Data driven strategies are successful strategies. When it comes to building an email marketing strategy, it’ll do your ROI a world of good if you learn to collect and use email marketing data. If you want to win, you’ve got to crunch the numbers.
In 2020, most businesses have access to an amount of data that would have made any company a couple decades ago green with envy. There’s market and industry data neatly collected, collated and analysed all over the web, and when it comes to your own business data, it’s all readily sourced from countless across marketing channels and your sales CRM.
In a nutshell: you have plenty of data, and you shouldn’t let that go to waste.
Using email marketing data to inform your email marketing strategy will not only improve your ROI, but will help to create more opportunities for further data collection, and therefore inform further strategic moves.
Let’s look at how you can collect, and use your business’ email marketing data to inform your email marketing strategy:
Collect as much (high quality) data as possible
You can never have too much data. As long as it’s sourced correctly, and quality assured, procuring as much data as possible for your business needs is a smart move.
The more data you have to analyse and understand, the easier it’s going to be to see what kind of email marketing strategy you need to build. Data informs your movements, and makes reaching your end goal a clear, mapped out process.
Here are some tips for catching as much useful data as possible:
- Source available industry and market research data, where applicable
- Embed analytical tools across all your different traffic accumulators (your website, landing pages, social media profiles, marketing and sales software)
- Use a Marketing Automation platform. These platforms not only give you access to the tools you need to have a competitive email marketing strategy, but they also have reporting tools to make data analysis easy and error-free.
- Integrate your Sales CRM with your Marketing Automation platform. Improve the quality of your contact data by syncing data between your CRM and automation software. This helps to build a rounder profile of each of your contacts, making it easier to discern behavioural trends across both your inbound marketing and sales funnels.
Compare the reports of similar campaigns
How do you measure effectiveness of email marketing?
Every strong email campaign strategy starts off with a clear, measurable goal. Once you’ve got your campaign’s goal in mind, you can utilise the data collected from past campaigns which share the same goal. You can learn from the reports of past publications, and use the statistics to inform a strategy that capitalises on what’s worked, and what hasn’t.
If your company has been on the marketing automation software bandwagon for a while, then you’re at an advantage. Marketing automation platforms provide reporting tools that make publication comparison and analysis a breeze.
It makes no sense for past publications to be left for dead; the data collected from previous campaigns can help your business hone your future campaigns, and build an email marketing strategy that works for your unique audience.
Empower contacts to share useful email marketing data
A readily available source of extremely valuable data is your contact base itself. If given the opportunity, where there is clear value both ways, most of your subscribers would willingly supply the data you need to build a successful email marketing strategy.
Relevance is key to a successful email marketing strategy, and it’s for this reason that finding out what content each of your contacts prefer is invaluable.
By replacing your subscription form with a Preference Center, your business can sit back and relax whilst contacts relinquish information on the content they want to receive; informing your email content strategy for the foreseeable future. And it’s not just you who benefits; subscribers who have the chance to customise their subscription, and choose what they do and don’t receive, are more likely to be engaged and less likely to unsubscribe.
Other ways to source data directly from your contacts are:
- Collecting feedback via surveys
- Including polls in your emails
- Holding competitions which collect data via form submission
- Regularly asking disengaged contacts to update their preferences (via the Preference Center)
Get Agile! Create stories based on data, and test them out
We’ve already talked about utilising the reporting data from previous publications, but now it’s time to consider one of the most useful ways to make use of past data.
By building out fully fleshed customer stories, based off of the assumptions you make from analysing past data, you essentially take on the role of scientist as you hypothesise, experiment (by deploying relevant strategies) and circle back to see if your hypothesis was right or not.
This method is taken from the concept of Agile Marketing, and is a way to test out assumptions made from reviewing data, so that your official strategy is as solid as possible.
What are the steps involved in using email marketing data to experiment?
- Review past publication reports (from relevant, similar campaigns)
- Write stories based on the assumptions you make from your report analysis (e.g. Contacts are more likely to convert when they receive an email after 5pm that addresses them by their first name in the subject line)
- Segment a part of your target audience to test out this theory via a published campaign
- Review the report of your tested campaign and see if your hypothesis/story holds water
- Rinse and repeat with as many stories as possible before deploying a well tested campaign to the majority of your target audience
You can use a similar process based off of the stories you concoct from data sourced elsewhere. Other business data you may have collected from events, social media, website analytics, market research, and more – can also be used to build assumptive hypotheses that you can test out with split tested email campaigns.
Wherever you source your data from, you can ensure that the message you take away from your analysis is on the money by testing it out through relevant email strategies.
Coming up with a successful email marketing strategy off the top of your head is near impossible. The good news is that the best way forward is also the easiest. By reviewing and analysing as much email marketing data as possible, you will gain the insight you need to design a strategy that achieves exactly what you want it to.
Use your data, don’t let it go to waste!
At Swift Digital we offer a marketing automation platform that sources data across multiple channels; providing reporting tools to make analysis a piece of cake. Want to find out more about how automation can improve your email marketing strategy? Talk to our experts!
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