Email is still going strong in 2018, so how can you best utilize it? In Part 1, we’ll explore how to best use data – a cornerstone for all of your email marketing (and beyond). Then we’ll break down 3 other important lessons in Part 2.

Data’s (Still) Your Best Friend

Data is so easy to gather and its benefits can’t be denied. You’re better able to determine which emails work, which don’t, and why. You can easily segment your marketing and create a strategy more tailored to your customers individually. Here’s some of the best ways you can gather and use data.

Define and Segment Your Audience

You’ll likely gather three types of important audience information: demographic, geographic, and behavioral. Use this to your advantage! Here’s what you can learn from each of the following:

  • Demographic: age, income level, gender, occupation, religion, marital status
  • Geographic: country, region, population density, city size, climate zone
  • Behavioral: user status, loyalty status, buyer readiness

Differing characteristics often requires a different approach, which is what makes this information so useful. Rather than a cookie-cutter, mass email, emails will be more tailored to the individuals.

Improve the Timing of Your Emails

Timing is critical for all emails. Holiday-related email? Send early within the season and do a little research on which days are most effective. Blasting a newsletter? Mornings generally work best.

Do some testing to figure out the times your audience responds best to and use this to your advantage. You can even discover which days they’re most likely to open. Unless an email is time-sensitive, optimize the open-rate by choosing the most opened days and times.

Review and Improve

Take a hard look at how your emails are performing.

What’s the behavior like?

  • How many people open your emails?
  • What time do people open your emails?
  • How many unsubscribes do you get on average per email sent?
  • How many people click your links? Which link gets the most clicks?

What’s the overall outcome?

  • How many people purchase your products?
  • How many people convert into leads?
  • What’s the average revenue per campaign sent? What’s the average revenue per subscriber?
  • What’s the average ROI of the campaigns you send?

These questions often lead to more questions. Some examples:

  • Why do certain segments have higher open rates than others?
  • Why do you get unsubscriptions on every transactional campaign with no discounts?
  • Why do you get lower revenue per campaign during certain months of the year?

These questions will help you get to the root of any flaws and strengths in your emails and will help you adjust. But these questions won’t be answered without a little digging yourself. Some common techniques include: surveys, A/B testing, and heuristic evaluations.

The answers you find will help you make adjustments. And the cycle will continue. Email, test, identify issues, resolve, repeat.

Examples of Data Used Smartly

Need proof data works? Here are a few examples of how some businesses use data to improve their email strategy last year.

  • Domino’s improved click-thru rates by 57%, a result of their subject line optimization.
  • Asda sends multiple emails a month, with the content and products shown automated based on a reader’s likelihood of purchase.
  • Spotify is really great with it’s personalized marketing, so it’s no surprise that email is included. Top listeners of certain artists were sent special offers from the artists themselves.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Data

As we said earlier, data will be essential to keep in mind before you get into anything else. Data helps you personalize your marketing and get better engagement. Without it, you’re shooting blind.

Check out Part 2 to see some other aspects of email to pay attention to in 2018.