The Ultimate Email Marketer’s Glossary: 10 Data Terms You Need to Know
It’s an exciting time to be an email marketer. Innovative technologies and bold new approaches are transforming the way we leverage data to optimize our campaigns and impact our customers.
If you’re struggling to keep up with the changes, don’t worry. There’s a lot going on out there, and we’ve got you covered. To help you make sense of all the industry jargon, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 trending email marketing data terms you should know.
We all know the best email campaigns start with a solid foundation of data. But there are many sources for obtaining data. First-party data describes all the information that your organization has collected about your customers. This might include purchase history, website behavior, customer-defined preferences and more.
Generally, marketers consider first-party data to be extremely valuable because it is (a) proprietary, (b) specific to your existing customers and (c) at your fingertips and ready to be leveraged in creative ways.
Although first-party data is critical to learning about your customers, you may decide you need to learn a little more about your audience — or you may wish to reach a completely new audience. This is where third-party data comes in.
Third-party data is information purchased from a data aggregator. While this information is commercially available to anyone — including your competitors — the sheer amount of information that can be purchased makes this data source extremely valuable. Third-party data can provide important insights into audience demographics, hobbies/personal interests, social media behavior and more.
Predictive analytics is all about finding the insights contained within the diverse data you collect. By carefully analyzing this data, you can identify patterns and trends that can act as signals to forecast what a customer is likely to do in the future.
Armed with these predictions, you can create messaging and campaigns designed to proactively steer your customers toward the outcomes you desire. These insights can also help you to more narrowly define customer segments and therefore improve the way you target these segments. Predictive analytics can even help you decide where to focus your marketing spend for optimal results.
Automated analytics refers to business processes that capture data and automatically adapt based on the insights provided by this data. Airlines, for example, have been doing this for years with automatic pricing systems that calculate prices instantaneously based on a number of data points, without human intervention.
This offers multiple opportunities for your email strategy, both in terms of your ability to scale your operations quickly and your ability to target customers in real time. Automated analytics allows you to make better product recommendations, send customers to more appropriate landing pages and even determine the right email to send — without ever breaking a sweat.
One of the greatest data challenges is trying to decipher what it’s telling you. The more data you collect, the harder this becomes. Enter data visualization: the presentation of data in an easy-to-understand graphic format. Pie charts, line graphs, cluster maps and other visual representations help translate complex data families into recognizable patterns and accessible insights.
The beauty of data visualization is that it doesn’t have to be complex to be meaningful. A simple bar chart can tell many stories, allowing you to easily make more informed decisions.
Most likely, your customers interact with your company through a number of channels. They might shop at a brick-and-mortar store, subscribe to your email newsletter, receive coupons in the mail and even follow you on Facebook or Twitter.
Multi-channel marketing strives to maximize the performance of each of these channels. After all, each channel represents a new opportunity to engage with your customers and drive desired outcomes.
Many marketers use the terms “multi-channel” and “omni-channel” interchangeably, which is not quite accurate. Where a multi-channel approach focuses on the channel, an omni-channel approach puts the customer at the center of everything.
The intention with omni-channel marketing is to create a consistent and seamless customer experience regardless of the specific channel. It’s an “outside-in” approach that requires viewing the entire customer journey from the perspective of the customer, and using those insights to make the journey as effortless and productive as possible.
Customization and personalization (the next term in our glossary) are also similar, yet different in very important ways. When a customer tells you which emails he or she wants to receive from you, that’s customization. When a customer changes the setting on your mobile app or updates the preferences in his account, that’s customization.
Customization allows consumers to tell you exactly what they want, so you can interact with them on their own terms.
Personalization, on the other hand, is driven entirely by you and your ability to put your data into action. It’s the tactics you use to tailor your messaging and campaigns to a specific customer. This might be as simple as using the customer’s name in the body of an email or as complex as providing product recommendations based on past purchase or browsing history.
Personalization highlights the relationship that you have built with a customer, which in turn leads the customer to trust you more and more willingly engage with your brand.
Hashing is a technique for encrypting a piece of data into a unique, 32-character string of letters and numbers. Hashed emails allow you to track data everywhere it travels in the digital world. In this way, hashed email lets you track an email address everywhere it’s used.
In other words, hashed emails allow you to track online behavior everywhere the address has been used to log on to a device or platform — from social media accounts to mobile apps and more. This delivers to you a wealth of insights about your customers, allowing you to serve up the right messages to the right customers at the right time, all while reducing waste and increasing response rates.
Understanding these email marketing data terms can help you begin to incorporate today’s most powerful new technologies and approaches into your marketing strategies. Now that you have an understanding of what each term means, you can better choose the tools and strategies that will yield the highest return for your email marketing endeavors.
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