As email marketers know, sending the right information to customers at the right time is key to successful marketing. And it helps keep your customers interested and coming back for more. One of the best ways to ensure you have the right information is to use data from your email campaigns, website visits, social media or other sources. In fact, these days, data is used to back most email strategies, helping marketers understand what subject lines, copy, and promotions get results.
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In order to have a data-driven email marketing strategy in the first place, you need to gather information about your customers and subscribers. By understanding a little bit about who they are, what they like, and how they behave, you can send email messages that will get results. Fortunately, collecting data on your customers is fairly easy.
To understand more about using data to drive your email marketing, Campaign Monitor has created The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing to help you know more about objectives and challenges of using data.
Start collecting data
Before you make any changes, think about what you want to accomplish with your email marketing and how you want to use the data. If you want to personalize emails with specific information, you’ll need to figure out how to get that from your subscribers. Say you want to send emails with images specific to men or women, you’ll of course, need to know the gender of your subscribers. The more specific the data you have, the more you can do to reach your customers.
To start using data to make decisions about your marketing or to use it in your emails, you’ll need to collect it. Knowing basic information like who’s opening your email or clicking on links is great for crafting emails with the right information for your subscribers. You can also use it to segment your lists for even more targeted emails, but it’s just the tip of the data iceberg.
Data can be used for creating more detailed list segments or to personalization emails and can make your email marketing more effective. Having more depth to what you know about your subscribers like where they live, their gender, or their ages can help you know what your customers need from you, and what you need to provide to them.
This seems pretty reasonable, but 81% of marketers say implementing data-driven marketing is a challenge. The best thing to do is start slowly, understand what data you may already have and what more you need to collect. Using an email marketing service can make implementing strategies like this a little easier, they’ll have the tools to help collect data, segment lists, and personalize emails.
According to the infographic, there are some very effective channels to use to collect data.
- Social media 59%
- Websites 57%
- Mobile apps 43%
- Email Communications 34%
- Organic Search (SEO) 29%
- Paid Search 23%
- Display ads 20%
While email remains tops for reaching customers, you’re probably already using at least some of these tools and so already have data that can be used for your email marketing.
Of course, you’ll want to use the ones that work best for reaching your customers, but the first four at least should be easy enough for even small businesses to use. And while getting data collection set up and into a usable state can be a big step, 97% of marketers say they’re getting better at it. Stick with your strategy for awhile and you should see rewards in your marketing down the road.
Using your data
Now that you’ve started collecting data you’ll want to start using it. And there are many places you can use it in your marketing. Using it to segment your lists and for creating emails with content specific to each email subscriber are probably the two that will have the biggest impact on your business and your subscribers.
Segmenting your list
There are many sorts of lists that you can create when you have even a little bit of data on your subscribers. How you do that will depend on your audience and what your goals are, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Geographic – This can be based on something as simple as regions of the country, cities, an area of a city, or zip codes. Or you could go further and have information based on a country, population density, or even climate.
- Demographic -This data is more specific and personal to your subscribers and can help your emails connect with your readers. This data can include age, income level, gender, occupation, religion, and marital status.
- Behavioral – These are segments based on how customers interact with your business. Think about people who are in a loyalty program, VIPs, first-time buyers, or those who interact with your email by opening, clicking links and making purchases.
Of course, there are many ways to break up your lists, but these are some suggestions to give you a good start to using your data for lists that will have an impact on your email marketing.
Creating your email
Now that you’ve set up list segments, you’ll be able to create and send targeted emails more easily. For example, if there’s a big storm expected in the South, and it’s going to be sunny and warm in the West, you can use your geographic segments to make sure your email says the right thing to the right people. Or you can use certain content for people who are in a certain age bracket or even based on gender. You can create content and images specific to what your customers are interested in or have purchased in the past, to help encourage more purchases in the future.
Data-driven marketing can help your businesses bottom line, but you’ll need to understand how it can work for you and how to get started. Don’t be intimidated by the need to collect data or learning to create new types of emails, just take it one step at a time. For more information and to help you get started, check out the infographic The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing today.