Your organization likely has access to a plethora of data on prospects and customers. But are you using the right data in the right way to achieve marketing success? In this month’s feature, we talk about how to effectively use data in your email marketing to greatly increase levels of engagement and email return on investment (ROI).
How Are Marketers Using Data Today?
The data management platform provider BlueKai surveyed marketing professionals worldwide and found that:
- Data-driven marketing has increased by 227% in the first half of 2013.
- 91% of respondents said that the use of data is important for their segmenting and targeting strategies.
- Marketers also indicated that data influenced where they directed resources. One-third of respondents said that data influenced 75% to 100% of their digital-marketing budget, while another third said it affected 50% to 75% of their budgets.
- Email was the marketing area most influenced by data collection; 72% of respondents said data and audience information influenced email delivery.
To make marketing decisions, 87% of marketers said they used data gathered directly from customers, such as through forms and website visits. For example, the most commonly used first-party data source used was:
- 83% website data
- 79% customer relationship management (CRM)/registration data
- 72% email data
- 67% digital campaign data.
Forrester Study Finds Many Marketers Have Access to Data But Don’t Use It
In another recent study, commissioned by Silverpop, Forrester found that marketers who leverage customer behavioral data in their marketing campaigns experienced significant business benefits, including a higher return on marketing investment and higher revenues. Yet behavioral data is the “greatest untapped marketing asset,” according to Forrester, with only about 45% of the study respondents efficiently capturing behavioral data from multiple channels and organizing it in a single database. In other words, many marketers have access to a lot of data, but they’re not using it.
6 Steps for Developing a Data-Driven Email Program
As you collect demographic and behavioral data on your prospects and customers, think about what it can tell you and how you can use it to communicate with them on an individual basis. By leveraging the technology available today that allows you to automatically respond to customers’ actions, interests, and preferences, you’ll build both relationships and revenue.
The following are important steps for developing a data-driven email-marketing program.
- Design a welcome email series that gathers valuable demographic data. Keep in mind that you have to give to get. For example, provide information in a white paper or email newsletter that is of interest and value to your target audience. In return, ask them for demographic information that will help you provide email communications that are relevant to them.
- Capture multi-channel and cross-channel behavioral data. Track prospect/customer interactions with your organization including which individuals:
- Opened, clicked and converted in response to your emails
- Purchased specific products
- Visited your website
- Downloaded white papers or participated in a webinar
- Signed up for your newsletter
- Read your blog
- Interacted with your organization on such social media sites as Facebook and Twitter
- Watched your promotional video.
- Create a centralized digital marketing database. This will allow you to segment your list based on demographic and behavioral information and then send personalized messages with relevant content to each group. Having the right technology in place is the key to being able to effectively use the prospect/customer data you collect. This includes using an email service provider (ESP) that has the analytics that you need to understand the data collected, as well as supports such functions as email integration, advanced segmentation, and relational databases. Which ESP best meets your email-marketing needs? FulcrumTech can help answer that question. Contact us for more information on ESPs.
- Develop a campaign map based on the data. This involves determining the data you will use to generate email messages to the various segments, as well as the timing of those messages. For example, send an email message to webinar participants thanking them for their participation. And follow up a week later with additional information that supplements the webinar’s contents. Another example is sending suggestions of other products people may be interested in purchasing, based on products they’ve already purchased.
- Set up triggered or nurturing campaigns to efficiently take prospects and customers down the sales funnel. Automate emails to be sent based on customers’ behaviors. A cart-abandonment–recovery email program — a series of emails sent to people who started shopping online and left a website before finishing the transaction — is a great example of a nurturing campaign that has been shown to significantly boost email ROI.
- Develop a test plan to determine what data matters most. For example, set up a test to see whether you can successfully suggest certain purchases based on previous purchases. With this type of information, you can optimize the parts of your email-marketing program that are working and make them even better.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by your organization’s data and how to best use it for email-marketing success, FulcrumTech can help. We can ensure that you utilize the right analytics to understand the data you collect. We can also get you set up with the right technology that helps you really get to know your customers and provide them with the information they want, when they want it.
Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 and find out more today.
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