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Third Party Mass Email Campaign Reporting and analytics

Posted on 2014-03-11
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Last Modified: 2014-04-11
We have partnered with a third party for indirect access to their own email subscriber database as an advertising partnership. We are creating the HTML email, and they are submitting it to their subscriber base. I  want a way to independently audit that email so that  I can get notified, when a copy of that message is opened... and have the report back function report the email address of each receiver back to me so that I can independently verify that they did what they said they would do. what are my options to accomplish this bearing in mind that I will not have direct access to the actual email addresses to modify them in such a way that a third party service like banana tag would be able to handle this. if there is a way to make this work with banana tag I would love to know, but as far as i can see the trackback code has to be encapsulated in my Email HTML document that I am giving to the advertising partner.


-Matt
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Question by:GeoLearn
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by:Gary
Gary earned 750 total points
ID: 39921774
You can't know when it was opened (read notice) unless the third party sets it and even then the recipient doesn't need to send the read notice.
You can't capture the email address, unless the other company can insert it into your email code.
You could add a 1px image with the src pointing to your capture page, just append a campaign ID to the URL. This may give you an idea of how many people received the email and read it. But this assumes the recipient allows the images to be downloaded - by default images are blocked from untrusted sources in most email programs.
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Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 750 total points
ID: 39923953
What you are doing is very typical and companies like infoUSA will send an email to their list on  your behalf.  As far as things like opens, you have to rely and trust their reporting.  If you don't, they are not the people to be doing business with.  

The open rate is not a very good metric anyway.  What counts is how many people clicked through to your site and of those, how many made a purchase.    If you spent $1000 with the partner, did you get  back $1001 in revenue?

It has been a long time since I did a mass email campaign through a partner like this.  But the returns were small.  From memory it was something like 30,000 mailed, 12% bounced, of the 88% that did not bounce, 30% "opened" (not a reliable number).  Of that 30% that opened, 10% clicked through.  From the 10% that clicked through, 30% made an inquiry.  Doing the math, that is about 0.8% (about 240) that at least raised their hand.  The real question is what is that 240 people that raised their hand worth?  If they didn't buy anything, nothing, if they all made profitable purchases, then it is worth a lot.

Let's say you have your own mail list of non buyers, but people have at least subscribed to your list.  You could probably get the same response from only 800 to 1000 of your own.  

The point is, the response rate is going to be very low because people that are on an opt in list like this typically don't even know how they got on the list  and there is going to be a very high probability the mail is being filtered.  I can see this very type of email in my gmail spam filter (I use gmail for both personal and business).   It is ok if the response rate is low as long as it is profitable.
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