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Choosing the right statistics and analysis system

Online statistics and analysis issues arose as soon as e-mail and the Internet have appeared. Really, when you send out thousands of e-mails and need to track how many were opened, what links have been "clicked", what percentage of people purchased products or services after e-mail campaign, what the average "waiting time" is, things get tough. Since modern e-mail campaigns are almost always website-integrated, gathering data and analyzing it is becoming more and more complex. When you are selecting statistics and analysis solutions to clear the picture, what factors should you consider?

Here is what web experts say:

1. Determine, what do you need the statistics and analysis solution for, and if you needed it, to start with. Most often companies decide to start gathering metrics and buy some data analysis solution to "improve sales." Unfortunately, in many instances, buying software does not do the job. Here is an example - if you own a gas station near a busy highway you will earn more money, than a gas station located in the middle of nowhere. If you own a gas station in the middle of nowhere and make no profit, the solution is to buy a new gas station in a better place, not buying some complicated "consumer data analysis software."

2. Don't do hindsight analysis. Gathering data over long periods of time allows companies to see what they did right and what they did wrong. The criterion is usually profit. However, keep in mind that in the online world things that worked a year ago may not work now. Plus, statistics analysis solution should be used to confirm or refute your assumptions about new marketing ideas. Use statistics for "tomorrow", not "yesterday."

3. Beware of confusing metrics. Understanding, what the software measures, is very important. Understanding, how it measures data, is even more critical. There are different types of online statistic units - hits, clicks, visits, referrals, downloads, sales, core audience visits and about fifty other terms. Adding apples to oranges will mislead you, so make sure you understand the data.

4. Data for the sake of data. Do you know, what's the best part of statistics and analysis solutions? Colorful graphs and charts they build. A lot of marketers print them out and then display in the form of cool-looking reports. Then hours are spent discussing the data and … nothing happens. Then new data comes in and new reports are printed. More hours are spent in meetings, more coffee is consumed and … nothing happens. Then new data comes in, and everything repeats. Data keeps changing - sales volume does not. Remember, profit is at the core of your business, not colorful graphs!

Relevant links:

    • Email Verification program
    • Extract faxes and phones from web sites

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