Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2020-07-01
It’s no secret we live in a data-driven world. Customer and prospect data enables marketers to create meaningful, personalized campaigns for their audiences. Yet, many businesses have contact data stored across different vendors, platforms and databases to be used for various marketing channels. Data silos occur when that information is not accurately or efficiently shared across relevant groups and platforms, negatively impacting data quality.
In a recent Iterable study, 23% of the brands included a “download the app” prompt in their marketing emails after the app had already been downloaded. Often emails like this are even sent to the same email address used to register in the related app. These data gaps can lead to redundancy and duplication of efforts for businesses, and an inconsistent experience for buyers.
At best, data silos lead to added confusion and difficulty for marketers to get the right message to the right audience. More often though, it also results in a lack of clarity and irrelevant campaigns that do little to boost sales and can damage brand reputation.
Breaking Down Silos
Data silos are the result of human or technology disconnect, often both. Businesses can battle the human disconnect component by fostering open communication, increasing internal visibility between groups and encouraging a collaborative company culture. As data is constantly in flux, manually updating information across platforms takes a significant time commitment and comes with the risk of data entry errors. To address the technology disconnect, businesses often use integration software or choose a centralized data management solution to aggregate data for a complete, up-to-date picture.
Even the most careful organizations will have some data disconnect from the data silos that naturally arise with adding new platforms, marketing on various channels, and increased data volume. That, coupled with natural data decay from people changing jobs or email addresses, can lead to some seriously dirty data. Many marketers have found it’s best to turn to the professionals for data cleansing, the process of removing, correcting and replacing inaccurate data to provide increased deliverability and engagement.
As you work to address data silos within your organization, remember that maintaining data consistency is an ongoing challenge. When data is aggregated efficiently and is accurate across channel platforms, marketers can create the personalized messages and experiences buyers expect. Here are three ways to create personalized emails with accurate data:
When you know your data is accurate and up to date, you can begin to identify commonalities and segment your lists into several smaller lists. Start by using firmagraphic data, which should support the definition of your ideal customer. You can then move on to further micro-targeting, narrowing down groups by region, demographics, purchases or behavior, such as those who have subscribed to content. By creating numerous groups that share a unique set of traits, you can customize personalized messages that target those specific attributes. An important point to note: since data is always changing, it’s important to segment your list regularly to ensure you’re sending to the correct contacts.
Trigger emails or event-triggered emails are known for performing better than other campaigns since they’re based on the recipient’s actions and indicate an increased level of personalization. Start by identifying relevant opportunities to connect with customers and prospects based on their actions – such as a purchase, downloading content, requesting a quote, or even clicking on a specific link – then create targeted emails for those contacts to automatically receive after they complete the specified action. Make sure to maintain accurate suppression lists of customers by product or service and set “delay requirements” based on recent purchases or actions. For example, do NOT send an email asking for a purchase if the recipient purchased the day before.
Intent monitoring is a fast-emerging data strategy that gives marketers a competitive edge and a valuable way to personalize their campaigns. At OMI, we use IP address monitoring to uncover buyer intent signals, which are driven by website visits, content downloads, email marketing clicks and other digital engagement activities. By recognizing which businesses are searching for your solution (or topics related to it) and when they are searching for it, IP address monitoring offers a huge step forward in the effort to identify prospects who are ready to “buy now.” However, it has its limitations: it primarily provides company data as opposed to identifying the actual individual conducting the online search. But OMI has a solution: by marrying intent data with business contact data, we empower our clients to narrow down their prospect search within those identified companies and zero in on contacts by function and title – the people who are most likely to buy their solutions. (You can read more about our approach here.) With this information in hand, you can create and send highly personalized email campaigns with content designed for buyers who have already expressed interest in an offering like yours – that’s powerful!
The bottom line is this: siloed data can negatively impact your bottom line. But when data is accurate and consistent across channels and databases, and when the right strategies are in play, your opportunity to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time rises exponentially. And that means higher campaign ROI and stronger marketing results overall.
How do you eliminate data silos in your organization?
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.
At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.