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Is data the foundation of your email marketing campaigns?

By Fiona Ness on Thu 22 May 2014 in Email Marketing

Marketing is quickly becoming more sophisticated. The number of emails sent each day is currently in excess of 144 billion. Not only does this make it harder to grab the attention of your audience, but it means that you can no longer get away with sending one mass email and hoping your audience takes a look. 

It is vital that you use the data you already have to grab the attention of your audience and tailor your message. But don’t worry we’ve broken it down a bit further than that.

1. Capture good data

We work with a variety of businesses, all with different requirements and priorities. However, wanting to capture more data on both customers and prospects is common and with marketing getting harder, data has to be the basis of your campaigns.

When it comes to collecting data, the danger is the temptation to buy lists in a quick fix attempt. But unsurprisingly, organically grown email lists far outperform purchased lists. If you think about it, it makes sense. An organic list contains people in your target market, who are interested in your product and at some point wanted to give you their details. So avoid the temptation of paying for lists and instead of worrying about large amounts of data, make sure the data you have is high quality. You can then successfully act on and segment this data to improve the success of your marketing.

2. Use actionable data to segment your audience

Actionable data is quite simply data that is relevant to your audience which you can then act upon, sending out relevant marketing messages. This type of data is available in multiple forms, and the good news is you’re probably already collecting some, if not all, of the following:

  • Profile information, including contact job titles, industry or company size
  • Accounts information such as purchase history, order values and loyalty is probably your most up-to-date and relevant data source, the problem is you probably don’t have information on the variety of contacts you need in your accounts system
  • Online behaviour like the level of engagement in your emails and the pages contacts are commonly visiting on your website

This is by no means a limit to the types of actionable data you can make use of. Regardless of your industry, current marketing activity or target audience there will be numerous ways of successfully segmenting your audience based on their interests. Whether this is upselling floodlights to customers with their own car parks, or sending reminder emails to people abandoning web baskets on your website.

Using actionable data to segment your audience is an easy way to ensure you are consistently sending out relevant information. With 61% of recipients just deleting emails that they see as irrelevant, actionable data should be a vital consideration in your email marketing campaigns.

3. Choose the right software to house your data

Identifying the types of actionable data you can make use of in your marketing campaigns is all well and good, but if this data is not available to the right people at the right times it is of little use.

A common issue within organisations is a lack of accessible data. When choosing your software you should therefore look for a package that will share data across all departments, from accounts to marketing for purchase information, marketing to sales for follow up on leads generated and from sales to customer service to complete your after sales process. Opting for an integrated system across all of these departments will give you the ability to store the data you capture, create marketing lists based on your actionable data and finally capture your marketing results.

This level of integration offers you an automated data cycle. Not only can you continue to capture new data, but you can ensure that the data you already hold is as up-to-date as possible. Plus, you will get a better understanding of the engagement levels your marketing campaigns are receiving and therefore the interests of your recipients.

80% of your email marketing success is down to the targeting of your list, whilst only 20% is down to the main content. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t focus on tailoring your message – you should! However, B2B data degrades much faster than B2C, at a rate of 6% per month. Kill two birds with one stone and use your current email marketing campaign to generate new data, update your centralised database and be the foundation of your up-coming campaign.