Email MarketingI was recently talking to an email marketing executive about their company’s email strategy and it became clear that there was in fact, very little in the way of a strategy. The approach was to send out special offers about half a dozen times a month, with little or no segmentation, with the belief that because people didn’t unsubscribe they must want to receive special offers from them.

This company is a very fast-growing, successful business with a turnover of several millions and it got me thinking surely with the tools marketers now have available at our disposal we can be smarter than a ‘scatter gun’ approach and constantly bombarding customers and prospects with offers? Upon further discussions with the email executive, I discovered why they were resorting to this method; historically they basically did not collect the data they needed to do anything more targeted. However, to their credit they were trying to change this.

I was recently asked by about my thoughts on the features businesses should be looking for in a CRM system. My answer was that most companies should focus on the basics rather than looking for advanced CRM features, and that is capturing good data.

That was where, in my opinion, this company went wrong. They didn’t collect the information they needed to understand their customer base so how were they able to build email marketing campaigns that focused on the customers’ interests?

It was their belief that, because of their brand and what they were offering, customers liked to receive their emails. They thought that a lack of unsubscribes backed this up. However by sending untargeted emails organisations risk negatively affecting people’s perceptions of their brand, which in turn can lead to them ‘switching off’ from marketing messages. To me it sends out a message that we don’t know you and we don’t really want to try to get to know you.

I’d be interested to see how open rates and conversion rates improved over time with emails that included offers that were relevant to each individual. For example, if you are a package holiday provider it would be reasonable to assume that someone who recently bought a holiday for young couples would not then want to receive information the following month about a cruise targeted at the 50+ market.

Data should therefore be the cornerstone of every email marketer in order to align your marketing communications. In fact, it should be central to every marketer and for all marketing communications. Customers are now demanding tailored products, services and communications and we need to adapt to this.

Companies like Tesco have been great at analysing data trends for many years using their Clubcard loyalty scheme. The data collected through Clubcard allows them to gain insight into their customer base and target promotions accordingly. For example, I had my 3 year old nephew staying with me one evening and I bought products in preparation for this. At my next Clubcard statement I received offers that were relevant to someone who had a small child. It was obvious that this transactional data had been analysed by Tesco. As I didn’t continue to shop with my nephew in mind, from my next statement onwards I received no further offers like this. Tesco had altered their communications accordingly.

I’m not saying we all need to be as smart as Tesco with our data analysis but all marketers need to deliver personalised communications and the data held within your CRM system is crucial to achieving this. This will result in customers who are more engaged with the brand which ultimately leads to a better ROI.

For more information or help in choosing a CRM system please contact Eureka Solutions.