How to Harness Data for a More Targeted Email Marketing Experience

Email-Data-ServicesUsing marketing email software allows you to send the right message to the right person, which raises click-throughs, open rates, and sales. When you know who your customers are, what they care about, and what they don’t like, you are reaching them on a personal and emotional level. You are more likely to make a connection that will convert to a sale, and to create brand loyalty by reaching that customer on a deeper level than a business that has not catered to that customer’s personal needs and interests.

Gathering useful information on your email subscribers can be done completely above-board, without making them feel interrogated by direct questions.

An effective, affordable ESP like Mission Suite allows you to build a profile of your customers, and allows you to integrate with your social media presence to create enhanced, individual profiles.

You can also try these web-based methods to gather more information for your ad campaign:

  • Post surveys on your website, social media, and in email. Keep them short, one or two questions, and focused to a single topic. Your ESP can provide the code for these surveys, and then funnel the answers into your readers’ profiles.
  • Use your ESP’s analytics to create profiles of a type of user or customer: ‘The College Student,’ ‘The Frugal Parent,’ etc. Be a detective and track click-through rates, web activity, and social media behavior of individuals based on demographics. It can be very useful to know that, for example, men age 18-25 usually open your emails after 6pm on Friday.
  • Offer personal profiles on your website that your newsletter subscribers can enter their likes, hobbies, and interests. People are especially likely to fill these out if you have a social networking outlet on your site, like a discussion forum.
  • Don’t forget the info-gathering potential of transactional email. Any time you interact with a customer, you are learning about their interests, likes, and preferences, including ordinary business interactions like resetting a password or finalizing a sale.

When experimenting new ways to reach your customer, always test the changes.

  • The first testing group should be friends and co-workers. Ask their opinion on content, format, and clarity. Can they discern the important points by scanning the email for 10-20 seconds?
  • Then, do an A/B test by sending a different version to two sub-sections of your email list. This is not the time to split by factors like demographics — doing so creates a confounding variable, which means you won’t know if the content of the email affected open rates, or if the demographic differences were the reason for a difference in open rates.
  • For the same reason, only test one change — like a different subject header — at a time. Don’t test a different subject and graphical versus text in the same A/B test.

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