For most, smartphone software updates merit little attention. For marketers? That's anything but the case.
The latest, Apple's iOS 15 release, threw marketers a fun little curveball with features that, among other things, inflate open rate reporting on emails sent to Apple Mail addresses.
This update indicates a trend; tech companies are working to improve consumer privacy practices and give people more control of the information collected and shared.
That's a big deal for ecommerce merchants who rely on accurate reporting metrics to guide their marketing strategy. As your ecommerce advocate, sidekick, and superpower, the Drip team is on it so that you can continue to rely on your metrics now and in the future. We're creating more sophisticated ways to collect customer insights so that you can continue to hone your strategy and keep marketing like the pro.
First up? We've implemented an update to our email revenue attribution calculation that avoids the impact of iOS15 inflated open rates.
Take a breathe and sit back while we fill you in on the details.
What is email revenue attribution?
Email revenue attribution refers to the percentage of total revenue from your Drip email marketing campaigns (SMS stays the same because we don’t track opens for texts).
AKA, it's a fancy way of saying how much money you make from your email marketing.
Why does it matter?
Email revenue attribution helps you determine how well your email marketing is performing overall. Aim for 25%+ of your store revenue from your email strategy; less than that, and you likely have untapped potential to make money via your email marketing.
Time for an update, and we're on it.
A key issue with the Apple iOS 15 update is that many email service providers (including Drip) use open rate to calculate email attribution, which is skewed due to iOS15. Our team found an update that uses different engagement data for a more accurate revenue attribute metric. It goes something like this:
Previously, when a customer made a purchase, Drip would check to see if they'd opened an email sent in the last 5 days before making the purchase. If so, the revenue is attributed to that email.
Our new calculation checks whether a customer clicked an email within five days of a purchase or was "seen on-site" a day after receiving an email and then purchases within the five days following. If so, the revenue from that purchase goes to the email most recently clicked or received. To break it down:
Revenue will be attributed to email if:
- Your customer clicked the email within five days of purchase.
- A customer visits your website within one day of receiving an email and purchases within five days of receiving that email.
Let's say you send someone an email with a CTA that leads to a product page on your website. If they click on the CTA and purchase within five days, Drip attributes revenue from their purchase to that email.
If someone gets an email on Wednesday—doesn't click—but is seen on your website on Thursday and makes a purchase on Sunday, Drip attributes the revenue to the email they received on Wednesday.
Wait, what's a seen on-site?
Clicks + seen-on-sites = power couple.
A click or a site visit confirms that a customer is on your website and engaging with your email content versus just viewing it. And in the wake of Apple's iOS 15 release—and the movement toward more consumer privacy overall—opens will become less and less accurate (and helpful) in the future. This new approach helps future proof your metrics.
Put it into practice.
Here are some real-life scenarios to further explain the process:
Case 2: A customer is browsing holiday sweaters on your website on Monday morning. They purchase a red plaid Santa sweater on Thursday after receiving three welcome emails from you on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. If they open Monday's email, click through Wednesday's and Thursday's emails—Drip attributes revenue to Thursday's email because it's the most recently clicked email.
Case 3: A customer receives an email from you on Wednesday advertising a sale on canine chew toys. On Thursday, they browse dog treats on your website. They purchase a box of yogurt treats from you the following Wednesday. Since it has been seven days since your customer received your email, Drip will not attribute revenue from the purchase to that email (remember, the cut-off is five days).
What does it mean for your email sends and strategy?
Now that you get the gist of how we are calculating this metric, this is how you should optimize your sends for success:
Optimize your emails for clicks, not opens. You still want to have an eye-catching subject line to get people to open your email. But within your email, focus on your CTA. Drive people toward one primary CTA, and make sure it's clear and action-oriented.
If people aren't clicking through to your website from your emails, your attributed revenue and conversions will be lower.
Set your (new) expectations. Early results suggest you can expect to see your revenue attribution decrease by 18% and increase by 11% compared to your previous baseline (and depending on your users' behavior). That's ok! You are still getting a directional indication of your customer shopping habits tied to email.
Use attributed revenue as a guiding metric. Think of it as a temperature check for your email marketing efficacy and the performance of your sends; you want stability and an upward trend in your number.
It just keeps getting better.
Next year, expect to see updates on the Drip app that will continue to keep you ahead of the curve and future proof your metrics, analytics, and email marketing strategies overall.
An updated metrics dashboard and enhanced segmentation tools are just a few of the tricks we’re got up our sleeve. We’re here to fuel the ecommerce rebellion, which means giving you the savviest tools to build your business and connect with customers.
Most importantly, remember, you've got this and we're here to help every step of the way.