Data-driven email marketing. That’s what you need to optimize subscriber engagement and drive conversions. But let’s face it – you can’t possibly collect, track, and analyze all the data related to your email-marketing campaigns. So what are the most important types of data that you need to succeed? Here’s our list.
Major Email-Marketing Challenges Today: Increasing Customer Engagement and Accessing and Leveraging Data
Increasing customer engagement was the most important email-marketing initiative for 2014 among business leaders in Strongview’s 2014 Marketing Trends Survey, with 44% of respondents listing it in their top three initiatives. “Understanding customer context through data analysis” came in second, with 22% of respondents counting it among their top three 2014 initiatives. Yet being able to access and leverage customer data from multiple channels and data sources was the most daunting email-marketing challenge for 2014, with 40% of business leaders surveyed reporting it as one of their top three challenges.
Top Data Sources for Optimizing Your Email-Marketing Performance
See how many items on our list of most important data you’re currently leveraging for your email-marketing campaigns:
- Email addresses — For an email-marketing program to succeed, this is the most important (and most obvious) piece of data you need to invest time and effort in gathering. And to further qualify, we’re talking about good quality email addresses. That means not only acquiring accurate email addresses that won’t bounce, but also collecting subscribers who are truly interested in your organization’s products/services and won’t be inclined to hit the unsubscribe or spam buttons.So how do you get and keep good email addresses for your list? First and foremost, get your prospects’ and customers’ permission to email them. It’s also a good idea to confirm email list opt-ins. Then, set expectations from the start by letting subscribers know what to expect from you in terms of both content and email frequency. And beware when using incentives to encourage email list subscribers – you may get people to sign up who are interested in the incentive, but not necessarily in your organization and what it offers.
- Purchase history — This information is valuable for email programs because it can help you determine the types of product/service information individual customers are most interested in receiving from you. Then, by segmenting your list according to previous purchase history, you’ll be able to target subscribers with information and promotions that are relevant and, ultimately, boost your email campaigns’ return on investment.
- Email clicks — This data, specifically measured by the number of clicks per email delivered, can provide you with a good gauge of the efficacy and relevance of your email messages. Plus, similar to purchase data, email click data can also be used to track subscriber interests and create effective mailing segments.
- Delivery data — How many of your emails are actually making it to subscribers’ inboxes? If they’re not being delivered, your email campaigns don’t stand a chance at success. In addition to looking at the number of emails bounced, also be sure to evaluate how many of your emails are being relegated to junk and spam folders by individual Internet service providers (ISPs), such as Gmail and Yahoo! Click here for more information about how to identify potential email deliverability problems in your email program.
- Percentage of mobile users — Knowing how many of your subscribers are using mobile devices to open and interact with your emails is important, especially if you aren’t using responsive design to optimize the mobile user experience. And if your email design isn’t optimized for mobile, the poor user experience is likely having a negative impact on your email campaign response rates. For more information about mobile email-marketing best practices, check out this recent NewsLever feature.
- Sales attribution — Where are your leads and sales coming from? To answer that question, begin by collecting data that provides visibility in the attribution of sales by the different marketing tactics you use, such as email marketing, organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search, and social media. Having this information will help you more effectively allocate your marketing budget dollars.
- Website visits and clicks — This data can help you more clearly understand what happens between the email click and the conversion at your website. Are your website and landing pages delivering on the promises made in your email campaigns? You can answer that question by tracking the website behavior of subscribers who click through your promotional emails.Website click data can also be used to identify products and services of interest to prospects and customers. Work closely with your web-development team to be sure you have the capability of accessing important website visit and click data, such as being able to link customer data with email addresses.
- Customer preferences — Preference centers – also known as subscription centers – are a great way to collect customer preference data during the email registration process and beyond. While simple preference centers collect only email address updates and offer frequency options, more sophisticated preference centers also give subscribers the opportunity to provide personal data and information about their interests. By using customer preference data, you can create and send more personalized and targeted emails to segments of your email list, which will help keep your subscribers actively engaged.
At FulcrumTech, data-driven email marketing is our specialty. Email us or give us a call at 215-489-9336 and we’ll help you gather, analyze, and utilize the most valuable data to maximize the impact of your email-marketing efforts.