9 Tips for Creating a Data-Driven Email Marketing Strategy

by Samuel O’Brien, Customer Think

Customer data is at the heart of any piece of work a marketer does. After all, this is the information that drives sales and lets companies know they are selling the right thing to the right people.

However, despite having access to different types of data, customer information isn’t always optimized as much as it could be. Or in the ways that it could be.

One place data can have a bigger impact is in marketing emails. Chances are that you’re already sending emails to customers with products and offers. But making your emails more specific, targeted, and data-driven boosts both traffic and sales.

Here are nine tips on how to create a data-driven email marketing strategy.

1. Get to Grips with Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is about looking at customer data and making predictions based on it. It helps companies create targeted ads and emails by analyzing their buyers’ behavior and interests. Predictions are made by browsing behavior or past purchases, as well as social media interactions and email engagements.

AI, machine learning, and algorithms have a particular impact on predictive analysis. This is because they’re much quicker at gathering and analyzing customer data. They also help to evaluate customer profiles and buying patterns.

Understanding how predictive analytics works and how to read the data will help you to better recognize behavior. This allows you to give team collaboration meaning and create successful marketing strategies.

Source: Losasso

2. Consider Your Audience

The very first thing you need to consider is not just what you are selling, but who you are selling it to. Audience demographics can make a huge difference as to how a product is received.

Say you run an online shoe shop that sells every type of shoe. There’s no point in sending out a generic email about the latest high heels. Because that email ignores anybody who doesn’t wear high heels, which is a lot of people. The message will then be a waste of time and money and won’t get a high return on customers.

Collecting customer data can help figure out demographics and who’s buying what. If the marketing team creates targeted emails for specific demographics, they’ll get a much higher response rate. The demographics you choose to look at may include a person’s age, job, or gender, amongst other aspects.

Another point to consider when looking at your audience is their geographic location. This will make a difference to the language you use and the products you target to people.

For example, let’s say you are a global company based in California. Selling sunblock in November might do well with a local audience, but a British customer may not know what ‘sunblock’ is and wouldn’t be interested in it during the cold British winter.

3. Understand Your Customers

One thing that will help you to create successful marketing emails is understanding your audience. Remember that just because they fit into a certain demographic, doesn’t mean they will instantly love a product that fits with their “type.” So, you may need to get a bit more personal to understand your customers.

One way you can learn to understand your customers is through sending out emails they can respond to. It’s a chance for them to tell you what they like.

For example, let’s say you’re a company that provides cloud-based communications. It may be that demographic data suggests you target Broadvoice alternatives at men aged 35-50 who live in Texas. However, after asking for more detail, you’ve found that there are a handful of women aged between 21-35 who are also interested in these products.

By checking this, you know customers are more likely to click on an email as it actually appeals to them.

Source: Campaign Monitor

4. Keep Customers Involved

You can’t guarantee that customers will love everything you offer all of the time, and there will always be those people who are more enthusiastic about your company than others. Of course, it’s important to make sure you are there for the most loyal customers, but at the same time, you need to try and win back those customers who are less engaged than others too.

Using AI to analyze customer data helps you to keep an eye on dormant customers and then send offers and emails that encourage them to spend with you once again. One way you can do this is to send emails with subjects such as “we miss you,” with 15% off their next online order included.

As well as encouraging them to shop with you, this also prevents customers from unsubscribing completely.

5. Upsell

Anyone who has ever worked in sales will tell you that upselling is one of the most important aspects of the job. Upselling is selling add-ons to customers to enhance their shopping experience and the items they’re buying. For example, if a customer were buying a clock, a team member might upsell them batteries to go along with it.

Just because we are more reliant on online shopping now, doesn’t mean that upselling is a thing of the past.

When it comes to email marketing, customer data can provide the details needed to upsell products they’re likely to buy. For example, say a customer purchases a winter hat. You can then send them an email letting them know you have 50 percent off scarves too.

What’s more, after the sale of a successful add-on, this data can then be used to further understand what customers are likely to buy in the future.

Source: Chat Funnels

6. Make It Personal

This point is about responding to the customer’s behavior and keeping the individual happy. By following personal customer data you will be able to respond to their behaviors. For example, it may be that they only visit your store after you have shared a post on social media. In which case, it makes sense to send offers over email to them after you create a social media post.

It could be that data has exposed the areas that customers keep looking at on your site. For example, say you are a communications firm and AI has picked up that a customer keeps clicking onto a blog about Dialpad competitors. But they haven’t made a purchase. In response, you can send emails to them with products relating to this topic.

In doing this, you are predicting your customer’s needs before they even know them, are providing great customer service, and are encouraging people to return to you.

7. Get the Timing Right

Bad timing can kill the best of things. Don’t let your opportunity to sell be one of them. Even if you create the best email you’ve ever made, if the timing is off, it will simply be ignored.

There are two factors you need to get right when it comes to creating a great email marketing strategy. The first is the time of day. You need to send the email at a time when you know people will read it and pay attention.

For example, say you have created some content around the pros and cons of Facebook Workplace that has a link to communication methods. If you send it just as people wake up, they’ll forget everything they’ve read by the time they get to work. So, use data to analyze the time of day when people are most likely to read and pay attention to this marketing email.

Secondly, think about the time of year. Make sure you are getting the timing right to match the correct products to the nearest holiday. No matter how excited you might be about your newest Halloween products, late August is not the time to try and sell them.

Source: White Lion

8. Figure Out a Response Point

Customers will all have individual points that they respond to. Using data will help you see the areas they’re reacting to and can help you to create tailored emails depending on their preferences. It could be that younger people respond better to emails that contain gifs, whilst an older audience likes to shop with you when they have a voucher.

Creating a marketing strategy that capitalizes on people’s preferences like this is a great way to utilize both demographic and personal information.

9. Use Traditional Methods

A big part of marketing is experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Therefore, it’s sometimes good to go back to “traditional” methods of marketing such as A/B testing. Try one method and, if it doesn’t get the response you hoped, try another and see which has the better outcome.

It’s okay to try different methods to find out if an idea is working. And today, we have AI, so if you do have to experiment with options, it should be a much quicker process.

Source: Software Advice

The Takeaway

Marketing emails are an excellent medium to communicate with customers, and using data to learn more about them and provide them with content and offers they like is a great way to keep them happy and loyal.

Article originally appeared on Customer Think.

For more great advice, download V12’s Email Marketing Success Kit – full of blogs, articles, webinars and resources to help you learn the latest trends and best practices to boost your email marketing success.

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