When it comes to providing women with expert financial and career advice, few publishers offer as much value and professional insight as DailyWorth. But, as any savvy content provider knows, to address your customers’ key questions and concerns, you have to do more than guess what your audience wants. To truly understand who your audience is, and the challenges they face, you need access to sophisticated data.
This month, we sat down with Hilary Fetter, marketing director at DailyWorth and all-around digital rockstar, to gain insight into how the financial media company uses customer data to drive its editorial and email strategy.
TowerData: Thanks for taking the time today, Hilary! Our first question today is: What were some of the issues or driving factors behind your decision to start using third party customer data?
Hilary Fetter: I think telling the story about who your audience is, and having enough data to back it up, is a challenge for any publisher. We need it for a few key things: First, we need to make sure we’re delivering our readers the type of content that makes sense for where they are in their financial and career life cycle. Discovering information such as their age, or how much money they make, save and invest, can help our editors create relevant and appropriate content. Additionally, our sales team relies on reader data in order to tell advertisers the right audience story. They’re typically interested in information such as our subscribers’ investable assets, especially because they’re often selling into financial services.
TD: What were you doing before to gain data on your customers?
HF: Our old data strategy was tied to user acquisition and surveys-and largely user reported. We’d simply ask readers a series of questions as part of the sign-up process, and several times a year we’d conduct reader surveys. The biggest challenge was we had a diverse group of acquisition channels, and not everything funneled through the site. We had to figure a way to get data about users without having to send them a survey. That’s when we started actually exploring a third party data provider. We wanted an easy, fast way to automate data collection. Now there’s no lag time between gaining a user and having selective data points in their user record.
TD: How has having access to that amount of user data changed your strategy, if at all?
HF: It’s enabled us to better understand who makes up our audience and explore personalized content around some of those data points. We’re not there yet, but TowerData is going to be a piece of that solution.
TD: Tell us about your email strategy. How is this data affecting your email campaigns?
HF: Six years ago, we started as an email-first company, similar to the Daily Candy or Thrillist model. Since then, we’ve become more multi-platform, but email is still a large portion of our strategy and a huge driver of web traffic. We send between 20 and 30 million emails a month, and we’re exploring the ability to power content personalization through data.
TD: Tell us a little bit about some of DailyWorth’s biggest marketing successes.
HF: Integrating TowerData to our user acquisition channel automates a lot of what we were otherwise doing manually. From a time-cost perspective, it freed up bandwidth to focus on other initiatives previously eaten by manual data integration and optimization.
TD: How about some of the challenges. What challenges are you facing now?
HF: One consistent challenge for us has been acquiring affluent users, in volume. Those are the readers our advertisers are most interested in reaching. But it’s also part of what makes data so powerful-by tying income and net worth to a users’ source, we can do look-a-like models and try and find similar users elsewhere.
TD: Do you guys focus on mobile at all?
HF: We don’t necessarily focus on it-it’s just automatically integrated into everything we do, from our email templates to our site design. Simplicity wins.
TD: What are some of the big trends you’ve seen with DailyWorth? What hot trends are you keeping a pulse on as you look forward into the rest of 2015?
HF: I would say the hottest trend-though it’s been around for a few years so it’s not necessarily “new”-is personalization. Gaining as much data around your users as possible, and then crafting content that keys off of that data. And, of course, tying all of your platforms together with personalization. That’s the key to driving higher engagement-at least for publishers. Once you get it set up, it actually is pretty easy. That’s one of the hottest trends and features companies should be leveraging right now.
DailyWorth is making great strides using customer data in its marketing efforts. Discover what data can do for your email marketing strategy by trying Email Intelligence for free!