You have the technology. You have the data. You have the ability to make your campaigns smarter, stronger and faster. So why don’t you?
It turns out segmentation really is the key. Segmentation enables you to develop relevant emails, create brilliant campaigns and connect with subscribers who want to hear from you. Use the data people give you when they sign up – gender, age, zipcode, interests. Deliver on what you’ve promised in the customer on-boarding process. Start with simple data points but dive into interest-based data to go even further and meet the consumer at his moment of interest and intent. Start small – get the subscription for new subscribers, then move to collect additional profile information that will allow you to send more relevant messages. Pick data points that will have the most impact and incorporate those into the opt in process.
Q&A with Greg Zakowicz
Share an example of how the lack of even simple segmentation has made the customer experience completely irrelevant.
I occasionally get emails from retailers promoting items like women’s t-shirts. Irrelevant to me. Sending something about men’s t-shirts could have gotten my attention and made me more likely to click through and shop. Simple data points can help but then diving into interest-based data can go even further.
How are consumers’ expectations for relevant messaging evolving?
People go to websites, they sign up to receive emails and whether they are asked for specific preferences or data points, they have an expectation that they will get relevant emails. It’s a different matter as to whether that data is actually used by the marketer. That’s the disconnect. Consumers want relevant messages and don’t know how they expect to actually get them. Some marketers use click-based segmentation, which can be effective.
If I’m shopping for a high-ticket item for my wife and I receive an email featuring men’s items but click on the women’s link in the navigation, this may indicate I’m shopping for my wife and not myself. Marketers can focus in on such behaviors to send follow-up messages that are much more relevant to the consumer. In this case, if I received an email that was more in line with the item I clicked through to see, I would be more interested in continuing to shop and perhaps make the purchase.
How will this impact automated messages?
If information is collected, for example, through a web form which asks for an email address and some additional profile data, then you can trigger a welcome email series specific to those known preferences. This can help a new subscriber become a first-time purchaser.
The problem with click-based segments is that you have to be on top of it. If I click on one thing now for myself and something else later for my wife, how do you understand that data and use it in the most relevant way?
What’s the first step a marketer should take?
Ensure that you are collecting the data. There are so many ways to collect data. It’s important to get the subscription for new subscribers but it’s also vital to get additional profile information that you can leverage to send more relevant messages. Choose data points that will have the most impact and incorporate them into the opt in process. Otherwise, use a secondary form after the sign up and ask the subscriber to complete her profile. You can also dedicate an email in your welcome series to gain additional information from new subscribers.
Start small. Pick one area you want to focus on, such as product categories or gender. Test it with a limited-time promotion to see if you can improve a specific metric and then expand from there.
The overarching term “segmentation” can be a bit overwhelming and a bit too broad for some marketers. Find a practical way to start and expand from there.
Segmentation. Are we tired of hearing about this yet? Maybe if more marketers started actually doing it, it would be repeated less often. Consumers are getting increasingly tired of emails that have no relevance, even as simple as using gender. Even simple segmentation will help with engagement levels and decrease unsubscribes. Come on now, collect the data and use it!! – Greg Zakowicz