Many ecommerce merchants rely on email marketing and many of them, we suspect, wish they could monitor and track emails based on where a recipient lives. Geo tracking would allow for this. To find out more about geo tracking, we interviewed Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak, an email marketing provider based in Pennsylvania that offers this service.
PeC: What is email geo tracking?
Kramer: “It’s where a person is opening or clicking through a message and we plot where they are coming from. We had the idea that since we were already tracking if a person opened the message and read the message, we figured, ‘We already have the IP address. We could [also] do some geo tracking.'”
PeC: Does the recipient have to click on the message in order for Listrak to grab the IP address?
Kramer: “No. Both clicks and opens will allow us to see the IP address. For opens, the recipient must also have downloaded images in the email message.”
PeC: Do you see geographical differences in open rates?
Kramer: “Yes. A lot of times it has to do with where your marketing has taken place as well as where your recipient lives. If you are selling something that appeals to rural America, you’re probably going to see more opens and clicks there than in the larger metro areas.”
PeC: Give us some examples of how geo tracking could help an ecommerce business.
Kramer: “The first application where it can work is seasonality. So, if you are selling, say, swimwear, you’re not going to be able to market swimwear to the folks in the Pacific Northwest in January.”
“With geo tracking, you could turn that into a dynamic content message where you’re sending swimwear stuff to folks in Florida and fleece jacket offers to folks in the northern regions of the country using dynamic content. So, you’re speaking very relevantly to your audience, giving them offers that make sense for them. You’ll also increase your conversion ratio.”
“Additionally, there are some event-based things that you could do. For example, when we were at the Search Engine Strategies show in New York, we put on an event for search marketers and we had a bunch of tickets to give away. I wanted to see who on my email list was in the New York area and was responding to my emails in the New York area. I was able to use our geo tracking feature to see who’s opening and reading and clicking in Manhattan, reach out to them and offer them some free tickets to the event.”
PeC: Does your system automatically log in where recipients are located, or is there additional action that the sender has to take to record that information?
Kramer: “Our system automatically records the IP address if the recipient clicks on the email or if the recipient opens it and downloads the images. We then purchase some other data that tells us the longitude and latitude of the IP address, with corresponding zip codes, and then we do a Google Maps-linking to record the city or county. So, for our users, there’s nothing additional that they have to do.”
PeC: How much does geo tracking cost?
Kramer: “There’s no extra cost if you are a Listrak user. Our price point starts at about $250 a month.”