As the volume, extent, and complexity of your customer data has burgeoned in the past decade, it is evident that data management has become a main concern of not just you, but online marketers everywhere. One of the most impactful strategies to accelerate online marketing efficiencies boils down to being able to access the correct data set in order to target your brand’s customer base. When you are able to do so you therefore place yourself in a position to propose the most highly optimized offers for those particular segments. In order to prepare the outgoing messaging for email dissemination across the internets while assuring both accuracy and compliance, this critical data must be derived from a wide spectrum of sources and undergo a “cleansing” process.
Severe inherent flaws in obtaining customer information
Most of the larger online brands have a significant number of departments which must coordinate their efforts in order to obtain and manage the nearly endless flow of customer data. These groups unfortunately often work in silos which isolates them from the activities of their co-workers leading to vertical segregation of data. This inefficient structure limits the efficiencies which can be gained via horizontal collaborations, not to mention that it fuels privacy lapses, security breaches, and limits the access of information not just by the brand management but by the customers themselves.
Obtaining data outside of silos
Information gathering from silos is the pretty well the exact opposite of the process of collecting in-depth data which should be gathered from the various incoming channels of information such as poll and survey data, online brand browsing history and behavior, email marketing replies, and the entire range of offline interactions.
Departments must work in concert
This profound information can be best applied to the process of compilation and tracking of your brand’s customer data in order to obtain a complete transactional history for every customer in the entire database. Designing particularly customized content and implementing it alongside a holistically interactive experience for the customer mandates that each and every data collection department must work in concert rather than hiding customer information inside data silos.
Clean up that data
It is next to impossible for any brand email marketing program to succeed unless the data derived from the customer is fully “clean,” up to date, and in total adherence with the numerous regulations which dictate opt-in and/or opt-out policies in every nation where the emails will be opened. The compliance with the often conflicting email regulations of scores of nations is a challenging enough project, but it also must be accompanied by integrated data verification and management functions including:
- Confirming that all email addresses have been gleaned through double opt-in procedures.
- Creating profiles for each customer from the data obtained by tracking their behavior and responses.
- Ensuring that any hard bounces are almost instantly deleted from the list as any resends can lead to ISP blacklisting.
- Managing customer data to facilitated leveraging and precise targeting.
- Tracking and permanently archiving all opt-in permissions.
- Verifying that all email addresses are correct and free of typos such as firstname.lastname@example.org .
Preference Centers allow customers to self-update
When the complete range of customer data has been correlated and cleansed the goal becomes the ability to view each customer’s specifics across all of the places where they interact with your brand. In order to minimize the massive task of maintaining all the updates, customers must be encouraged to manage their own data. Preference Centers should be consistently promoted in all email missives in order to facilitate subscribers to keep their own key information up to date, significantly minimizing the requirement for intervention from your own customer service personnel.
Performing these tasks on a list of just a few thousand email subscribers can be daunting enough, but if your list burgeons into the millions it can become literally onerous. As a shrewd and experienced email marketer, you are well aware that you can spare no effort in order to maintain your customer data properly and must implement all manual and automated procedures in order to assure that your brand’s subscriber list is clean and well-managed.