Want Better Email Open Rates? Use Big Data

Want Better Email Open Rates? Use Big Data

Big-data insights can help you segment your email database to better target prospects based on where they are in the buyers’ journey.

Most companies these days are swimming in a sea of big data, the great swaths of information they’ve amassed from sales records, social media connections, website leads and contacts, and online analytics.

At first glance it’s a tangle of information that is hard to organize and even harder to learn anything from. That’s a stumbling block that forward-looking businesses need to overcome. Big data can help breathe new life into one of the most reliable yet shopworn tools of the trade: email campaigns.

Embrace Big Data

A study by the executive head-hunting firm Spencer Stuart surveyed 171 companies regarding big-data usage. Just a little over half of the companies used their big data to help guide email, SEO, and SMS marketing campaigns. That’s a fairly low rate, given the potential leg-up that big data can provide.

Consider what Walmart is doing. The company has big-data information on about 60% of all Americans, with which it micro-targets customers based on their individual interests and habits. It’s a powerful strategy that is spreading quickly to businesses of all sizes.

How can you use big data to freshen up your email campaigns?

Be a Collector, Not a Hoarder

Chances are, you are obtaining a lot of data, especially if you have an active content marketing plan in place. Not all of the data you get is equally important. Your focus should be on data that can lead to an actionable and quick response — for example, are you gathering information on your customers’ buying habits? Do you know who they are, where they are, what their interests are, what their email address is, and how your business connects with them?

Collect that relevant data and study it. Much of it will come from the buyer’s journey — the breadcrumbs that potential buyers leave for you in your big data. These pieces of information are keys to your personalized email responses.

Respond In Kind

Most experts agree that a quick and targeted email response is a good strategy for encouraging a new customer to make a purchase. The email needs to respond directly to the buyer’s interests — using information you’ve (hopefully) logged with your big data.

From this point on, it’s crucial to make sure that every email that is sent to that buyer is built around a backbone of big data.  Nurture your customers with personalized emails that offer content and deals that line up with their specific interests.

Don’t Mess with the Masses 

Mass emails — the generic sales pitch email — used to be the cost-effective and simple way of reaching and converting customers. Now, it’s more than likely they’ll get sent to the trash, or worse, the spam filter. The mass email is your one-way ticket to spam purgatory.

“Traditional methods of mass marketing doesn’t resonate anymore and they’re being ignored by the audience,” said Volker Hildebrand, Global Vice President of Strategy at SAP Hybris, in a recent interview with Forbes. “Data is the fuel for customer engagement, and being able to pull together all the relevant information about in real-time.”

You can do better than the mass email approach. If you’ve collected relevant data and you’ve studied your buyers’ journeys, you have the tools in place to build a smart email campaign. Tailor your campaign to personalize your approach to your customers, and more than likely they’ll open that email.

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