My job is rough. Last week, I flew to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, for the MediaPost Email Insider Summit (MPEIS). I was subjected to beautiful weather, flawless Atlantic beaches and irresistible Southern cuisine. I spent my time rubbing elbows with some of the brightest minds in email marketing, led a panel with four accomplished professionals and snagged a few insider secrets on how Amazon uses customer data to power its dynamic recommendations. Sounds like a tough time, right?
In between bacon biscuits (and there were a lot of bacon biscuits), the summit was abuzz with insights on two of the biggest topics in email marketing this quarter: how to achieve a successful customer loyalty program, and how to engage with your customers using dynamic content. Naturally, both of these topics tie back to data.
In case you missed last week’s MPEIS (and even if you didn’t), here is our recap of the two most-talked-about topics:
What’s the Best Way to Reward Customer Loyalty?
One of the greatest compliments a brand can receive is customer loyalty. When your customers continue to engage with your brand on a regular basis and consistently seek out your company to satisfy their needs, this puts you in a powerful spot. It’s also a precarious spot. While loyal customers are fantastic, you have to hold up your end of the bargain to keep them loyal. But how can you create a rewards program your customers will actually care about?
Last week, I led a panel titled, “Thinking Beyond the Coupon: How to Reward Loyal Customers.” All four of my participating panelists offered sound advice for creating and maintaining a strong loyalty program.
“The customer is looking for more than just ‘I spend $X and I get X amount of points,'” said Dino Michetti of Epsilon.
Dan de Grandpre of Deal News explained that you have to start by determining exactly what your customers consider valuable. “First we must decide what the customer wants,” he said. “Then ask the CFO if we can actually afford it.”
As for getting people to provide their email addresses, Roxanne Joe of Orchard Supply Hardware explained it’s all in how you position the question. By highlighting immediate benefits for the customer, such as pointing out that having a customer’s information in the system simplifies the return or exchange process, he or she is more likely to provide the requested information.
And, as for which types of rewards you provide, it’s all about personalization. For example, Sasha Williams, VP of marketing for the Indiana Pacers, breaks down her list into buyer segments, and then highlights benefits specific to customers in those segments.
How Do You Use Dynamic Content?
Dynamic content, or content directly targeted to each customer’s interests and behavior, was at the forefront of everyone’s mind last week. It all started with a keynote address by Donald Parsons, director of outbound marketing at Amazon. In his speech, Donald touched on Amazon’s usage of data in its email marketing, particularly its dynamic suggestions.
Donald also explained that, in order to create dynamic content, you have to start with obtaining not only a great deal of customer data, but the right type of data. The more you know about your customers’ specific habits, the more effective you can make your dynamic content and the more engagement you’ll enjoy from each campaign.
In other words, dynamic content is hot in the email marketing world but, to use this strategy successfully, you have to obtain the right data. We’ll be exploring this topic in future blog posts, so be sure to stay tuned!
Overall, last week’s summit continued the discussion on data-driven personalization and engagement. Are you ready to supercharge your data? Try InstantData for free today!