Article first published July 2015, updated June 2019
What if we told you that there was something you could do that would significantly enhance your email marketing?
If you’re looking for a simple way to do this, you can use the data that you already have about your subscribers. Data is the key to sending relevant and timely emails through segmentation, personalization, and automation.
Read on to discover the types of data that you should be using, how this data can be used to enhance the relevance of your emails, and, finally, how to get that data into Campaign Monitor.
How do you measure the success of an email campaign?
When it comes to measuring email marketing success, it’s impossible to do so without the right data. Here’s how you can measure your email marketing success using analytics.
The first step to measuring the success of your email campaign is to set goals. These will help you set the benchmarks and KPIs you’ll use to measure your progress.
Define your KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the tangible metrics you use to measure your goals. Depending on your goals, your KPIs can be anything from open rates to the number of downloads and sales. As a Campaign Monitor client, you can integrate your account with Google Analytics to get all this data at your fingertips.
Analyze your data
Measuring the success of your email marketing campaign is as easy as analyzing the data from your email analytics dashboard (in Campaign Monitor) and comparing it to your goals and the KPIs you set.
However, measuring the success of your email campaign is not the only thing you can use data for. You can actually use it to improve email marketing results. Let’s take a look at how you can do that.
Types of data you should be using:
This is your basic A/S/L (age, sex, location) data that you might collect from subscribers when they sign up or make a purchase. This type of data generally doesn’t change very often, which makes this type of data ideal for basic segmentation, personalization, and automated emails.
The San Diego Chargers preference center asks for a number of demographic details
Examples of demographic data include:
Preference data is usually collected through the same kind of preference center mentioned in the San Diego Chargers example and might include data regarding your subscriber’s preferred products, services, brands, size, or frequency of mailing.
Lastminute.com asks for demographic and preference data in their preference center.
A good thing to remember is that preference data can change and become irrelevant over time. For example, someone might tell a travel company that they’re interested in visiting New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean you should only send them emails about New Zealand for the next two years.
It’s also important to note that most people won’t update their preferences if they do change unless prompted, so it’s a good best practice to remind your subscribers to update their preferences periodically.
Examples of preference data include:
Liberating your transactional data from your e-commerce platform is one of the best things you can do for your email program. Importing this data into your ESP (email service provider) can dramatically improve your segmentation and personalization, and opens up a new world of automated emails.
This data allows you to identify who your best customers are, who’s about to lapse, or who hasn’t made a purchase yet.
Examples of transactional data include:
- First purchase date
- Last purchase date
- Total amount spent
- Number of purchases
- Average order value
- Past products purchased
Recent behavioral data is the most reliable indicator of what your subscribers are interested in right now. This type of data might be collected from an email (opens/clicks) or from your website (pages browsed/items carted).
The most common type of behavioral email is a cart abandonment trigger, which usually goes out within 24 hours of subscribers abandoning their cart. However, many technologies are now available that allow you to follow up virtually any action that a subscriber takes on your website. This may sound a bit invasive, but it can be used to send helpful, relevant emails based on the products, services, or topics they’ve recently browsed.
Connecting Lytics and Campaign Monitor can give you access to this type of behavioral data. Lytics combines your users’ behaviors from your other marketing tools with historical email data. This enables you to create custom segments based on how your users interact with your brand.
Examples of behavioral data include:
- Product/service/web page browsed
- Cart abandonment
- Form abandonment
- Email opens/clicks
What can you do with the data?
There’s no point in doing a data integration if you don’t know what you plan on doing with the data. Typically, your plans will fall into three areas: segmentation, personalization, or automation.
Having a rich data set within your ESP opens up some great opportunities to create highly targeted segments, which combine demographic, preference, and transactional data.
For example, you could target people of a particular gender who are interested in a particular product category, have made a purchase in the last year, and spent over a certain amount.
Birchbox used segmentation to identify their churning customers and targeted them with this win-back campaign.
Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates than non-personalized emails, but 70% of brands fail to take advantage of that, according to Experian Marketing Services. This is most likely due to a lack of data, easy-to-use personalization tools, and the time-consuming nature of testing personalized email content.
However, with the right tools and data, it can be very easy to implement. A few examples of using personalization could include:
- Offering discounts in bulk emails that only certain subscribers can see
- Personalizing the content of a birthday email based on the year that the subscriber was born
- Showing products based on the subscriber’s brand and size preference
- Aggregating data from mobile apps for end of week/month/year summary emails
Fitbit has used the data from its mobile app to send this highly personalized weekly summary email.
Sending automated emails wouldn’t be possible without data. Whether it’s a new subscriber joining your list, a birthday, or a cart abandonment, data’s required to trigger the correct email.
The timeliness of these emails is also extremely important—there’s no point in sending a shipping confirmation email after the package has arrived. Topshop takes email automation seriously. The example below is sent within hours of a subscriber adding items to their cart and not making a purchase. They’ve taken a customer-service approach to see if the subscriber had any issues finding an item or making a purchase. They’ve also nicely personalized the content of the email with the actual products that were abandoned.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of brands that used this data well in their email marketing campaigns.
Examples of phenomenal email campaigns
Ready to get inspiration for your next data-driven marketing campaign?
Here are three phenomenal campaigns you can emulate.
Chatbooks is a great service for those who love creating and saving memories. It helps you create affordable photo books from your favorite photos, either from your smartphone or social media accounts.
With the data they collect from their customers, they’re able to send highly targeted email campaigns to attract and retain new customers.
Source: Campaign Monitor
To take the personalization a step further, they used a code that elicits the highest response in a mother: love. From the hero image to the simple copy, the use of data helped Chatbooks to create a phenomenal email campaign that moved their marketing needle up.
One of the main objectives of email marketing is to build relationships with your customers. David’sTea does an exceptional job of that using email analytics and user data.
Source: Really Good Emails
With email marketing campaigns like these, it’s easy to retain customers and turn them into loyal customers. By collecting data at each touch point of the customer’s journey, David’sTea is able to create personalized campaigns that make the customer feel like a VIP. Sometimes that’s what it takes to create brand loyalty.
Data collection and mining are at the heart of email marketing, as customers are looking for a more personalized experience with brands. By sending data-driven campaigns, you ensure that your email marketing strategy leads to success.
So how do I get this data into Campaign Monitor?
Now that you’ve determined what data you have access to and what you’d like to do with it, it’s time to figure out how to get it into Campaign Monitor.
Generally, you have three options.
Manually uploading data is one of the easiest and quickest way to get data into Campaign Monitor. The downside is that it can open you up to human error (uploading the wrong list) and you can’t send timely automated workflows if you aren’t uploading your new data on a regular basis. However, if you’re new to email marketing, this may be a good first option to begin with.
Did you know that Campaign Monitor has an API? This allows developers to automatically sync data between your CRM, e-commerce system, or apps on a regular basis, so you don’t need to worry about refreshing your data. The other benefit to this is that automated workflows can be triggered as soon as the data enters Campaign Monitor.
Want to integrate with your external data sources, but don’t have access to a developer? We have over 100 pre-built integrations. These integrations allow you to easily connect with some of the most popular e-commerce and CRM tools, like Salesforce, Shopify, and WooCommerce.
Having an integration can seem like a daunting task for many marketers, but it doesn’t have to be complex. Even simple pieces of data, such as location, gender, and product preference can open up a number of possibilities.
Now that you know how to use data to enhance your email marketing, you can implement segmentation, personalization, and automation. Let us know how you’re using data in creative ways.
In the meantime, feel free to check out our article on using data to send more relevant emails to help bolster your data-driven email marketing campaigns.