Monday, December 8, 2008

Too much or too little - evaluating communication frequency

How does one know, as a marketer, whether you're overcommunicating with your prospects. Although there is no magic answer on what the "right" number of emails per month is, you're doing your organization a disservice if you don't at least monitor and manage frequency.

This is easily done in Eloqua. First, define the segment of the world you want to look at to see how frequently you are communicating with them. Do this by creating a group and populating it with who you want to analyze. Let's say you want to see if you're overcommunicating to your contacts on the East Coast of the United States, you'd create an East Coast group and populate it with anyone with an East Coast address.
Most people use Contact Filters to define who is the member of a Group, in this case, you'd probably be using explicit information (states on East coast, for example).
With this group in place, just open up the Contact Group dashboard from the menu. One of the reports that will show up right away is the Email Frequency Distribution, which gives you a breakdown of the number of emails that have been sent to people in that group over the time period of the dashboard. You'll often see what you see here (this is sample data) - there are people at both ends of the spectrum. Some have received 0 communications from you, and some have received many, many communications from you.
Neither is necessarily wrong, depending on your level of intended engagement with your prospects, but I've rarely met a marketer who wasn't surprised by this data. Most marketers have an intuitive sense that they are at one extreme or another - either overcommunicating or neglecting their prospects. Most of the time, both are correct.
From this point, developing a strategy to manage both ends of the spectrum is needed - nurturing campaign or inactive lead rejuvenation for the neglected end, and constraining communication frequency for the over-communicated end of the spectrum.
More on both of those in another post (or have a look at one approach to nurture marketing here:


Anonymous said...

What Email Send types are counted here? Does this also include emails sent via Form Processing Steps, Program Builder steps, Event/Survey Processing Steps, QuickSend, ELMO, email Batches, etc.? Or just Batches? Thanks.

Steven Woods said...

Good question - this includes all email types, Quicksends, Batches, Programs, ELMO, etc.