Sunday, 23 April 2017

DriveThruRPG analytics I wish existed

The OneBookshelf platform is a huge boon to creators like myself, but as someone who markets things professionally I find their sales analytics to be, erm, real bad. So I wanted to talk about the tools that I wish DriveThruRPG and RPGNow would add to help us sell our products more effectively.

Audience segmentation
Proper audience demographics are immensely important in marketing. Sure, because roleplaying is a niche hobby you might think that this data will be largely the same, but it's not the case. Even knowing your audience's age and gender is important, especially if you know this per game.

DriveThruRPG does have what amounts to brand affinity, showing the top publishers you share sales with, which isn't amazing but it's a start.

Converting keywords
Want to be discovered through organic search? You better have your pages optimised for keywords people are searching for. It would be useful to know exactly what keywords people are both finding your sales pages with and also converting with (selling). If people are converting through 'solo roleplaying' and 'rpg with skeletons' then you know these terms are important to people and you should be optimizing relevant content for these terms.

Email CTR
Since DriveThruRPG offers the ability to send out emails to your customers, I would have expected some email analytics. Sure, you get a page on where traffic is coming from, but this is mostly pointless. Simply by knowing the CTR (click through rate) of customers who come through your emails and convert you will be know how to better optimise that email for the future. Throw in some time of day data and this could be an indispensable marketing tool. Finding more of your newsletters with above the fold images, subheads and a few paragraphs are having a higher CTR? You know to shape your future emails this way.

Bounce rates
If your new product page isn't laid out correctly, doesn't have an effective call to action and doesn't contain the right information your potential customers might be bouncing. Simply put, this means they're visiting your page and leaving before converting. Knowing the percentage bounce rate is crucial to knowing how effective your product page is in the customer journey.

Get rid of useless analytics
For some reason the platform decides that you need to know a bunch of superfluous information that I would deem as vanity analytics. Knowing you're in the top 15% of publishers actually isn't useful unless you know how to increase that ranking. Page visit averages are also entirely devoid of meaning. I would rather know my actual daily visits and conversions for a certain product. Sure, you can get a daily sales report, but this only lists conversions.

Also, just do away with the 'top customers per month's in the ranking and trends report. It's a waste of space because it contains no useful data.

The above are some of the smaller analytics that would do sellers a world of good and I appreciate implementing analytics can tough. If anything, I'd suggest they charge a small percentage for access to higher analytics toolkit if they were worried about recouping their losses.