We all want to hit the ground running in 2016, and while many of you have already completed your business plans, it’s never too late to consider new ways to drive customer growth. Because email marketing is a top catalyst for sales leads and business expansion, now is the time to ensure your approach is on point. Take a look at these three best practices for leveraging email data to optimize customer acquisition in 2016:
- Define your ideal customer: We’ve written previously on the blog about getting started with email acquisition data: the process begins with examining your existing customer base, and understanding exactly who they are – both as individuals and the companies they represent. With this data, you can then define your ideal customer and the corresponding market to target. In other words, only once you understand who your existing customers are will you be equipped to go get more of them.
- Get to know your target market: Now that you’ve identified your target market, get to know them and their preferences. For example, if you’re trying to reach millennials (those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s), it would be helpful to know that this demographic checks their emails often. A recent study found that 98% of millennials check their personal email every few hours while at work, and 87% check their work email outside of the office. That’s good news for email marketers, and it points to the benefits of knowing how to best reach your ideal customers. No matter who your target market is, a good email campaign always begins with getting your target list perfected before conducting any outreach.
- Match your customer acquisition data to your target market: Once you’ve defined your ideal customer and know your target market, you may need to build out your email list in order to cast a wider net, or to better target your campaigns. Business contacts data, also known by marketers as customer acquisition data, can help. I’ve given some tips on this subject previously, but here are a few more points I’d like to amplify:
- When building out your list, it’s important to work with an email data provider who is deeply entrenched in the world of email. Look for providers who are experts in helping companies like yours be successful in using acquired email data to obtain new customers.
- Describe your overall marketing plan to your email data provider, including the other marketing initiatives you are conducting, and convey what has worked best for you to this point. For example, if you use different marketing vehicles to reach different segments or vertical markets, this would be good information to disclose. Being descriptive and transparent and providing a big picture overview will only help you secure the best data, and may even uncover some additional ideas and suggestions as well.
- The bulk of an email data provider’s recommendations will reflect the information you’ve presented to them. Be sure to loop them in on your findings in steps one and two above, as well as any other market studies, firmagraphics, demographics or other insight that supports your business goals.
- Refine, segment and drill down into the lists you acquire; a good email data provider will include this in his/her recommendation. The more focused and targeted you can be, the higher the probability for success.
- Finally, make sure to get an email data quality guarantee of at least 90% from your email data provider, and don’t do business with them if they can’t commit to that level of accuracy.
Before you even begin thinking about the creative side of crafting your email messages, it’s clear that it takes work and strategic thinking to get your email data right. But the effort is worth it. In fact, a recent study shows that 73% of marketers agree that email is core to their business, and 60% claim that it is a critical enabler of product and service sales.
The message is loud and clear: good email marketing goes hand in hand with business growth. Follow the best practices above to get started on the right foot, and you’ll advance your customer acquisition results in 2016. It’s that simple.
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