What Big Data Means for Today’s Email Marketer
Technology has grown smaller and more accessible while the volume, variety and velocity of data it collects has exponentially grown larger. Websites track how we interact with content, traffic sensors measure how we use roads and now there are even mannequins that can collect information about what clothing appeals to us. Bits quickly add up to bytes as we track and measure seemingly everything. In fact, according to an IBM study, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day.
Big data, once the sole domain of big enterprise, is now a mainstream trend. Metrics and analytics have become the language that everyone from the solo entrepreneur to the large enterprise is eager to use in order to mine a treasure trove of data to gain access to business intelligence that will give them a competitive edge.
Management consultant Peter Drucker said, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." The challenge facing many businesses today is managing the measuring itself. Big data is useless if you don't choose the right things to measure and lack the means to turn data into usable business information.
Data has always been a central element in email marketing. We track and measure open rates, unsubscribes, clickthrough data and more to assess and refine email communications. What's changed over the years is the availability of more and detailed information about how campaigns are received, responded to and used. Now that we have all this data, what do we do with it? Below are five tips for using big data in your email marketing program:
1. Standardize best practices. Big data can give you a dynamic, real-time view into prospective buyer behavior. You can use this data to equip your sales teams with real-time information, predict trends and discover new opportunities. This data can also be used to standardize your best practices so that they're always repeated. Use data to determine the content type, frequency and sequences that yield the best results. For example, if your data reveals that a video demo followed by a personalized email yields the best results, standardize the practice.