Striking data gold

How and what data to gather for email marketing are always key questions, no matter what your industry.  (Hint: if they’re not, make them so.  Now.)

On your newsletter signup form or order confirmation page, how much data is enough but not too much?  Why are you collecting these fields?  And how can you use the information you collect effectively?

Hit the jackpot: What’s the most effective piece of data you hold on your database?  Identifying your company’s data gold is well worth the analytical effort.  Bear in mind it might not be what you immediately assume and you’ll need to run a few tests to check responses to different segmentation.

Are you thinking beyond gathering the standard name and email?  If you’re collecting other details, is it justified?  For instance, it might make more sense to gather a partner/child/best friend’s birthday than the subscriber’s own if you’re running a gift website – then send timely reminders.

Also beware of relying on fields that ‘age’.  For instance a date of birth will always be reliable (assuming they’ve been honest!) whereas a home address, phone number and personal preferences might change over time so are only truly useful for welcomes.

Some ideas to get you thinking: Retail
Purchase info (product type/value/frequency) You bought this so you might like that, time to upgrade, review your purchase
Gender Send relevant products

Travel
Booked holiday date/month Holiday countdown, checklists, city guides, time to book another (x months later), post-trip reviews and questionnaires
Typical season/location of travel/wish lists Timely, relevant recommendations and price alerts
Postcode/nearest/favourite airport Only send relevant offers
Number of trips booked to same destination/hotel Targeted promos based on region/hotel chain
Business/holiday Alter tone/type of promos and information included.  E.g. business travellers might not need advice on tourist attractions, but want more detail on access to/from transport links, exhibition centres etc.
Traveller/agent For example – PAs could be targeted separately if booking for execs
Average # bookings per year Loyalty scheme, frequency of bookings may dictate frequency of comms

Banking/finance
Types of accounts Don’t have a credit card – get one now, time to start saving, change mortgage
Insurance (car, home) renewal date Time to renew, check out latest prices, upgrade

Gaming/gambling
Product preference and/or what combination of products Targeted promos and added value content
Average revenue generated by user Promo value, loyalty scheme
% Wins/losses Track their activity – do they stop playing after a loss/win, are they a rookie/pro?, winner/loser bonuses
Last played date How active are they on various games?

The last word: The last time a person interacted with the site or your business and how are by far the most effective pieces of information you can harness.   Depending on the interaction, this allows you to see what stage of the lifecycle they’re at, without having to openly ask.  Sneaky.

Once you’ve got your date house in order, there’s scope for all manner of analytical wizardry, including propensity modelling, but that’s for another time.

So have a snoop, get your data sussed and you may be surprised by what you discover.

By Katie Gibson, Email Consultant at Stream:20