3 ways to resolve this
As email marketers we are always talking about the need to send targeted, relevant content to improve our email marketing . But this is based on the assumption that we have the information to do that. Well what if you don’t? What steps can you take to improve the quality of your subscriber information and thus improve your deliverability, and ultimately your open and engagement rates? The answer lies in a method called Progressive Profiling.
What is it?
Very simply it is a way of gradually gathering information about your email subscribers over a period of time. It avoids the use of trying to get your subscribers to fill in a 5 page sign up form, which frankly is an outdated and pretty ineffective method of capturing information.
Here are 3 ways that you can go about effectively enhancing email subscriber profiles.
1. A welcome email
Imagine this scenario which most of us will probably recognise. You go to Widgets Ltd website and after a quick scan of the content sign up by providing your email address. What happens next depends on the whether Widgets Ltd is interested in nurturing you a potential customer or not.
If they are not that interested then you will probably end up getting the standard newsletter, whose relevance to you may be limited and you end up unsubscribing. What a colossal wasted opportunity! Widgets Ltd have most likely spent time and money in driving traffic to their site only for the opportunity to be lost in a heartbeat. A better approach would be for Widgets Ltd to send a “Welcome” email at sign up.
Some things to take away in the above examples are:
1. There is a very clear and immediate reason why someone should become a Subscriber – the 10% offer.
2. The welcome email serves not just as a thank you but as the first step in building a relationship of trust with the subscriber. It also works to verify the email address and provides a little more company information via a personal message from the MD of the company.
3. Automated emails such as order confirmations often have very high open rates – up to 50% in many cases. Taking advantage of this automated method for a welcome email gives Widgets Ltd a massive advantage in building a better customer profile.
4. The Preference Centre is pre populated with all subscriber information held by Widgets Ltd and it gives full control to make any changes. It is this element of transparency that really helps to build a strong and trusting relationship and helps to encourage the subscriber to share more information about themselves.
This process of nurturing a potential customer goes a long way to gaining more customer insight, thus allowing Widgets Ltd to segment their subscriber information and begin to send relevant and targeted content.
2. A visit that did not convert
When customers abandon a cart or cancel a subscription, it can be difficult to understand why, so it makes sense to ask or to make an offer to tempt them back. This is exactly what happened to me as you can see below
In both these cases, the re-engagement email was a pure play offer. I think it would have been better to gain some insight into why the transactions did not happen. So a combination of the offer but also a few questions like below would have perhaps been more insightful.
- Was it too expensive?
- Was the offer clear enough?
- Did you find it cheaper elsewhere?
What can we do better?
This strategy lets you refine current offerings. It involves asking your existing customers to undertake a survey, ideally done soon after they have purchased something.
In the above example I received this email shortly after checking out. I liked the fact that it said it was a ‘personalised’ survey and also I was encouraged to share my experience on TripAdvisor. This element of transparency made me feel like I could trust the company more despite the fact that I could have possibly been sharing a bad experience.
In the event I did take the survey and I would probably stay at the same hotel as it was a very good experience.
As you can see progressive profiling is easy to implement and can add a great deal of relevance to your email marketing efforts. Just remember a few key points when implementing.
- Give something in exchange for the information you are asking for.
- Base your communication via an automated email that is triggered from an action.
- Less is more – hold back on the amount of information you ask at each stage of your communication.
Good luck and happy profiling!