Data and its analysis is where you and other smart marketers should focus your attention to gather insights about your customers. There is more real-time data now than ever before and it’s never been easier to get to - it’s literally in the palm of our hands.However, it’s not always as simple as it sounds; as this abundance of data can at times be overwhelming.
Collecting the Data
Marketers need to be targeted in the data they collect to discern what’s interesting vs. what’s valuable. Begin by identifying your specific program goals and then prioritize the key pieces of information you would like to know about every person in your database, beyond just their email address, necessary to achieve them. For example, it might be interesting for an outdoor recreation gear and clothing company to know the shoe size of their customer, but it’s more important that they know what purchases they recently made, what activities they enjoy (i.e. kayaking, hiking, cycling), and their date of birth. There are generally three types data you can collect:
- Demographic Data
What is the age of your customer? What sort of work do they do? Are they married? Do they have kids? Where do they live?
- Behavioral Data
This is everything you’re able to observe (and record) about past customer interactions. When was the last time they visited your website? What did they view, download, or purchase? What is their average order size? What devices do they use (Smartphone, tablet, or desktop)?
- Transactional Data
Transactional data is a powerful way to personalize your email campaigns. What’s your customer’s average order size/amount? How recently did they purchase? How frequently do they buy? What offers or incentives typically get them to act?
Analyzing the Results
Once you have started collecting subscriber data, it’s time to put it to work. Begin by analyzing your results. 2015 was all about “Big Data”; in 2016 it’s all about finding the right data. Focus on the information which gives you the most value – the simpler the better – especially when starting out. Marketers can fall into the dangers of trying to do too much, measuring the wrong things, and making incorrect assumptions based on correlations they’ve “found”. When analyzing your data, sit back for a moment and think “so what?” When the “so what?” is known, then you can apply these insights and start the “now what?”
Leveraging the Insights
It’s common knowledge that segmenting your email marketing lists helps you achieve better open and click-through rates. Today’s consumer expects to receive communications and offers targeted to their individual needs and wants based on the context of their life. By narrowing your focus and sending messages to targeted groups within your lists, your recipients will find your campaigns more relevant—and relevant campaigns get better results.
With the data you’ve collected and analyzed you can begin to personalize emails by providing helpful relationship building content and product offers. These optimizations can be something quick and easy, like personalizing the subject line or amending the frequency of messaging; or it can involve a little more work, such as adding dynamic content blocks or real-time email creative.
A recent survey conducted by Yesmail, an ESP, found that the elements most often personalized in email campaigns by US retailers were subject lines (61%) and a recipient’s name (42%). This information is both easy to collect and simple to implement whereas, personalizing email copy (36%) and email images (34%) requires a greater level of sophistication and as a result is employed less frequently.
Staying relevant is key in a fast-paced and crowded marketplace. Consumer’s expectations for personalized advertising are greater than ever before. Brands looking for a competitive edge will see this as a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd. By finding the insights in your data you will be able to move the needle and ultimately improve your ROI.
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