3 Email Marketing Tips to Effectively Leverage Data in Messaging
Today's marketer faces the complex challenges of meeting the expectations of connected consumers in order to stand out in a cluttered inbox. Customers, now adapted to instant gratification, have come to expect immediate response and personalized messaging as prerequisites to engagement. This sentiment has emerged similar to how online shoppers have come to presume the immediacy of purchase fulfillment; an expectation that delivery of purchase can be fulfilled by the next day, or even as quickly as same-day, in certain situations. If customers are interested in a product or service, they want to use that promotion or find out more information in that exact moment.
As the use of mobile devices continues to grow and customers are becoming more accessible to email communications around the clock, it is important to remember that just because an email is opened, does not mean it is received. According to Psychology Today, only 2 percent of people are actually good at multitasking, meaning consumers are not really reading emails when they open them on the go or while partaking in other activities; rather, they're skimming through them. Because of this attention deficit, marketers have just seconds to make a lasting impression, incite action or secure a purchase.
So how do you cut through the clutter?
Companies today possess valuable information about customers from many sources, including past purchases, online behaviors and, of course, email campaign metrics. This diverse behavioral data can help identify an intent to purchase, as well as individual customer preferences, allowing marketers to optimize email campaigns and ultimately stand out in the inbox. Email marketing, when combined with e-commerce data, for example, empowers marketers to not just identify consumers who are likely to purchase, but to also engage them when they are most likely to purchase and even target them on the type of device they're most likely to purchase from.
As access to customer data continues to expand well beyond the basic geographic and demographic segments into complete subsets of a consumer's preferences and experiences, the opportunities to significantly improve email marketing initiatives will continue to emerge. Here are three tips any marketer can use to improve engagement with customer data and create the most rewarding email experiences:
1. Centralize Data for Easy Access. Having centralized access to data makes highly segmented email lists and targeting possible. It also removes complications by tapping into multiple data sources for information about customers, saving time and eliminating the frustrating process of synching information. Most importantly, having centralized access to data means that, with the right tool, it can all be accessed in real-time. Bottom line: Collect all available data, and utilize tools that will allow you to integrate multiple forms of customer data seamlessly.
2. Use More Than Basic Customer Data. There's so much data that companies collect about their customers, including e-commerce statistics, email metrics, search preferences, website clickthrough rates, etc. When combined, all of this information gives marketers a complete picture of their customers. However, only 50 percent of enterprise marketers use data—of any kind—in email marketing. Of that 50 percent, the majority are only utilizing demographic and geographic data, according to the market research firm The Relevancy Group. This is hindering the effectiveness of many campaigns, because marketers today are missing out on a ton of valuable information that, if used correctly, could engage the consumer in ways that captures attention, leads to conversions and heightens the brand experience. In today's data-driven world, customers and prospects need to be targeted and approached based on their behaviors, not just their demographics.
3. Automate Trigger Messages. Once proper segmentation is in place, marketers can easily set triggers that will automate email messages, establishing real-time communications at ideal times. In order to cut through the inbox clutter, there is a short window of opportunity for marketers to send a promotion, remind a customer about the brand or product for which they searched, and entice them to convert or make a purchase. Proper segmentation enables marketers to meet these time constraints, but to do so in creative ways that capitalize on the personalized triggers consumers now demand. Further, with these tools in place, email marketers can have the same influential power and ability to make messages "stick" in customers' minds, despite information overload.
Data-driven communications with customers is key to boosting email marketing success. With all of the customer information marketers can now collect—from search and browsing on the website to promotional email clicks, even past purchase history and product returns—marketers have become empowered to utilize data like never before.
But in order to give customers the instant gratification they desire, timing of communications, content, direct engagement and true customer understanding are all of equal importance. While data tells everything about customers that a marketer needs to know about their preferences and intent to purchase; automated, triggered messages create the ability to respond immediately, based on customers' behaviors. Luckily, effectively leveraged data will help marketers deliver the right message at the right time and increase the ability to stand out in a cluttered inbox.