Linda is a 43-year-old stay-at-home mother of three. She loves to cook, make crafts, and shop for clothes online. Christy, a 36-year-old mother of one, has a freelance job and lives right next to Linda. She does not like cooking or shopping but likes books, crafts, and classical music.
How do you know you’re sending them what they need?
Your newsletter includes book recommendations and upcoming concerts in Christy’s area. You offer Linda the latest cake recipes and target her with local shopping ads.
Customer intelligence, or the process of using data to draw up actionable insight, will help you see what your customers have in common, and what sets each of them apart. Customers may be similar in many respects, but they could be very different when it comes to what they want to receive in their inbox.
Profiling each of your customers might seem like a lot of work, but an email marketing campaign based on customer intelligence will do most of the job for you.
The question is: where do you begin?
We’ll show you how customer intelligence can take your email marketing campaign to the next level in three steps.
1. Track behavior to gain Customer Intelligence
At the core of customer intelligence lies behavior: The links your customers click on a regular basis, the questions they ask, what documents they download, how long they stay on your website, and more.
These all form the basis of the ads or newsletters your customers receive next. You may not have a list of all their likes and dislikes, but you can easily gather that information from what they do online.
As an eCommerce professional, you get to decide how you want to monitor customer activity. Check out these ideas on what behaviors to track, and how you can segment your customer base into smaller groups with similar behavioral patterns.
With the right customer data in your hands, your emails will become more targeted and personalized.
“Dear valued customer” will no longer be an introduction in your emails and your email content will take notice of personal details from your customers’ engagement with your website. Thus, they will be better engaged and more likely to respond to you.
Most shoppers go online because they refuse to drive to a mall and run around shops looking for an item.
A popular email marketing tool that leverages customer intelligence and personalized recommendations can help businesses engage customers and learn more about what they want. Check out the example below from Canopy.
Source: Really Good Emails
2. Enhance data analysis
At some point, every customer experience director will realize the undeniable value that customer intelligence adds. The difference lies in how specific you want your data collection to be and how often you want to improve it.
If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry, you’re not alone. By following these four steps, you can begin instilling a data culture in your company:
- Develop a Customer Intelligence Strategy
- Enhance your Digital Analytics Maturity
- Invest in Technology
- Make the Most Out of Your Data
Technology offers a plethora of ways to collect and process customer data. In fact, websites and social media are just the tip of the data iceberg—you can collect customer information through GPS locations, third-party applications, Google searches, and even from something as simple as likes and dislikes on a viral video.
Before you can draw insights from your data collection, it is important to centralize it in a neat customer intelligence platform depending on your needs. When you don’t organize your data, it can be very daunting to look at.
You can also use email marketing dashboards to understand the information better across all channels and touchpoints. Most dashboards have a built-in extract, transform, load (ETL) process to get your data analytics in one place, so you don’t have to constantly switch tabs while you analyze customer information.
Once you have identified the relevant data you need and have refined your data collection, it will be easier for you to further improve your email marketing campaign.
3. Process your data to apply to your email strategy
With the right email reporting techniques, you can strengthen your customer segments and improve segmentation-triggered automation.
Customers want to feel that they are not just part of your mass distribution list, but that you know them as distinct individuals with varying preferences at different points of the customer journey.
You can also go beyond merely looking at email opens, subscribes, and click-through rates to the deeper insights that will be useful for the long-term: customer engagement trends, the health of your subscriber base, and average ROI for each subscriber, among others.
When you see that half of your subscriber base does not open your emails, you can think of a way to re-engage them by offering them something new. Is it their birthday? Drop an email with a small discount.
Have they been adding to their cart, but not checking-out? Send a short follow-up with a few recommendations.
If most of them click-through, browse your website for a few seconds and disengage immediately after, they might have been looking for something to catch their attention but did not find what they were looking for on your landing page.
Customer feedback is also extremely important, and when you respond well to reviews, customers will love you. Here’s an example of how a business listens to its customers:
Source: Really Good Emails
At the end of the day, what’s good for your business will likely be good for your customers.
As increasing options and technology battle for their attention, today’s highly-empowered shoppers want to hear from brands that truly know them.
What are the products that they’ve been eyeing for the past three days? Are they on a diet? Where are they heading for their next vacation?
Highly-personalized email marketing campaigns make it easier for customers to get what they need in a fast-paced world. In return, businesses will have a better idea of how to develop a product or service and make it more useful for specific individuals or groups.
Customer intelligence offers that key to the nuances that separate one customer from another and one segment from the next.
A good understanding of customer behavior and data analytics will help your business identify all possible sources of customer data as well as the tools to leverage these data in addressing the most unique of needs to the most complex of questions.
This post was written by Campaign Monitor's Ash Salleh.
Ash Salleh is the Director of SEO at Campaign Monitor, where he works closely with content, copy, and analytics teams to improve site-wide optimization. Prior to his time at Campaign Monitor, he also provided SEO and digital marketing expertise at Zappos and Axiata Digital.