As we all know by now, third-party cookies are going away, and while that doesn’t have a huge impact on how we engage in email marketing, we can use email marketing to prepare for this new reality. It’s all about how we collect and optimize customer data.
Email marketing always starts with asking for permission to send email to your new subscriber. When you ask for that permission, you are starting a relationship, and in any relationship you get to know each other over time. Your subscribers expect that you will personalize their experiences based on
- What they tell you about themselves, and
- What you learn about them through their interactions with you.
This growing relationship and exchange of data form the foundation of a very valuable asset: your first-party data pool.
Ciceron works with our clients to develop communication strategies and customer journeys that deepen the relationship between our clients and their prospects and customers. Every step along those journeys generates data. What did the person do to get to that point? What communication did you send to them, and what action did they take because of that? This data in turn informs future iterations of these customer journeys. Some of the things we keep in mind while developing these strategies are:
Offer something of value in exchange for the data you collect.
If you are asking people to tell you something about themselves, you need to use that information to customize their experiences and content they receive from you. For example, my favorite clothing retailer once sent me, out of the blue, a free item of clothing to say thank you for being a customer. It was a piece that was in a color and style that I liked. The retailer could see my purchase history and act upon that data to deliver an experience to me that has made me an even more loyal customer.
Be transparent to earn trust.
Make it easy for people to know what data you have about them, and make it easy for them to update their preferences.
And finally, never, EVER use “noreply@” for your email marketing reply-to address. That’s a fast way to shut down the relationship and turn people away. Every time someone replies to your emails is a chance to engage in a conversation and make your relationship stronger.
Want to talk about strategies to use your email marketing program to build your first-party data pool? Contact us – we would be happy to discuss how we can put email to work for you.