Big Data, Even Bigger Opportunities

Three strategic ways to leverage data in your email marketing.

How much would it be worth to you knowing few simple ways that could greatly enhance your email marketing? You probably already have everything you need, just overlooking it.

I’m talking about big data. Data is everywhere around us and companies are ramping their investment in it. More so, a recent survey of Fortune 1000 Firms showed that Big data has already achieved mainstream adoption. [1]

Why is data important

Working with data in your email campaigns is a big step and often both expensive and time-consuming. However, the question a company needs to ask itself is: “How much return would such an investment bring?”.

Yes, things grow in complexity once email marketing becomes a leading communication channel, but with help of accurate sales data and email performance data, a company should have a good idea of the potential. Being able to close sales more often, keeping clients happy and being relevant are all symptoms of success. And companies aim towards success and implicitly competitive advantage.

Companies that understand the value of data are already using basic data such as location, age and gender. This allows them to do basic segmentation and personalization. Some companies are taking it one step further, leveraging preferences and previous transactions. Others take their data even more seriously by collecting behavioral data and real-time web interaction hence being able to do advanced profiling, trigger personalized messaging and predict behavior.

If you are already somewhat aware of the value of data to your company then you are probably collecting basic demographic data and you are using these data points to do segmentation and set up personalized emails. Think about the benefits this already brings. Pretty good, right? Now, what if you could add some extra efforts to your email marketing and multiply those benefits by ten?

To do that, take into consideration the 3 following strategies and try to fit them to your efforts:

1. Reactivation campaigns and reducing customer churn

Even though a customer has not shopped for few months it does not mean he/she will never come back. But there is no need to wait 6 months until you reach out. If you wait too long they will forget about you, especially given how many different offers any person out there is being subjected to every day.

Research suggests that one of the best subject lines to reactivate a shopper includes “Miss you”. However, with the use of data, you can add a new dimension to your message like referencing previous engagement or including triggers for a positive response based on the shopper’s persona.[2]

While it is a fact that some customers will leave your company, you can be smart and use data to reduce customer churn by analyzing patterns in lost clients and touching them with relevant promotions before they flee. With this big data strategy T-Mobile USA cut down customer churn by 50%. [3]

Re-engage your lost clients. Be smart and get them in before they completely leave you.

2) Messages based on customer behavior

One of the key benefits that come with getting some control over your rapid flow of data is valuable real time data. If you are running an e-commerce site you should collect web interaction data to give you information about your client’s cart behavior. How likely is your client to actually finish his/her purchase after no action for 60 seconds? And what is the client actually doing in that time. They might just be grabbing the credit card or doing a price comparison. How about giving them an extra incentive to shop with you? This is just the top of the iceberg.

Motivate your clients when it matters.

3) Advanced profiling & buyer personas

People are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors — customers with similar intentions tend to make a similar choice. These are the fundamental concepts of cross-selling. With that in mind you can explore buyer personas. Using predictive big data models, companies are able to create very detailed buyer personas and update them rapidly. With these tools in hand, automated email marketing becomes a breeze. Promotions become increasingly relevant and tailored to your customers’ needs. But watch out, it is important to re-evaluate and refresh your data periodically and make sure that it is actually bringing in value.

Try to be one step ahead.

In conclusion, leveraging your data can bring obvious and fast benefits and can yield your business a significant competitive advantage. It is though important to keep in mind that organizational resistance can threaten this process. If you are one of those who don’t use data to drive and optimize email marketing campaigns then what holding you back?