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4 Tools to Help You Make a Great First Impression with Email

Apr 15, 2020 9:00:00 AM

It’s easy to market to loyalty program members; their extensive history with your brand provides you and your marketing team with the necessary data to know what they love, what they hate, and what they’re probably in the market for next. That said, how do you extend that same level of customer service to your newest customers, or even those who haven’t made a purchase yet? In 2020, everyone is looking to AI for marketing help. Sure, a great marketing platform can help segment your database and schedule your content, but it can’t perform at its best if the customer data in your database is a little lackluster.

This year, we’ve got four tools that will help you create a complete picture of the customer journey, from first site visit to brand loyalist. After all, you can’t market effectively if you don’t know who you’re marketing to. The first step is to build a robust customer database.

Build Your Database

It’s hard to make a great first impression when there’s no one to interact with. If your customer database is looking a little bare bones, it’s not the end of the world! Actually, it’s a pretty easy fix. You can run different campaigns and offers to obtain more customers and, therefore, valuable data points. However, let’s say you have more postal addresses than email addresses, or the contact records just overall lack an email address.

Services like Email Append help you quickly add high quality emails to your database by using the current customer information (postal address) to find a related email address. Then, once the email address is found, it’s added to the contact record. This way, you have more channels at your disposal to effectively connect with customers. And who doesn’t want more ways to connect? That said, once you’ve built your database and added a few more email addresses, you’re not ready to email just yet. It’s time to clean your database.

Clean Your Database

Even with the best intentions and forms optimized for higher submission rates, not all customer emails are created equal. In fact, 8.4% of customer emails in any given database are invalid, fake, or toxic, spelling bad news for your send score and bounce rates. How can you get your message to the customer’s inbox and market appropriately if the email you’ve obtained isn’t real?

A service like Email Validation is a great solution for this all-too-common marketing hurdle. With Email Validation, you can either upload your contact records in batch or receive real-time validation with an API. The service catches and corrects erroneous emails while also removing toxic emails and flagging for spam traps. This way, you run less risk of being marked as spam and a greater chance of making it to the customer’s inbox!

With this in mind, we know it’s not enough to just reach the inbox with a generic message. That’s where data enhancement can help out.

Enhance Your Database

No one likes receiving an email that looks like it could be for just anyone. Adding personal touches to marketing messages is key to connecting with customers, showing them you understand them as a person, not just a dollar amount. That’s why when receiving an email with your first name or a postcard with an offer related to a recent item you browsed online feels much more engaging than a generic offer for a blender you’ve never seen before.

Data enhancement services allow marketers to add key fields to customer records that help them create personalized, engaging content that connects customers with the brand. Some key data fields available with data enhancement services, like Email Intelligence, include:

  • Demographic: Age, gender, postal address
  • Behavioral: Income, marital status, presence of children, home value
  • Life Stage: mom, engaged, home owner

Adding fields such as these to your contact records allows you to create a more comprehensive picture of your customer and market appropriately. You won’t be sending baby item offers to a college student with no children, and the mother of three won’t receive a general discount on a spring break travel package. Your marketing team will save time, money, and see a greater ROI overall thanks to these insights. Now, if you add the next step, you’ll really be cooking with gas!

Match Your Database

Now, it’s great to add these pieces to contacts already in your database, especially those who aren’t yet a part of your loyalty program. They will benefit most from the amazing first impression you’re curating with these services. However, what about those anonymous website browsers?

You know, the shoppers that don’t fill out a form or make a purchase – seems hard to market to someone when you don’t even have an email address, right? Well, good news for your marketing team: you can use tools like Website Visitor ID to solve the problem. How does it work? These tools recognize web traffic and provide you with an email and/or postal address for anonymous website browsers. Now, just because they didn’t sign up to receive special offers or a weekly newsletter, you have the necessary information to market to them on channels they might prefer otherwise, like a direct mail piece or impactful digital advertising, a critical piece of creating a fully comprehensive, marketable customer profile.

Market to Your Database

With the pieces in place that paint a picture of your whole customer and their journey, it becomes much easier to effectively market to the customer, engage them with personalized offers, and create amazing brand loyalty. You can create cross-channel campaigns that begin with a great, personalized email, progress onto a few strategically placed digital or social ads, and go the extra mile with a postcard in the mail containing a relevant offer the customer is most likely to engage with.

None of this is possible, though, without a clean, comprehensive customer database. Clean email addresses with additional key behavioral and demographic data points are critical for cross-channel marketing success in 2020. And once you have that database ready to go, then you can look into AI options to help ease the process of segmenting and scheduling your top quality marketing campaigns, even and especially those to new customers in need of a stellar first impression from your brand.