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Merge E-Mail Campaign Results Into Your Web Metrics

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Posted November 16, 2004 By Christopher Saunders     Feedback

WebTrends and ExactTarget strike a deal for an integrated solution that lets merchants better understand how to tweak their e-mail efforts.

Article courtesy of

Online sellers can better manage their e-mail marketing in sync with Web site analytics, thanks to a new partnership between NetIQ and ExactTarget.

NetIQ, of course, is the company behind WebTrends, one of the leaders in Web site metrics. ExactTarget, meanwhile, provides an e-mail marketing service. With today's deal in place, the two companies plan next month to offer an integrated product that has advantages for online merchants who use e-mail for customer acquisition and retention.

Of course, to benefit from the integration, you'll have to be a user of both WebTrends and ExactTarget.

In essence, Web marketers who are clients of both companies will be able to factor data from their ExactTarget e-mail campaigns -- such as delivery rates, click-throughs, and the like -- into their WebTrends-based Web site analysis. As a result, this could help them better track the effectiveness of various aspects of their e-mail marketing.

Site analytics software already provides a bevy of metrics that can help merchants compute conversions. But "performance metrics for e-mail campaign was really just click-through rate," said Jason Palmer, vice president of product management and marketing at NetIQ. "We knew that being able to marry click-through rate with on-site behavior and eventually conversion rate, you'd be able to understand much better."

ExactTarget users can take advantage of WebTrends' scenario analysis, which creates visual models of site traffic to help online merchants figure out and remove obstacles to visitor conversion. With the release of the integrated solution, e-mail now becomes part of that process -- enabling marketers to visually analyze conversion behavior resulting from their online direct marketing.

The integration also extends WebTrends' SmartView feature. Normally, that feature of WebTrends 7 shows important metrics about visitor behavior -- such how many users clicked-throughs or converted after clicking on a particular link -- alongside links on the merchant's own site. (Naturally, only the site's owner can see those statistics.)

Now, that feature is extended to e-mail campaigns crafted using ExactTarget's service -- enabling marketers to view data like conversions and revenue from links in their e-mails.

The ExactTarget-WebTrends joint offering also makes it simpler for marketers to segment their e-mail lists and target their campaigns based on past visitor behavior. For example, a person who visit a site but doesn't make a purchase can be targeted with an e-mail offer different from that sent to a person who abandons their shopping cart.

In addition to the new synergies that result from combining WebTrends and ExactTarget, the joint offering also can be helpful to online merchants because it saves time and effort. The integrated product frees online businesses from having to monitor two sets of marketing information -- instead, site managers can look at a single interface for gauging the behavior of both site visitors and e-mail recipients.

"Measurement continues to be the hardest task, and in the online space, a lot of the metrics you're trying to determine are in multiple applications," Palmer said. "This forces [marketers] to look at different applications and normalize data between applications, and provide a common nomenclature to judge performance of an e-mail campaign."

"We're focused on really providing some new insight into ... metrics that they're used to seeing in two different applications, so you can quickly get into the performance metrics of your e-mail campaign," Palmer said.

Christopher Saunders is managing editor of

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