Some types of behavioral data to consider collecting include:
• Previous e-mail behavior such as clicks on articles, offers, etc.
• Previous purchase behavior.
• Web site activity demonstrates audience loyalty in terms of recency, frequency and volume of visits, interactions with ads and content, favorite pages, etc.
• Behavioral data merged with demographic characteristics creates the most effective segments.
What Triggers Do You Care About?
When deciding which types of data to collect, the key is to pick the “triggers” that are of the most value to your business. This could be an offline action, reading a particular article or purchasing a specific product. After determining, tracking and analyzing the important triggers, you’ll have the ability to begin mining data, creating actionable segments and sending customized, relevant campaigns.
“The ability to integrate a variety of data sources acting as event triggers in an automated fashion is central to dynamic content scalability and should be a primary consideration in e-mail service provider vendor selection,” states a 2003 Jupiter Research report titled “Target Marketing: Using Dynamic Content to Improve Results.”
How to Execute More Effective E-mails
E-mail is direct marketing, and it should be treated with the same rigorous testing and measurement as direct mail and telemarketing. You will need to be patient to see the results you are expecting and optimize continuously for success. This includes the testing of offers, creative, messaging, placement and target segments.
Unfortunately, many marketers continue to blast e-mails rather than use the initial communication as a way to develop an ongoing dialogue with a prospective customer. The continual optimization approach takes more planning, but it also yields much better results. Testing allows the marketer to create benchmarks and improve returns over time. When e-mails are specific and personalized, prospects and customers are more likely to open them and take action. Getting a prospect to take any action in the first e-mail is difficult. By having more realistic expectations and taking an approach that focuses on creating an initial and ongoing dialogue rather than expecting immediate transactional results, the marketer is likely to see better overall performance. Such a strategy will deliver rich customer profiles over time that can be developed and allow marketers to deliver specific and personally relevant communications that result in a relationship. Converting these relationships into marketing ROI over time requires patience and discipline.