Big data is everywhere around us, shaping the way businesses run. It is used by companies of all types and sizes for a variety of tasks, ranging from employee benefits administration to cancer research.
Big data is vital in the functionality and productivity of an organization’s web presence. Improving the way you harness and use big data will benefit your marketing strategy by helping you reach the right people at the best time with relevant content.
E-mail remains at the center of the marketing mix for most businesses. This post will highlight the ways that big data influences email marketing.
What Is Big Data, Anyway?
Before we start it's important to shed some light on what big data actually means. From the view of a business, big data is the vast amount of information that the company amasses every day: email addresses, number and type of ads that are clicked, and number and method of web page visits, among many other examples. Big data is useful for businesses as it provides a picture of trends, behaviors, and other valuable information that can be used intelligently to achieve organizational goals.
This data can be structured (email lists and databases) or unstructured (duration of web page views) and exists in a wide range of formats, from numerical to text, email, video content, audio or others. A lack of strategy on what to do with your business’ information can lead to missed opportunities, from failing to exploit valuable options in communicating better with customers to overlooking personalized solutions or information. Most importantly, not making use of big data can mean failure to understand who your customers are and what they need.
Big Data and Email Marketing
According to research from Litmus, email marketing remains a top digital channel for ROI, although the ability to measure that ROI isn't always effective. Email marketing can be used in a variety of ways, from communicating basic information such as standard campaigns or discounts to confirming orders and payments. However, email marketing can be used in a more clever way thanks to big data.
By using the information you have gathered from customers, you can now segment audiences and personalize messages, show increasingly more relevant content in your email campaigns, and prove to your customers that you understand them and know what to offer. For example, if someone has purchased a business intelligence tool, why not send them an email about that tool's integration capabilities with another platform?
This would only be possible if big data is used effectively by your business. But how does it actually affect email marketing?
More Personalization, Please
Big data provides companies the opportunity to make the content within email campaigns diverse and personal. You can use information such as firmographics, interests, technology installations, or previously bought services to ensure that the email will show your customer that your business understands them. Of course, it is vital to synchronize email marketing with other CRM systems, sales intelligence platforms, and data providers to create a 360-degree view of a customer.
Through the use of big data, your business can also provide tailored promotions or discounts to clients who have, for example, reached a certain number of licenses or have filled out a web form asking for more information. You can reconnect by using personalized content and influencing their decision-making.
Grabbing Attention from Subject Lines
Although it may seem straightforward, the importance of subject lines is often undervalued. To ensure that an email stands out in the inboxes of readers, it is essential to choose the right subject line.
Data analysis allows marketers and business owners to test the performance of specific keywords or phrases to see which solutions work. Tapping into your company’s big data also gives the opportunity to include the person’s name in the subject line or something specific about a previous purchase or contact with your brand.
Automating the Process
Through the use of big data, businesses can automate the email marketing process and send relevant information to the user at each step of the buying journey. Even for a lead that needs further nurturing, automation can be effective.
By implementing different triggers in your e-mail marketing strategy, you can ensure that every lead or customer receives a welcome email at the stage of subscription for a newsletter, a thank you message when buying from you, and scheduled reminders as necessary (such as if someone hasn't logged onto your service for a month).
A final benefit of big data is to provide feedback and an overview of which campaigns or tactics have worked for your business and which have underperformed. Combining the insight into customer preferences and history with the effectiveness of certain campaigns allows you to more accurately focus your marketing budget to achieve the greatest ROI possible. It is this information consolidation and amalgamation that makes big data a valuable asset in today’s digital world.