FREE Salesforce Consultation: 508.935.2275 or contact us online

How Data Can Make or Break Your Email Campaigns

Bryan da Frota | June 22, 2022 

In recent years, it’s become increasingly clear that personalization in email marketing is more than a “bell and whistle” or a “nice when it works out” kind of thing. It’s absolutely essential for success. 

Consumers and clients have come to expect personalization, and they now sense whether your brand values them as individuals or dollar signs. 

More importantly, in the battle to grab people’s attention in a crowded inbox, personalization provides a competitive edge. A clever, well-formed subject line isn’t quite enough. It still needs to flag a more personal need for the reader which is being met.

Further, personalization in email marketing is now critical for follow-up after a purchase. It’s tightly knitted with the customer experience journey. People now know to expect follow-ups on how a product is working and tips on how to use them better. Service-based products thrive when they help onboard the new user and help them succeed in implementing a new process or routine. 

There’s no question about the effectiveness of personalization. It’s worth the time to figure this out. According to new 2022 research by Hubspot, Marketers who use segmented, personalized campaigns noted as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

What’s holding people back from using personalization?

There’s a misconception still floating around that people will feel their email is TOO personal, that personalization might even feel like an invasion of privacy. 

Well, they won’t if you do it right. If you are sending personalized communication based on growing awareness and relationships with the potential client or customer, you’re not being creepy. You’re communicating care and concern.

However, beyond the reticence some people feel, the massive, 100-ton elephant in the room for most businesses is data. 

  • You have to have a strong strategy in place for gathering the data. 
  • You have to keep data organized, updated, and clean
  • And of course, you must know how you’re going to use data. 

Far too many businesses are finding they have a CRM database full of partially-formed or inadequate records for personalization. We’ve moved far past the point where using someone’s name in an email is impressive. This needs to be about content and context, about nurturing customers through their journey with your brand, and the only way to do that is with a well-formed email database

How poor data quality breaks your campaigns.

There are three main areas where poor data quality will cause your email marketing to suffer.

Outdated Email Addresses. 

Email lists degrade far faster than you may think. According to the experts at Fresh Address, the attrition rate on email lists is an average of 22.5 to 30% a year with spikes as high as 37%. 

It’s not hard to see how quickly your lists can lose their impact, but worse, it can damage your standing with any reputable email marketing platform. Too high of a bounce rate will lead to penalties and restrictions. 

Unreliable or Limited Segmentation

This is where the biggest problems tend to appear. Without excellent tagging and segmentation, there’s little ability for your company to promote products and services of similar interest to consumers or to follow up with personalized messages and guidance after a specific purchase. 

Loss of Relationship and Trust

On the individual contact level, this is the worst. Nothing drives people away faster than receiving an irrelevant email, especially if they are a current or past customer who has invested money in your solution. 

This is also probably one of the largest “shadow” problems in email marketing because you’re unlikely to hear back from someone who is annoyed their relationship with you has been disregarded or forgotten. They’ll simply disappear. The only real solution here is preventative. 

What are database essentials for email marketing?

There is a range of solutions you can pursue, from commonsense, and hard work to professional guidance and intervention. These are some of the most effective options available to prep your database for personalization. 

Clean it up! 

Many email snafus can be cleaned up with a simple, old-school scrubbing of your database. 

  1. Are your fields well-defined and separated? For example, a common mistake is putting people’s whole names in one field, which leaves you without the ability to address them by their first name. Then, for more advanced labeling, is your system clean and clear for tagging the products or services people have purchased? Does it allow you to segment contacts together later on? 
  1. Are typos preventing potential purchases? How many records simply have an errant space or faulty email address format? Are there first names without a capital letter at the beginning? Details like that matter big time in personalization.
  1. Is there duplicate drama? Now, great personalization should always be welcomed, but you don’t want people to feel chased, and you sure don’t want to look desperate. Clean the duplicates out of your database. (Most platforms help with this automatically, but people still manage somehow to sign up with multiple addresses and fool the system.) 

Re-Engage Your List

Regular communication is important for brand awareness, but it’s also important for maintaining your database.

  1. Identify unresponsive contacts and drop them in a new campaign with new messaging designed to wake them up. 
  1. Create new opportunities to use forms for valuable downloads. This will let you re-collect contact info so you can validate and affirm you have the right information.

Build a Data Enrichment Strategy

Nothing is stopping you from gathering MORE data from your contacts!

  1. Ask strategic questions. Define the information you need and use forms and surveys to ask leading questions which help you strengthen your database. For consumers, it could be questions about clues like favorite family activities, homeownership, careers, etc. For B2B, your questions will largely focus on information about the firm: their size, scope, focus, etc. 
  1. Unify your database. All of these questions will be for nothing unless the data is funneled into a centralized CRM. We recommend looking for professional guidance on building your data enrichment strategies and systems.   

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is built to empower personalization!

And we’re here to help you make the most of its email marketing capabilities. At ListEngage, we specialize in guiding clients through ways to leverage Salesforce Marketing Cloud to improve and enhance their business. If you’d like to learn more about how to use personalization to increase revenue, contact us to schedule a conversation.

Back to Blog

Bryan da Frota | Chief Operating Officer

Bryan is the Chief Operating Officer at ListEngage. He’s a successful entrepreneur, investor, and technology expert in the areas of marketing automation, digital transformation, and autonomous systems. Bryan has an extensive background in new market penetration and business development.