Oct 23, 2008

Email Strategics - Step 2 - Segmentation

As I wrote in the first step of my "Successful Email Strategics guide", database quality is the first step to success along with knowing your type of database (the way it reacts as a whole).

Then, when you know your database, you can focus on knowing your clients/users.

All means are good to improve the amount of information you have on your profiles:

Declarative :
As much as you can, getting information from your profiles is a good way to know what they "look" like.
Don't hesitate to ask them some questions on the subscription form.
IMOO the minimum required (basically because it's the only way to find out is to ask) is : the first name, the last name, the date of birth, the country and maybe the postcode.
If you are afraid you might lose some profiles in the process, you might not make the fields compulsory but having this kind of information will allow you to target and to personalize your communications.
After these need-haves I guess you probably need further information depending on your industry.
Some will want to have the marital status or the gender or the annual income (always remember financial information and GSM numbers are the harder to get from your profiles).
Once the subscription form is set and leads are coming in you can now start to use your DB for email communications.

While doing so you will probably lose profiles (people unsubscribing, hardbounced emails, mailbox full,...) then your DB will start to lose part of its value. One thing I advise you to do to limit this loss (and maybe even increase your DB overall value) is to track as many things as you can:
Online transformations, clicks on types of links, favorite themes,...
You must then compile all available behavioral information for future use.

Segmenting your DB:
With all this information available, you then need to segment your DB.
Segmenting has to be something planned and thought of.

Step 1: Goals
The first element you have to take into account is to determine your goal. Is it to improve the campaign R.O.I.? Is it to improve your brand's awareness? Is it to increase trafic on your website? Is it to make an announcement?
All these goals (and plenty more) will have to aim at different targets, while R.O.I. increase will have to target medium clients (the high range clients will be hard to push and the low range clients are less receptive), making an announcement will target highly reactive profiles, regardless their usual transformation rate and even the client typology.
Knowing what you want to do is the one and only way to do it.

Step 2: Available targeting options
Second thing you need to think about is what targeting options are available, of cours you will have a hard time trying to segment on a criteria you only have filled in for a few profiles.
If some data is missing, then you can probably try to find a way around.
Want to target French people, but not everyone typed their country in the subscribe form? Then select profiles where country = France and add to the segment people who's email ends by .fr
Even though this is not a 100% sure way to filter, you will probably have a low risk and increase your target.

Step 3: Targeting and adjusting
According to what as been decided in steps 1 and 2 you then have to work on your targeting and get things done.
Once the segmentation is done, count the number of profiles in your target and maybe adjust it by adding or removing targeting options according to the goals you have.
Database scoring is a good way to estimate how well a campaign will perform so you don't over or under estimate your volume and reach your goals each time.

Step 4: Analyzing and action taking
Once everything's set you can broadcast your campaign. Then the most important thing is to analyze your results and improve your database knowledge according to your campaign's results.
Each broadcast gives you information on your DB, you need to take each and every information into account to continue building a successful strategy.
Elements you need to analyze EACH time you broadcast (especially on segments):
- Open rate
- Click rate
- Transformation rate (if available)
- Unsubscribe rate (a very good indication on how this particular communication was accepted by your target)
- Complaint rate (cf. Unsubscribe rate)

With these elements in mind, every campaign will increase your overall efficiency instead of slowly killing your DB.

Email Strategics - Step 1 - Database
Email Strategics - Step 3 - Email Creative
Email Strategics - Step 4 - Broadcasting
Email Strategics - Step 5 - Landing Page
Email Strategics - Step 6 - Analyzing statistics

No comments: