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How your email marketing data can unlock more sales

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again:

Your email marketing can only ever be as good as the data you’re capturing. 

Now if you’re thinking “Say what Sam?!” 

Allow me to elaborate. 

In last week’s blog, I was talking about the essential ingredients for getting more results from your email efforts. 

And an undeniably HUGE percentage of the ingredients are to do with email marketing data. 

Data on who your subscribers are. And data on how they behave. 

So, first things first, who are they? 

Ask for your subscribers’ demographics (and firmographics)

I’ve worked with many clients that capture next to no email marketing data on their subscribers. Email, obviously we’ve got that one. Their name? Sometimes. And far too often that’s the end of the road. 

And let me tell you, it’s pretty damn hard to create a personalised email (which research shows is 6x more likely to result in a transaction compared to an email that isn’t personalised) if that’s all you’ve got. 

Sure, you could include their first name in the email’s subject line. And that’s a good start. But to see big results you need to aim higher!

So let’s talk about how you can.

For starters, how did the subscriber end up on your mailing list? Did they download a lead magnet, sign up via a form on your website, or via social media advertising? Capture this information when they subscribe so you can act accordingly. 

For instance, if someone has signed up to your mailing list but hasn’t come across your lead magnet you might want to promote it to them to provide them with fast, free value. 

If you’re using a lead magnet to grow your mailing list – and if you don’t know what a lead magnet is, it’s typically a free piece of content designed to provide the subscriber with value in exchange for giving you permission to email them.

So if you’re using a lead magnet to grow your mailing list, I’d encourage you to ask for more than simply their name and email. Think about what would be useful to you in your marketing efforts. Maybe it would be helpful to know their job title, what industry they’re in or what their business size is, for example. 

Because your lead magnet is delivering immediate value, you’re justified in asking for a few more details. 

Ask for your subscribers’ preferences 

Something I’d highly recommend doing for any new subscriber is asking them what they’re looking for. You could do this in the sign-up form itself or in an email after they’ve subscribed. 

This is important for understanding why they subscribed in the first place. Are they looking for education? Offers? Invitations to events? Why are they here, on your mailing list? 

You could even take it a step further and ask how often they’d like to hear from you. For example, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or even daily? Trust me, the results here might surprise you. 

But this is an awesome way to align your subscriber’s expectations with your actions – a great way to improve engagement and minimise unsubscribes and spam complaints.

Capture your subscribers’ purchase information

Now, if your subscriber becomes a customer, this is something you absolutely want to capture in your email marketing platform. Firstly, because – depending on the purchase – it may not make sense to promote your products and services to them again immediately so you might want to exclude these subscribers from upcoming communications. 

But also, when you are ready to try to win a repeat purchase? The more informed you are about what they last bought from you and when they bought it, the better.

You might also want to capture how many purchases a customer has made with you or the total amount a customer has spent with you, so you can segment your audience by their loyalty and value to your business. And this could be done by integrating your payment or invoice software with your email marketing, or a simple Google Sheet. 

Keep track of your subscribers’ behaviour

From an engagement perspective, even the most basic of email marketing platforms will capture behavioural information like email opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes. It’s how you act on it that matters. 

While reviewing your email performance is obviously important, that’s not all these metrics are good for. They also help you to gauge intent. How interested is a subscriber in what you’re sharing? 

If they’ve opened your email and clicked on the primary link? There’s some interest there. If they haven’t opened the email? As it currently stands, there isn’t.

This is important email marketing data for helping you to determine your next best step. Should you follow up quickly with another email or let them sit for a while? Should you address another pain point or move towards promoting your offering?

Behavioral data like this is the key to unlocking the answers to those questions. 

So, to recap, what are some of the essential types of email marketing data you should be using in your emails?

  1. Demographics – For example, where do they live? Are they married or single? Do they have kids?
  2. Business information (otherwise known as firmographics) – For example, job title, industry, and business size.
  3. Preferences – Straight from the horse’s mouth, find out they want to hear from you and when.
  4. Purchase information – have they bought from you before? What did they buy? When did they buy it? 
  5. Behaviour – email engagement such as opens and clicks to specific links

More of a podcast listener than a blog reader? We’ve got you! Check out The Stairway Scoop podcast and grab all our email marketing gems, audibly, once a week. 

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