Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Letters From Readers: Tracking Transactional Emails

(This is a series: See Believing the Numbers)

Dear Anna,

We have many site-based transactional emails, and we have little visibility into the metrics on those emails. Do you know any vendors that can sweep in, determine metrics or either setup metrics on an ongoing production system, that we can access and tweak the marketing messaging or find other issues? At least have an idea if they are being opened or not?

Thanks
Blinded by Ops

Dear Blinded,
Strongmail is basically built for internal mail systems like this, but you probably don’t have it. Keep it in mind, though, if you do want a more robust metrics & control system on those internal messages. Deliverability usually refers to seeding your output with specific emails that are then tracked and tested through a third party software. To analyze real customer emails going out in a custom application, that’s a different story.

Essentially, it’s a log parsing problem- as all mail systems issue logs based on the act of sending an email (and failures associated). There are log parsers out there. Getting a one-time parsing of the emails shouldn’t be costly or an issue, if you have internal resources you can point at the problem. Using Habeas as a professional services may work- or any other deliverability expert- as they probably do this as part of discovery of any project.

Getting an ongoing view of internally sent email, though, is a bit thornier. You need to setup trigger points in the application that populate a database (ideally) with various records: sent, opened, clicked, and has segment and cell names associated so you can do some live tracking of the effects of transactional systems. Essentially you want to design an API to another email service, and have the developers access that class or function instead of outputting to sendmail/qmail, or whatever internal mail system they are using.

If you have experiencing parsing mail logs with a favorite tool or also have a situation like this, please comment!

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Written on Wednesday, 28. May 2008 at 12:34 In the category data analysis, letters, vendors. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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5 Comments »

  1. Check out mailmethods. They have an interesting set of products that work with transactional emails.

    Comment: bobmanc – 28. May 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  2. That looks similar to Strongmail, so thanks for the link to another vendor.

    Comment: banane – 28. May 2008 @ 1:30 pm

  3. A note of caution regarding mailmethods. We looked into them, and they appear to be a 2-person operation.

    Comment: bbeliever – 29. May 2008 @ 7:21 pm

  4. On mailmethods, it is true they started out small but the last time I checked they had grown quite a bit.

    Comment: bobmanc – 30. May 2008 @ 7:43 am

  5. I actually interviewed with them last month. They are growing really fast and in a very cool space.

    Comment: anzif – 01. June 2008 @ 7:16 am

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