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Bust Out Some New Moves

Recently, the volume of “sales” emails have been proliferating my inbox. All claiming to help solve various business challenges from CRM, cloud computing to employee onboarding. Most frustrating me are the emails claiming to help me “solve” the problems that I solve on a regular basis for my clients. For example, I don’t need your data, we have our own. I don’t need your machine intelligence platform, we have our own. I don’t need your buyer list, we have our own and we don’t build our lists from bots that troll and scrap email and other data from the internet.

It has been several years since I wrote the book on Precision Marketing, and five years later, we are still in a cacophony of digital noise. Quite frankly this noise it is more annoying now because of the constant stream of irrelevance that continually invade my inbox. My junk filters, spam filters, and FCC complaints all seem to result in more irrelevant communication.

The foundation of Precision Marketing is knowing who to target but more importantly Who NOT to Target. There is an innate cost of losing loyal customers over irrelevant communications. In fact, for each email unsubscribe from your weekly “blasts” is worth $5 each. Think about the time and money it required to acquire the customer in the first place. Spraying and praying your marketing message is never a good strategy and let’s all agree, “one size fits all” really never fits anyone well.

Some tips to help you cut through the messaging mayhem:

Review your email lists from the past six months and group into three categories:

  • Category #1: Opens and engages (right product, right person, right channel)
  • Category #2: Opens and does not engages (wrong product, right person, right channel)
  • Category #3: Never opens (wrong across the board)

Get to know the buyer by conducting:

  • Survey
  • Phone call
  • Append with characteristics (age, gender, marital status, etc)

Review and enhance/enrich your Persona and content development

  • Does your persona or understanding match the insight you uncovered above?
  • How does your pitch, content, story, etc. match up with the insight you uncovered?
  • How can you improve your call to actions(CTAs) to drive relevancy?

Deciding who and who not to target is a complex task that takes diligence. A rule of thumb to consider when you are acquiring a new prospect is that it takes seven interactions before they begin to engage with your brand and your products. This takes tenacity and persistence to finely hone your messages and targets. In fact, I have several email campaigns that have been continually honed over one year and is yielding high returns.

Why?

Relevance = Response = Revenue

Precision Marketing: Three Easy Steps to Reducing Opt Out Rates

Opt-In Emails can be worth $2-$10 each. Do you have an Opt Out Strategy?

Marketers enjoy the affordability and access of email for marketing. Consumers on the other hand, guard their inbox like world leader protects his domain; armed with weapons of destruction such as automatic Spam Blockers, Ad Blockers, one-touch Spam reporting, and junk mail notifications. All designed to keep unwanted, irrelevant noise out of their otherwise quiet, invitation only, digital world.

Even with this arsenal of tools, consumers receive 100’s of marketing emails a day. Today, many experts speculate the value of a single, opted-in email, is anywhere from $2 to $10 dollars. Certainly considered a feather in the cap for hard working marketer that wisely ponders and spends on their cost-per-click Ad-words, likeable Facebook content, witty tweets, and irresistible Instagram pictures to woo potential suitors to opt-in to their company story. Losing this right to market in this channel certainly represents a cost, and at ten dollars a pop for unsubscribes and spam reporting, it is a expense that needs to be considered.

Clearly at this cost, unsubscribe rates cannot be ignored.

Here are a few tips to reduce your unsubscribe rates:

Carefully review your list – at the very least, segment the:

  • Non-openers: Let’s face it, after several weeks of courting, they are just not into you. Give that list a three month rest.
  • Openers but not clickers: Good sign, recognize more work is to be done. Okay, you have yet to inspire them to act but they have opened, keep this list and change up the offer or design.
  • Clickers but not buyers: Right product wrong Landing page? A great email, great call to action, then the clicker, trusted you enough to click and then landed on a website to confusing, different, outdated, figure out how to purchase.
  • Buyers: Do you have an upsell, cross-sell. A new benefit to share on the purchased product?

 The Reverse Append:

How much do you know about your opt-ins? Are they married, single, millennial, parents, wealthy, technology nut, and or educated? What data points would help create targeted emails? A reverse append of your email list may be a valuable investment.

What is a reverse append?

A reverse append will attached the correct US postal mailing address to your email list. The more address data on file, the better the email match rate. Expect about 25% match rate per list.

What does this cost?

Pricing on reverse appends can be as low as $55/1000 matches and up. Usually additional attributes such as age, gender, marital status, and others can be $4/1000 per attribute.

Let me know if I can assist you in any way. lee

Precision Marketing Framework: Five Steps to Maximizing ROI

Countless case studies across multiple, industry verticals share one common finding: “Market Messaging” based upon customer insights, also known as Precision Marketing (data-driven customer insights), delivers increased ROI. Enhancing your data with demographics (age, marital status, education, interests and hobbies) help to grow deeper customer insights and assist in delivering relevant messaging that engage, convert, and builds brand attachment and loyalty.

Precision Marketing Framework – Here are the five steps to increased ROI as discussed in my book:

Step 1. Identify Your Problem (what are you tying to solve)

  • Are you trying to re-engage loyal customers?
  • Do you want to increase response rates?
  • Do you want to target customers with a new service?

Step 2. Evaluate Your Data on Hand

Marketers should leverage their available data and house files. Now don’t try to boil the ocean here, customer addresses and basic purchase history will suffice. Further inspecting the data for quality or hygiene, and understanding what information is missing can provide a valuable baseline. Once you have a better understanding of your data, you may decide to send out for address correction/standardization and enhancement. We recommend enhancing the data with affordable insight such as marital status, education level, and presence of children, income, gender, and home ownership. This is typically available from $10 per 1,000 addresses.

This process can take up to two weeks depending on your data vendor or if you decided to use our software, P360, it will take about two minutes.

Once the data is returned, it is always a good exercise to perform some basic segmentation for product purchases such as subscriptions, donors, genre, and or single tickets buyers. Trends or commonalities should surface when comparing purchased products and specific demographics. Think birds of a feather stick together. How old are the large ticket buyers and what is their income? What product are they buying and in what channel? Basic knowledge of your customer base will assist in matching the right, relevant communication to the right customer, in the right channel.

Step 3. Create and Implement Your Targeted Campaign

Once you’ve identified your target customer segments based on your requirements such as location, age, gender or other characteristics, you will need to tailor the marketing messaging. Remember, customers will tune out if the content does not speak directly to their needs or aspirations, so it is imperative to deliver highly relevant content. For example, imagine a potential subscriber that has many similar characteristics of your current subscriber, just in a lower income bracket. Maybe the messaging could highlight your payment plans.

Here is a little example from Italian carmaker Fiat.

How Fiat Used Data to Improve Customer Retention by 6-7%

Italian carmaker Fiat Group wanted to improve customer retention.  To do this, Fiat collected survey data from existing and prospective customers and bought third-party data on car purchasing behavior.  For example, Fiat gathered data such as how often people replace their cars.  Then, Fiat used software similar to ours to:

  • predict customers’ responses to the brand;
  • predict dealer actions;
  • and create effective online marketing activities.

“The main focus is how to be effective in managing the data and the brands,” said Giovanni Lux, Customer Intelligence Manager for Fiat. The results?  Using the data and modeling, Fiat made changes that improved customer retention by 6 or 7 percent.  Overall, 54 percent of Fiat owners buy another Fiat when they replace their car.

Step 4. Test & Measure

It is critical to set up your metrics to measure the success of your campaign.  Ask yourself, what percentage increase would be a success? Are you seeking a spike in product sales? Need feedback to a question? Increase sign-ups for a Newsletter?

Another suggestion is to track from the email, to a potential landing page, to your shopping cart. Tracking pixels, promo-codes, crazy egg, and many other app’s can help you achieve a 360 view of how your customer is responding to your message.

After the campaign’s been rolled out, measure the metrics established to determine what worked and what may need to be adjusted. Also, it is important to note what metrics did you wished you captured.

This insight can assist in the next campaign approach, design, and metrics. Did the customer’s convert as you thought? Did you see a trend in the conversion?

Step 5. Refine & Repeat

Finally, refine and repeat to generate increasingly positive results. Start with what you know and adjust or tweak as the campaign evolves.  By revisiting and leveraging the exercises and knowledge gained in Steps 1- 4 to build a better “next” campaign.  Now, go back to Step 1 and refine and repeat. Also this helps to optimize your marketing budget by delivering relevant content to the most interested clients. The bottom line is by evaluating and leveraging your data; you can increase the ROI by only sending out relevant communications.  No more spray and pray.

In summary, the quality of the conversation you have with your patrons determines the depth and duration of the relationship; remember, “KNOW ME or NO ME”.  As savvy marketers, we need to continually strive to deliver the right, relevant message, in the right channel to deliver results and maximize return on investment (ROI).

Forget content, relevance is king

This post is an excerpt from the book Precision Marketing.

The relevance requirement

Market research demonstrates that consumer attention and interest are directly proportional to the salience of the message. The more compelling, valuable and relevant you make your messages and offers, the more impactful the messages become – and the more likely it is that your prospective and existing customers will respond. As you present your brand in increasingly relevant ways, you drive increases in revenue, response and, ultimately, return on investment (ROI).

Relevance, in other words, is now a requirement for marketing success. Yet marketers continue to lag in acting upon the urgent need to align market- ing and messaging to be relevant to their customers. When this is the case, marketers are putting their companies – and their jobs – in jeopardy. They are pursuing obsolete marketing approaches even as the outcomes associated with those approaches are clearly in decline.

Customers have growing power, leverage and influence. They have become adept at tuning out the irrelevant, and they are unwilling to listen to messages that don’t matter to them.

That consumers are tuning out noise is obvious. Not only is this claim validated by research, but also it resonates with personal experience. People are more likely to pay attention to a message that speaks directly to their own personal concerns and desires than to a message that speaks blandly and broadly to a mass audience of which they happen to be part.

How to capitalize on this nding, however, is much less obvious.

The power of Precision Marketing

As we see it, marketers are now challenged to engage their customers on a new and relevant level. This is where the definition and concept of Precision Marketing gain momentum. Precision Marketing is a process that, if followed with the key building blocks described in this book, gives marketers the insights into customer behaviours that let them talk with customers in a relevant manner. The Precision Marketing framework relies heavily on several key factors, the 1st of which is the collection and analysis of data. Marketers are no longer in a position where they can randomly create interesting advertising campaigns; they must be aware of their customers and talk directly to them or risk driving them away. Marketers must create actionable customer insights to accomplish this objective. Collecting the customer data that give marketers the information they need to build strategies framed on Precision Marketing customer insights is imperative to enable this objective. Data enable action- able insights. Consumers who are overwhelmed with irrelevant offers and messaging are less likely to deal with companies that don’t know them.

Marketers cannot produce compelling messages in a vacuum. Rather, they must now employ customer insights to ensure that their communications are aligned with the preferences and priorities of their customers. Marketers must also learn to integrate their messages within an overall mix of channels – a mix that encompasses everything from direct mail to social media to mobile communication.

So why aren’t more marketers implementing Precision Marketing today? On the basis of our work with numerous companies, we believe there are three key challenges to overcome:

  1. The 1st challenge is collecting the correct data. Approximately 70% of marketers gather only demographic and location data,9 which is not enough, because not all 40-year-old women in San Francisco are the same. Demographics and location by themselves are too imprecise. Today’s critical insights must be drawn from such factors as customer preferences and behaviours; unfortunately these data points are obtained by a much lower percentage of marketers.
  2. The second challenge is to act on the customer data that has been collected. Some marketers today may be collecting voluminous amounts of data, but they are often not aggregating and analysing that data to generate actionable insights. It is not enough for marketers to know what their customers prefer; marketers have to be able to predict their customers’ needs and propensity to purchase.
  3. The third challenge is execution and measuring results in order to test predictions. Here is where relevance plays a key role. Marketers must utilize highly relevant messaging and offers aligned to target customer segments. In addition, they must measure who converted, who did not, and, most importantly, why.

From our work with recognized firms in sectors such as banking, finance, telecommunications, insurance, publishing, hospitality and utilities, we have proved the power of Precision Marketing in real-world implementations across geographies, industries and applications. As advisers on marketing approaches to maximize customer engagement, we have learned how to meet these challenges and identify new growth opportunities. Our approach, which we call Precision Marketing, has produced extraordinary results for our clients in areas such as revenue, retention and ROI.

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Precision Marketing Defined

Research for my book, “Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue through Relevance “ began about 2008.  Read more

Messaging Overload

Customers receive 3,000 plus marketing messages per day and the majority of these messages wash past the average consumer. Read more

Consumers leave loyal brands due to irrelevance

In speaking with my 70 year old father over the weekend, he shared with me that he is no longer reading advertising emails- he is just hitting the delete key. He also mentioned that he continues to receive mail for my mother. Now, if my mother was able to get the mail that would be fine, but postal rates are high, and not sure what it would costs to deliver it since she passed away in 1995. Even my father, whom I consider the most patient man on earth – is getting frustrated with irrelevant mail and email.

A few months ago I was researching some information on the “noise” level and was questioning if consumers would actually stop doing business with these “polluters”. I know at my house we have actively unsubscribed to irrelevant catalogs, junk mail, and emails. But are others doing this too? Here is some information that I found:

  • Traditional junk mail accounts for over 100 billion pieces of mail each year, and 44 percent of this unsolicited, primarily promotional mail ends up in a landfill…unopened.
  • Email waste is also staggering. There is more than 200 billion email messages sent each day, yet 97 percent of all email sent is actually spam, according to an April, 2009 report released by Microsoft.
  • The average email open rate across 16 industries during Q2 of 2009 now stands at 22.2%, and has increased for the fourth quarter in a row (Epsilon)
  • About 3.3% of opt-in emails for subscribers in the US and Canada were sent to “junk” or “bulk” email bins, while 17.4% did not get delivered at all. (ReturnPath)

I could not find one report that captured my frustration or could prove my hypothesis on the growing level of marketing fatigue. And if I could find such a report, I could use it in speaking with marketers on how they are using their precious marketing dollars and how data driven marketing  can deliver more relevancy, and more relevancy usually means increased customer retention, loyalty, and ROI.

The audit is completed and here are some key findings:

  • While 64 percent of consumers say promotional offers dominate both the email and traditional mail they receive, only 41 percent view these as must-read communications.
  • Of the 91 percent of consumers who opt out or unsubscribe to emails, 46 percent are driven to brand defection because the messages are simply not relevant.
  • The threat of customer churn and disconnection intensifies as 41 percent of consumers say they would consider ending a brand relationship due to irrelevant promotions, and an additional 22 percent say they would definitely defect from the brand.
  • Yet, while marketers continue to weigh the pros and cons of email versus printed postal mail, consumers are much more concerned about the level of individualization and understanding of their needs and relationship with the brand.

“Lee the end message is clear, this economy has shifted influence and power to the customer” said Liz Miller, VP of the CMO Council, “and the consumers are saying in very clear words STOP sending me mass messaged, irrelevant (and irritating) waste or I will take my business to a company that actually takes the time to know me.”