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Using Data to Your Advantage Part 1: Email + Web.

To us, marketing is implementing creative ideas driven by data to reach business goals. Our approach is different than most agencies as we don’t stop at strategy and ideas. Instead, we provide the tools needed to actually deploy strategy, track results, and measure success.

One of the benefits of being in the digital age is our access to data. It is collected constantly. The tricky part is deciphering what it is saying and what to do with the insights it provides. It is important to not just take shots in the dark and hope something works out. By being driven by data we no longer have to guess what to do to be successful, the answer is right there in front of us.

A solid, big-picture marketing strategy will always include digital – email, web, SEO, and social media. All of these avenues have tremendous data collection capabilities and we’re here to help you figure out how to use that.

This is part one of Using Data to Your Advantage: Email and Web. 


“I love getting promotional emails!” – said no one ever.

Everyone has received them. You know what I’m talking about. Those emails like *Sale Ends Today* *Plan Your Next Vacation* etc. Nobody likes a cluttered inbox full of junk which is why we recommend you don’t send junk. Instead, know your audience well and send them messages that they want.

Now, we’re not saying spam all your lists with more emails. What we are saying is that you need to be strategic with it. By properly planning and implementing an email campaign you provide value to your consumers whether or not they know it. 

That is really what it is all about. Providing value to your clients, customers, and consumers. And in order to do that to be the best of your ability, it is critically important to learn what works and what doesn’t. 

Let’s look at an example

If you subscribe to our blog, you might have seen these emails before. You can see that the email on the left has a higher open rate and click-through rate (CTR). There could be a couple of reasons for this.

  • One reason is the call to action button position. On the left email, it is higher up and does not require scrolling to find it.
  • The second reason being there is an image with a face on it. We actually talk about how faces improve web interaction in this blog.
  • Another reason behind the improved engagement could be the title. Readers recognize what UX/UI design is and it’s possible that “Summer Slowdown” doesn’t catch the viewer’s attention because it requires more information to fully understand. 

There are several reasons why certain emails perform better than others, but these are just a few that we considered for this particular email.

What devices are your visitors using??

Another important analytic to look into is the device used by your consumers. Are your emails primarily being viewed on mobile or web? It is corresponding with your web traffic? If a large majority of your users view your email on mobile, it is important to cater and design your content for those users. We always build emails and websites that are cross-compatible, but it is important to know where to put the emphasis. 

Bonus points: get all this open and click data at a contact level

What do we mean by contact level? With our marketing automation and CRM platform, clients can track clicks, interactions, and communication of specific users all under one roof. 

This is a fantastic tool for lead generation and closing sales as it provides information as to how interested someone is in your product or service.   

Let’s say someone visits your site a few days in a row and then fills out a contact form. We have now linked all that activity to the user’s information that they filled out in the form. So when they visit your site again, receive, open, click, or respond to an email, you’ll know!

Check out the example below: 
Images of reports presented to users in Sharpspring.

You can see that in the life of the lead on the left, David started by visiting our site and visited our contact page 3 times. If you follow the horizontal progress bar above “Web Visit” you can see that he then filled out a contact form followed by an automated email and further communication. 

On the right, Emily opened but did not click through our email linking to the blog, “Getting Started with Email Marketing.” Perhaps she wasn’t interested in the title of the email. We can also see everything that happened before and after that interaction with Emily. 

This information is extremely important because we can study consumers’ behaviors and continue to update/improve our content, reach out to close a sale, and learn how to take better care of our customers in real-time, all in one place. 

The thing about email campaigns is that once an email hits a consumers’ mailbox, it will continue to get buried as time goes on. That is why it is so important to push them to an external source that they can continue to reference, find and share in the future. That brings us to web analytics.


Web analytics is one of the greatest tools you can utilize when planning web strategies for your company. We highly recommend implementing Google Analytics to your site. VSG Marketing partners get another tracking solution that can work independently or in conjunction with Google Analytics. 

Without getting too into the nitty-gritty of those two resources, we want to express the power and potential of properly utilizing them. Along with hundreds of other metrics, these technologies provide data points like traffic source, page duration, bounce rate, top pages, number of users, top referrals, device usage, top searches, visitor interests, etc. 

With that data, you can prioritize what your website needs to do better or how you can reach your audience more effectively. For example, with this client of ours, most of their traffic comes from social referrals! So we know how important their social channels are to getting a conversion. 

The same client has a significant user base reaching their site via mobile. So we need to make sure that their content is mobile optimized.

Screengrab of acquisition related data from a Google Analytic report
Screengrab of device related data from a Google Analytic report

As you continue to dive into the analytics, you can see where most of your traffic is coming from geographically. This data can be broken down from globally to local metro areas.

State Users

Data chart with the map of America and different areas colored more densely than others.
Screengrab of city related data from a Google Analytic report

Knowing the geographical data of your visitors are may help you answer questions like, “Where is there a need?” “Where do I need to pay extra attention?” “Where are the opportunities and regions to target?”

Other key metrics to consider when making content and design decisions are the demographics and interests of your consumers. By understanding these parts of your audience, you can better curate content that people care about and relate to. Again, create value for your consumers. That is what will keep them coming back.

Pie chart with different genders and age groups of those genders.
Primarily men, aged 45-54 with a good distribution between the ages 25-64

These are just a few metrics Google Analytics collects and there are many other things to consider when monitoring your site, but this a good place to get you started. 

In the scope of digital marketing, email and web are two vitally important pillars, but there’s more. Join us in a couple of weeks for part 2 as we jump into how to use search engine optimization (SEO) and social media metrics to guide your marketing strategy where we will talk about how people are getting to your site, and how to increase your outreach. 

Want some help creating killer marketing campaigns but don’t know where to start? Reach out! We would love to chat.