Have you developed, or had someone in your organization develop, a large data base containing prospect and customer history?
If so, are you using it to its full potential?
Your database can be a gold mine, if you don’t mind doing a little digging. Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that are sitting on just such a gold mine and don’t know it. If your organization has a database with customer information like age, gender,and buying habits… including shopping cart abandonment, types of products researched, types of products purchased…just to mention a few…this information may be nuggets of pure gold to be polished and used.
Segmenting, or splitting your database lists (collected from email activity and other information provided by the prospect or customer) into various groups, allows you to more closely align your organization with your prospect or customer’s wants, needs and desires. By analyzing the information, you can increase the relevancy of your email messages. More relevancy; more e-mails opened, fewer email messages about products or areas where your prospects or customers have expressed no interest.
When you collect preference data at the beginning of your email relationship, then analyze how the recipients use the email information they get from you…emails opened, click-through rate, purchase data, and abandoned shopping cart data… you can create trend data. And…you can further hone your email marketing campaign to encourage or persuade lookers to become buyers, or buyers to complete any uncompleted sales.
Subject lines and content can be varied within segmented groups and tested to determine what users found relevant, and acted upon, within specific groups. Then, changes can be made accordingly.
If you are seeing trends heading south on the graph, you can start designing a new email marketing program to turn it around. Early detection can be the difference between dining on steak or losing your shirt.
When you’re beginning to collect email data, you really don’t need a big, sophisticated program with a lot of segmenting. Start with easy criteria.
One area that’s easy to track and critical to the success of your email marketing program..and your bottom line…is buying history. You could send thousands of email marketing messages, and lots of information to build the bond between your company and your email prospects and customers. If nobody buys anything as a result of your email marketing plan, however, it really won’t matter, will it?
If some email users are opening your email, clicking the links, and buying…and some aren’t; what is the difference? How can you find out?
One way to find out is to review the emails being sent to both buyers and non-buyers. Are there patterns present? If you have non-buyers who have always been non-buyers, what’s next? There are two options: convert them to buyers, or phase them out of the email marketing program.
If your buyers are buying less, what can you change to help them resume their previous buying pattern? If they’re buying more, what can you clone to spread the success?
All of the data you collect and use to improve your email marketing program will bring you closer to a one-on-one connection with your prospects and customers, and further from the point and spray broadcast of the past.
One thing I always mention about data, though. That is…it’s only data. If you want to know what’s going on in your customer’s minds, you still have to observe people…and ask. Do surveys. Get feedback, and have real one-on-one conversations about what matters to them, and what else you can do to help them solve their problems.
Remember…it’s not just “what have you done for me?” It’s “what have you done for me lately.”