a similar predicament.  

Not literally, of course. There’s no Spartan, coming-of-age test that we all must face before entering our first internship. Nor am I talking about waking up from a particularly heavy University party with nothing to wet your desperate whistle but the remains of a $10 bottle of vodka.

No no, dear reader. I’m talking, of course, about all that pesky data.

With every new digital tool we implement, we get instant access to an incredible amount of added insight on our customers. I, personally, would argue almost too much.

Social media lets us see hobbies, age and gender. Ecommerce platforms let you put customers’ previous shopping habits to use. Google Analytics can tell us where and when and for how long they’re visiting our websites – and on what device. Our email platforms let us know if someone opened an email, and what links – if any – they clicked while they were in there. Then of course, there’s the usual laundry list of the other day-by-day bytes we have so somehow swallow. Your SEO ranking need to be monitored in Moz; likes, shares and comments on Facebook; hits on your blog; customer details need to be kept updated in your CRM; and of course, the internal temperature of whatever poor computer that’s trying to process all this information. The list goes on and on.

It’s overwhelming. So much data, so little time. Pundits will shout from rooftops that ‘data is our most valuable asset’. But inflation has killed it faster than a Zimbabwean dollar.

If we are to benefit from our data – we need to first focus on the most valuable information. Filter out the ‘vanity metrics’, and focus on the stuff we can actually leverage to make some money.

So let’s take a look at some of the most ‘Actionable’ insights, and how they can directly help your ecommerce businesses make more money.

Then you can hire analysts to sift through the rest.   

Email Opens

Chances are you already have an email marketing strategy underway for your online store. So here’s one tip you can use to almost instantly boost your revenue.

Most email marketing platforms will let you analyze your campaign results – and one of the quickest, best ways you can get a little extra bang for your buck out of that email you just spent 5 hours building, is with a resend.

It’s simple really. If your subject line is good, and your email is following all the anti-spam rules, you should expect an industry-average open-rate of around 15%. So what about the other 85% of subscribers that didn’t bother opening?

Chances are, they weren’t checking their promotions tab that day. Perhaps they were busy? Never mind, we have a trick of the trade. Simply create a segment of people who didn’t open your campaign the last time, wait a day or two, and send it to them again with a different (ideally; catchier) subject line. Hey presto, you’ve probably just earned yourself an extra 10% of your total subscribers’ eyes.

Viewed Products

Shopify is one of our favourite ecommerce platforms thanks to it’s easy to use, and feature-rich functionality. It also allows you to see which of your customers are looking at what on your website. (Other platforms also allow you to do this, but not all).

What’s the value of this information? Let’s say a customer is browsing your website and spends some time looking at the different colour variants of a certain type of t-shirt you have for sale. Chances are, they’re impressed. It’s likely they’re considering buying it.

Visitors to your product pages are highly qualified leads. Chase them down! Using services like Shoelace, Facebook Pixels, or even just integrations with your email platform, will allow you to remind them to stop by again, offer them an incentivising offer or discount, or recommend them a similar product. And thanks to the power of the Internet and the humble API, you can set these reminders to fire off automatically.

Purchased Products

The products a customer purchases are the most concrete indicator you have of what they actually really like. Sure, if they’ve been on the Green Shirt page of your website three times in the last week, you can make a reasonable guess they’re interested. But if they bought a Blue one, you know for sure that’s exactly what they like. Use this data to your advantage.

Setting up a ‘First Purchase Follow Up’ email automation will allow you try your hand at cross- or up-selling your first time customers with a second item. Perhaps they’d like a Blue cap to go with that Blue shirt? What about trying your luck at recommending the slightly pricier, but oh-so stylish, Ultramarine Blazer?

Make the most of your new customers, and turn them into repeat buyers!

Number of Orders

If you have customers that have returned time and time again to shop with you, it’s a great idea to reward them. Not only are they likely to keep shopping with you, but this will also increase your chances of a review or a referral.

At Andzen, we call this ‘Milestone Marketing’. We love setting up email automations and flows that reward people for coming back. And our clients’ customers love it too!

By setting up a quick email automation that sends out a voucher or thank you note to customer for their third or fourth purchase, you can guarantee your customer will notice you’ve noticed, and keep shopping with your brand for life.

Abandoned Carts

Last, but certainly not least, Abandoned Carts are one of the quickest wins your ecommerce brand can tackle today.

If we can agree that a customer visiting a product page is a good indication they’re interested in possibly buying it, we can certainly agree that them adding the product to their cart must show a pretty serious level of interest. Even if they don’t end up actually completing their purchase.

It isn’t hard to win these shoppers back if you have their email address.

We’ve talked at length about Abandoned Cart automations in the past. You can read our full analysis here. We see some pretty incredible results almost instantly after implementing these for our clients, and we think you would too.

If you’d like to discuss an Abandoned Cart automation, or anything else you’ve read in this post, we’d love to hear from you! Get in touch today, and we’ll see what we can do for your ecommerce brand.

Hi, I’m Jackson; Andzen's Digital Content Producer. I write copy for our client businesses - whether it be email campaigns, blog posts, social media posts or something new. It's my job to write stuff that converts, boosts engagement and pushes brands to new heights. In my spare time, I enjoy piano, reading books, and writing short stories.

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