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When you run a growing business, making the right decisions about your marketing matters.
Good decisions are informed ones—but with a lot of data at your fingertips, it can be hard to know where to begin. That’s why we rounded up 3 simple steps to understand and use your MailChimp reports to make better marketing choices.
Get clarity: What exactly are your reports telling you?
Before you dive into your MailChimp data, it’s helpful to know the purpose of each report and what each metric means.
- Email campaign reports show clicks, opens, engagement on social, how your campaign compares to industry standards, and more.
- Automation reports tell you how an automated series of emails is doing as a whole, but it can also show you individual email statistics.
- Landing page reports measure the success of your landing pages with metrics like views, clicks, list signups, and revenue.
- Ad reports show how your ads are doing based on acquired customers, views, clicks, and return on investment (ROI).
And for users who connect their store to MailChimp, the in-depth sales data in your reports makes it easier to visualize what’s paying off.
This is just the beginning of what your reports can tell you. We’ve got in-depth resources about each report and metric if you’d like to know more.
Find context: Why are you seeing what you’re seeing?
To understand your individual reports, you’ll need to think about context.
Context comes from knowing the history of your business and the nuances of your market, and understanding context will help you decide what the data means.
Think about the season
For example, if you sell wool jackets, and your campaigns see fewer opens in the summer, don’t be discouraged. It’s normal to see seasonal fluctuations like these in your business. Things like the list average for opens and the performance graph show what your typical success looks like, so that you can determine what’s a matter of the weather and what’s a sign that something needs to change.
Look for anomalies
When you’re evaluating your reports, you’ll need to be on the lookout for anomalies. Anomalies are when a metric dramatically rises or falls in your data. They can tell you, for example, if your message resonated with customers.
They can also clue you into outside factors that are affecting your audience’s behavior. A big spike in list signups on your landing page, for example, could be from handing out cards with the URL at a conference.
Identify outliers and inliers
It’s a good idea to lookout for spikes and dips in your reports and investigate why they happen. To figure it out, take a look from the outside in.
First, look for outliers. That could be anything that affects your metrics, like a holiday or big news events.
Then look for inliers. Those are things like subjects lines, promos, or offers that impact customer behavior.
When in doubt, run a test
Sometimes finding the specific thing that caused a data fluctuation isn’t easy. That’s where A/B testing and campaign iterations are really valuable.
If you’re a MailChimp Pro user, you can use comparative reports to find even more patterns in customer behavior. With comparative reports, you can choose what metrics to compare and figure out exactly what works best for your customers.
Choose your course of action: What will you do with all this information?
Once you have clarity about what’s in your reports and the context of your specific business, you can make smart and informed decisions about what to do next.
Let’s say you want to improve a metric that’s been the same for a long time. Using your reports, you can make an informed guess about what you could change to improve. Then, try making the change and tracking your results as a kind of experiment:
- Begin by coming up with a hypothesis about what will happen when you make a change.
- Then test it.
- Use your reports to determine whether the change you made works.
- If it does, then you should keep replicating that action.
- If not, test another element until you’ve determined what works.
Maybe you noticed that your open rates dipped recently. You might try adding promotional details on your next subject line, then keep an eye on your email campaign report to see how that moves the needle.
If you were conducting that test, in particular, you’d need to add a promotion to your subject lines, send several campaigns, and see whether this results in a significant increase in your open rates.
If you need help turning your data into action, check out our learning section for case studies and advice. And take a look at the tips right inside of your account.
Your MailChimp account comes with a wealth of reports to help your business grow. It’s important to know the purpose of your reports, what they’re telling you, and what to do based on your data. We’ve got lots of resources to help you along the way.