Are Your Email Campaigns Taking Full Advantage of Your Data?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Email marketing is crucial for cultivating loyal customers. After all, someone who gives you their email is far more likely to give you their money than someone who simply gives you a Like on Facebook or follows you on Twitter. In fact, you’re six times more likely to get a click from an email instead of a tweet1. As email marketing has grown more sophisticated over the years, the power of big data has been taken into account when devising email campaigns. It’s not enough to simply have good-looking campaigns peppered with personalized greetings and offers: how smartly are you using big data so that your email marketing efforts are more effective?

Segmentation is Critical

One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is being able to easily differentiate your customers into different segments of varying breadth. This segmentation is the cornerstone of crafting highly-effective email campaigns. You can segment customers solely by market like a city, state, or country. Segmentation by demography such as gender and age group can also be effective depending on the product.

There’s emails you’ll want to send to every single subscriber, but for campaigns to have a major impact on your profits, you really need to segment your customers. For instance, if you’re a retailer opening a store in California, your customers in Pennsylvania and Texas aren’t likely to care about this news. But if you narrow down the campaign to subscribers’ zip codes that are a reasonable distance from the new store, then you’re far more likely to see interest and conversion. In terms of segmentation by age group, this has applications in industries like financial services where a young customer has different needs than an older customer but there are offers that both groups would be interested in.

Data From Email Campaigns Can Foster Price-Setting Effiacy

However, data tells you more about your customers than the information they provide or infer. What is your customers’ average spend per order? What about the types of items they order? Segmenting by this criteria will produce even more highly-targeted campaigns that not only convert more than an email that goes out to every subscriber but prevent you from making costly mistakes. By using responses to your email campaigns as a gauge, you can develop pricing strategies without costly and error-prone market research2. Pricing failure is one of the most major reasons why businesses lose money. If the customer base you have cultivated isn’t responding positively to the prices you currently have set, it’s simple enough to analyze the results of your email campaigns, and adjust your prices accordingly.

Examining your customers’ purchasing habits helps you determine how much they are willing to spend. Data from email campaigns can also help demonstrate their behaviors: do the customers on your mailing list frequently use promo codes or is code use more attributable to new customers who found you through social media or organic search? What time of day do your biggest spenders make purchases, and what day of the week?

Your customers’ interests, values, lifestyles, and other psychographics can be more difficult to infer, let alone measure, compared to basic demographics and purchasing habits. Depending on what your company offers, you may be able to segment your customers by these attributes or it can prove impossible. However, you should try to create segments based on interests and other abstract concepts if you offer products and services that can result in more than one group of customers that spend and behave very differently.

Trigger Emails and Automation

Trigger emails are an automated process that entails sending messages that are timely, personalized, and relevant to where the subscriber is standing right that second. This can be accomplished through beacon technology and contextual targeting. Trigger emails can also be sent through simple personalization, such as situations like customer’s birthdays, customers who abandoned a shopping cart, or in the days or hours leading up to an event. Trigger emails are a great way to let customers know that the items they ordered have shipped.

Harnessing the power of big data can make for highly-targeted trigger emails that require little maintenance. By utilizing data on anything from where the customer lives to items that they ordered in the past, trigger emails can be an effective way to use data to increase the customer’s lifetime value. Notifying a customer of a shipment where they are sure to open the email to get their tracking number is a golden opportunity to show them related products they may be interested in. If there’s a live event about to take place, the trigger email can utilize data on the customer’s behaviors and location such as recommending a similar event that’s­­ taking place near the customer’s zip code.

Data doesn’t have to be scary. It can open up a wealth of opportunities if it’s used properly, and has infinite applications in email campaigns. By creating segments and using a perfect storm of personalization and automation, data can make email campaigns more targeted than they ever were before.