Picking Up The Pieces Of Data Exhaust For Smarter Emails

Email subscribers leave a trail of data exhaust with every interaction: that is, the data left behind as a result of a customer taking some sort of action.  Email marketers leverage quite a bit of this data by analyzing products viewed on the site, links clicked, and campaigns opened. Even so, there is still a wealth of data that can be leveraged to test new ways of segmenting emails, or even to create entirely new campaigns.

Here are four ideas that you can test:

1. High engagement and no conversion.Customers show heavy interest — and possibly a propensity to buy — when they spend more than the average amount of time on the website, view more pages than the average number in a single session, and open or click a large percentage of emails in a short period of time. Temporarily increase the frequency of email campaigns for these engaged customers who haven’t yet converted to see if that encourages a conversion. A different spin on a remarketing campaign, this would go beyond sending a single, abandoned browse campaign.



2. App-engaged. Subscribers that are engaged via an app should have email links directed to the mobile app, thereby leveraging deep linking capabilities. You can make this experience very rich by leveraging an open-time personalization tool to determine if the links will lead to the website or the mobile app, based on the device used.

3. Product reviewers / socially engaged. Users who have submitted product reviews or feedback via social media in the past have shown a keen interest in volunteering feedback to your brand. When you look at who your brand influencers could be, start with these customers — particularly the ones who have provided repeated, positive reviews.  In the case of product reviews, you can even share the number of people who have viewed their reviews to demonstrate their inherent value.

4. Customer service issue / product return. While positive sentiment among customers is an opportunity to find your brand influencers, those who provide negative feedback present an opportunity just as valuable. When there’s a customer service issue or a consumer has to return a product, that’s a perfect chance to make it right.  Send a survey to find out what went wrong, or even surprise and delight valuable customers with an invite-only coupon or a VIP event invitation. You could end up creating advocates by correcting a bad situation.  

Ultimately, the best data elements to apply in your programs are those to answering a question about your customers.  If you focus purely on the data elements, you are putting the cart before the horse.  Use my ideas above as a starting point, but I also challenge you to come up with new ways of getting the answers that are more specific to your customer base.  Out of your brainstorming session will come segmentation and programs that address what your customers need the most. What are some new segments or programs you intend to try?

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