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Geo Tracking – the secret behind improving your email marketing plan

One of the latest features of MessageFocus is the addition of Geo Tracking to your email campaigns. With the popularity of smartphones and the ability to receive email whilst on the move and not necessarily where you live, there is a school of thought as to how useful Geo Tracking actually is. While direct marketers often target customers with offers based on their location, it has not been so common in email marketing to segment data and target subscribers in this way. However, with more marketers understanding that their emails need to be ultra-relevant and more precisely targeted, it really couldn’t be a better time to start and utilise the Geo Tracking functionality in MessageFocus.

What is Geo Tracking?

When you send out an email to your subscribers, MessageFocus tracks all the event data in the reporting to allow you to see a whole range of statistics on the performance of your campaign. Geo Tracking takes this one step further by plotting those events on an interactive global map to show exactly where those people are that have read your email.

It’s this extra level of detail in your reporting which will allow you to gain a greater understanding of your active subscribers and the reach of your email campaigns. Creating targeted campaigns based on this information can massively improve the response and engagement with recipients and, as we all know, relevancy is the key to keeping customers engaged and loyal to your brand and products.

Essential or expendable?

Many email marketers are quick to cast aside Geo Tracking as simply a gimmick or a “˜nice to have’ feature that doesn’t add any real value. “Email can be opened anywhere on mobiles.” and “We already have data on our subscriber’s location.” are common things I hear when discussing the new Geo Tracking feature with clients. These might be true statements, but it’s worth noting:

  • Geo Tracking gives you up-to date information on the location where someone has opened your email. People move around regularly which means your emails are always targeted to people that you know are highly likely to be opening at their place of work or home. Recipients don’t always remember to update their location with you or if the data is provided by a 3rd party, it can quickly become out of date.
  • Geo Tracking doesn’t track mobile opens where users are accessing their email through cellular data on a phone network (such as 3G). This means you know that the report is giving you a good indication of the recipient’s actual location – whether that is at work or at home, on a desktop or a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Geo Tracking visually shows email engagement which was previously unavailable by just looking at your reporting data. It’s all well and good knowing that 90% of your list is active, but Geo Tracking allows you to break this down further to see where exactly those active recipients are.

There is a lot of effort and focus by email marketers on trying to grow their data, but this can easily be negated by the loss of previously active recipients who no longer feel engaged. Growing your data is as much about the retention of existing recipients as it is the enticing of new ones.

How can I use Geo Tracking to increase relevancy?

There are a number of ways in which Geo Tracking can be used to increase relevancy to engage your recipients. Remember, it’s about using all the tools at your disposal to give you the best chance possible of having your campaigns give the response you want.

  • Improve your whole marketing plan – Geo Tracking is great for email marketers but the information is invaluable for other aspects of your marketing efforts – whether it be print advertising or local radio promotions. Knowing where your most active recipients are means you can target them in other ways besides email.
  • Target potential event attendees – if you have an exhibition or event, why not send a targeted campaign to people within a radius of the event with a special offer to attend? Especially in the last few days leading up to a show, people local to the event who receive an offer are more likely to convert to a sale and attend. Bombarding your whole list will only mean a high percentage of the emails will be a waste of time, money and effort.
  • Wow them with dynamic content – you may have created customised emails that display content based on a recipients preferences, but why not take this a step further and do it based on their location too?  Targeting users with offers that are local to them will make them feel like a valued customer and that they are getting something exclusive to them.

There is so much more to be gained from Geo Tracking than is outlined above, but I hope that it gives you some useful food for thought when constructing your next campaign.  As always, do not hesitate to contact your Account Manager for further information on how to use Geo Tracking in MessageFocus and how you can utilise it to improve your email marketing campaigns.

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