All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dear Customers, you are all the same...

Segmentation is a major buzz word in email marketing right now. It means splitting your database into groups – characterised by common themes – preferences, purchasing habits etc.

By segmenting, you can increase personalisation. By increasing personalisation, you can deliver increasingly directed and relevant marketing messages – which should lead to an upswing in transactions.

A potential client approached us last week – with a database of 27,000. He wanted to start segmenting and personalising. He had, however, no information except names and email addresses.

The question this raises is one of timing. At what point do you start gathering data about your customers? Is it a one-off or ongoing process?

As with most things, there is no universal formula for success.

Your data gathering strategy must be formed in the context of your business, and your audience.

But there is a basic principal which should be followed.

Use the sign up point to gather a limited, important amount of data which will allow initial personalisation. Win the customers trust with a series of interesting and relevant emails. At this point, ask for more data. Explain your request so that the benefits to the customer are their driving force in answering your questions.

Justify their faith in you by delivering what they want. Use the data you have to ensure that what you send them is always relevant and takes into account what they have told you.

A major benefit of this is the improvement in perceived dialogue between you and the customer. Personalised emails, containing a great deal of unique customer data and preference recognition, are far closer to a discussion that standard, generic marketing emails. Discussions lead to deals. That’s smart marketing.

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