Heat Maps, FeedBlitz, and You

heat mapsBy Laura Petrolino

Is it hot in here, or is it just my email?

The secret fantasy of anyone involved in content and email marketing is to be able to really get inside the head of their consumers and understand interests, motivations, and needs.

To do this, we employ many different methods: We create buyer personas, use Google Analytics, and sometimes utilize things like focus groups and surveys.

Another very effective tool to gain important intelligence on the thoughts of your market, specifically those potential leads, receiving and reading your emails, is heat maps.

Real time heat map analytics are available for every email you send through Feedblitz.

By providing you insight into where your readers are clicking you are better able to understand what calls to action most motivate them and helping you in your content marketing and lead generation efforts.

Heat maps are very helpful tools both on their own and when combined with the data you collect through Google Analytics and other measurement tools.

Here are three of my favorite ways to use the Feedblitz email heat maps to inform the content marketing strategies of some of our clients.

1) Lead Generation and Content Creation

What topics are of most interest to your audience? What areas would they be like to learn more about? By looking carefully at trends of the most clicked links in your emails you can put together a fairly comprehensive understanding of the topic areas that are most engaging to your audience.

To do this in a organized useful manner, I create an excel spreadsheet with general category buckets on the x-axis and measurement platforms on the y-axis. For example, for a client with a strong blog, whose focus social network is LinkedIn, the y-axis might consist of:

  • Feedblitz Heat Maps
  • LinkedIn Analytics
  • Google Analytics

We then put the link in each corresponding platform/category box so I can dig deeper for micro-topics within that main category if needed.

Sometimes this practice will help us tweak our content strategy, sometimes it just helps reinforce that our current plan is still well targeted for our readership, sometimes it provides valuable insight into topics for further white papers, ebooks, and webinars, or other lead generation methods.

2) A/B Testing

Often it’s less of what you say, but how you say it. Anyone involved in content marketing knows the smallest tweak of a word or a phrase can result in a huge difference in clicks, conversions, and sales.

Email heat maps provide an effective means to test out what works best so to maximize your lead generation efforts. For those with segmented lists they are also very effective to help understand how to target those individual groups even better.

3) Visual affects

About 65 percent of people are visual learners, and even those who aren’t are highly affected by the visual layout of content on websites, blog posts, and emails.

It’s amazing to see how different layouts and positioning of call to action links in context of images, font and style changes, and header breaks drastically affect the number of clicks a particular link receives.

Try it out so you are better informed on how and where to position your most important calls to action.

Those are just three of the ways we’ve found heat maps useful to inform client’s content marketing strategies. Depending on the client and goals the analytics provided through email heat maps can serve many different purposes.

Combining the information they provide with your other measurement sources creates a powerful system that gives you an incredibly comprehensive look at your readership and what affects their motivation to click.

What are some of the ways you have successfully used email heat maps?