Email Client Monitor: Making the Most of Your Data (Part 1)

Posted by Alice Spencer on

Data is key to every marketer’s decisions. Whether it’s what day works best for a campaign or which of your subscribers will like your new iPhone app, the right data can help you make informed decisions and avoid using guesswork to guide your program.

While not having the right data can lead to poor decisions, having more than you know what to do with can be equally scary. At first glance, Return Path’s Email Client Monitor may appear to provide an overwhelming amount of data. But as this blog series will demonstrate, getting actionable insights is easier and quicker than you might expect.

So what data do you get within Email Client Monitor when using the pixel without any custom or special tags?

  • The platform share of your users
  • How the platform share of your subscribers is changing over time by week or month
  • Subscriber opens by day or hour

You can also have your complete daily data sent directly to you and, with a basic knowledge of Excel, pivot tables, and formulas, you can create some very interesting results. (Please speak to your Account Manager if you are interested in this.)

So what can you do with all this data? Here are three examples.

Platform usage by hour
Do your subscribers prefer to use mobile in the morning and tablets at night? Do they tend to use all platforms equally throughout the day? Here’s how to find out.

The first thing you will notice when you open up your spreadsheet full of data is that the date/time format comes through like this: 19/Apr/2015:14:00:59 +0000. This is not a very useful format for charting data, but all you need to do is add a couple of blank columns to the right side, highlight the column, and then use the “Text to Columns” function under the Data tab. Follow the instructions to split the data, name your new columns, and you now have:

5_1_2015_11_46_47_am

My personal preference is to have midnight denoted by 24 rather than 0 (to keep with the 24 hour clock), so a simple search and replace of cells with just 0 in will allow for that.

Your data is ready to pivot, allowing you to show the number of opens per platform per hour:

pivottable

Chart this and you can see your subscribers’ change in usage throughout the day:

timevdevices

Using more than one day’s worth of data? Simply select the Date field as well to separate them out.

Operating system by hour
Want to to drill down further into the data and see the device details? Change the pivot table to have Operating System as the column label and Platform as the value. The filter options can then be used to show just the operating systems you want to see.

5_1_2015_11_28_08_am

Operating system/platform by hour
For many brands, customers use a wide range of platforms and operating systems to interact with their email. In this case, looking at the operational system and platform breakdown individually does not give an accurate view of your customer interactions. To gain a holistic view of how your customers engage with your email, you can apply a formula to combine the Operating System and Email Client data. Use this data when creating your pivot table and chart to see the results.

5_1_2015_11_45_41_am

To learn more about Email Client Monitor, download the product fact sheet or follow this link to request a demo.


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About Alice Spencer

Alice Spencer is an Account Coordinator at Return Path. She enjoys troubleshooting client issues and creating custom reports to help clients better understand their data. In her spare time, Alice likes to holiday in unusual locations, bake, sew, and geek out on good sci-fi. Connect with her on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/alicespencer

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