Question: How do I combine activity data with preference data for even more-relevant e-mail campaigns?
Answer: The data you collect on your customers and prospects from your preference center is a great place to start to make your cross-channel communications more relevant, but you can do even better. By enhancing preference center data with behavioral data—information you can gather about your customers based on actions they take (or don't) on your website or within e-mail communications—your programs will be even more successful.
Start by looking at the data you've already collected and build from there. See what holes you need to fill. You can do this by analyzing a number of different behaviors: Are your e-mails being opened? Are links being clicked on? If so, which ones? How frequently are e-mails being opened and clicked on? Is your e-mail flowing to the junk mail folder? Is the e-mail being forwarded?
Page-view data can also yield a huge amount of valuable customer preference and interest information to help you further personalize your messaging. Your ultimate goal is to incorporate this information into the customer's profile within your marketing database.
Marrying behavioral data with your preference center data allows you to accomplish two things: First, you can ensure you have accurate information on your customers; and, second, you can fine-tune your communications based not just on what they say but also on how they act.
Michael Thompson is director-deliverability and ISP relations for ClickSquared (www.clicksquared.com), a provider of relationship marketing programs.