Do you often find yourself so overwhelmed with your daily activities that you find it hard to break out of the "business as usual" mold and do something new and innovative? If this sounds familiar you may be missing out on the bigger picture - your target market and their brand journey.
Understanding Your Audience
Identifying your audience for each campaign is key. Before getting started, stop and take some time to really dig into your subscriber base by analyzing your data. Some important details to look at include:
- Buying needs
- Where/how your subscribers will be viewing your message
- Where your subscribers are in the buying cycle
By analyzing the data you already have, you can begin to have a better understanding of your audience and how they react to your messaging. Doing this may actually uncover that you don't have enough data to really understand your subscribers and deliver relevant content. If this is the case, look at launching a campaign to obtain more information about your audience or even create a preference centre. Using a company that specializes in analytics can also help by overlaying the data you already have with theirs to gain a better understanding of your audience.
Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes
Once you have a clear picture of your audience examine the typical journey a customer or prospect would take. Start by reviewing how a prospect or customer may subscribe to your messaging program. This includes reviewing all subscribe forms, your website, social media, contest pages, etc.
Continue by going through the next step in the subscriber journey. This includes reviewing welcome message(s), preference centre, trigger and transactional messaging, newsletters, and reactivation campaigns. Ensure these tactics are all optimized for your audience. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you might respond if you were them. Look for any holes or enhancements that can be made to strengthen the journey. In some cases the subscriber may require a lot more education than initially expected at certain stages.
Using Data to Tailor the Journey
We've talked about using your customer data to help you identify your audience, now it's time to make the data work for you a little bit harder.
Utilize your data to identify opportunities within your messaging program. Take advantage of open and clickstream data to review if there are any increases or decreases in engagement. This could indicate that there is a sweet spot at a certain subscriber tenure that should be taken advantage of (stage of the buying cycle). Alternatively a decrease could mean that a different type of message should be sent at this stage.
You also don't want to forget about personalization. Using elements such as name, past purchase behaviour, location, or age are just some of the ways to help you communicate with your subscribers in a way that will truly resonate with them.
A great example of an optimized subscriber journey is an email program I subscribed to for pregnant women. Being a first time mom, I was so engaged by the content because every week they delivered tailored articles based on where I was in my pregnancy. I also received emails twice throughout my tenure asking me to update my preferences. The first time was right before my due date, asking me to update my email address in case I was subscribed using a work email account. Once I hit my due date I received a second email asking me to update my preferences with details about my new baby. This allowed for them to continue sending customized messages based on how old my baby was. This program really used the data they had to optimize the emails I received and the content they provided.
Map Out the Journey
Finally, another helpful hint to keep track of your messaging program is to map out the journey for your subscribers and keep track of the response metrics you're seeing at each stage. This will help you visualize your program and keep track of all initiatives and opportunities.
Reviewing and analyzing your subscriber’s journey enables you to get a better picture for how individuals interact with your brand. Once you have the data you can then set about optimizing the journey to ensure its effectiveness and efficiency. The key is to always let the customer journey shape your messaging and timing.