October 7, 2019

Math, Science, Art and Data: Engaging Audiences Via Email

Heather Winnicki - Vice President of B2C Product Management
Math, Science, Art and Data: Engaging Audiences Via Email

"Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale."

David Newman, author of Do It! Marketing, couldn’t have put it better.  Providing value in your marketing communications with your target audience will lead them to engage with your messaging,  and build a loyal customer base. However, DMR reports that the average office worker receives 121 messages a day. That’s a lot of emails! Marketers have slowly come to realize that the old formula of an email list plus a well-designed email and an interesting subject line no longer works in the current marketing environment. Highly successful marketers combine math, science, and art with the data to build engaged audiences via email.

As the Vice President of B2C Product Management, I’ve spent the majority of my career, educating clients on how to build engaged audiences leveraging the scale of email as marketing continues to become increasingly data-driven. And while I do love my clients, my work passion is data.  From profitably and properly using data intelligence, to making sense of data, crafting a story, and then putting it to work to help drive revenue growth.

It is within accurate audience profile data, built with quality data and properly analyzed, that marketers can identify content/topics/trends to inform campaigns. These techniques help build an accurate profile of the target audience.  Math and science drive extensive predictive modeling, and then audience profiles can be built by the data. The messaging and topics are the art, that works in tandem with the science, helping you create a deeper connection with your audience. 

With the above techniques in mind, here are the ways you can also build an engaged audience:

1. Know Them Intimately  

Knowing your audience is the first - and most important step.   So be sure to craft your communications in a way that makes sense for your specific audience. In fact, 88% of marketers have said they have seen an increase in business when they personalize emails and most advanced CRMs provide automation tools that will allow for easy personalization.  But you need to go beyond just customizing the recipient’s first name. Some details that would help tailor your messaging include:

    • Where are they located? In the city, suburbs, country? 
    • What is the climate (literal climate?) 
    • What are your customer personas? 
    • What are they buying?

2. Craft a Dialogue 

Come up with simple, easy to follow, accurate descriptions of your product or service and deliver it in a conversational manner. You want to engage the audience not disengage them. Humanizing your message allows your value proposition to resonate with your audience and doesn’t force them to read between the lines.  Keep it simple, succinct, interesting.

3. Find Out Their Preferences

Asking your audience what they need, how they prefer to be communicated with, their thoughts on a product, issue or recent transaction with you - all of these questions will help demonstrate that you are vested, and desire a long-term relationship rather than a transaction. Knowing how to get in touch with customers is as important as your messaging. 

4. Build Identity Through Consistency  

Consistency across online, social and traditional marketing channels is crucial for communicating your brand identity. Design, voice and messaging should be the same across all platforms where your audience can reach you. Consistency establishes trust, and trust establishes loyalty.

5. Stay away from toxic topics 

Unless your brand is one of acrimony (they exist, check out Twitter!) try to stay far away from toxic subjects and “judgy” wording. Audiences want an experience that relates to the product, service or mission they are interacting with. Stay on topic and be kind with your words. Trust us, it works in the long-run.  

6. Service with a smile

While hard to do and accomplish at-all-times, striving to ensure that your first line (customer service team) is always happy and smiling via email, chat, and social will make or break your audience - no matter how much math and science you use.  So make sure your employees feel valued as happy employees are effective advocates, which can, in turn, inspire your customers.

In short, putting these 6 principles into action will translate to an audience that will proactively engage with you. And I’ve found that if you show your customers that you love what you do, genuinely care for them and are vested in their success, the math and science will transcend the marketing, turning your message into a work of art. 

P.S. If you’re too busy to build your digital audience or want to focus on the art, let us help you with the math, science, and data by clicking here.