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BizReport : Email Marketing : February 05, 2021

How to improve data collection and use

With Apple's iOS 14 update in the wild, it's time for digital marketers to evaluate their current plans and explore new strategies. Rather than relying on targeted advertising through app data tracking, this allows companies to engage with users in new ways including making more personalized connections. These new strategies can help brands develop relationships and communities among consumers, instead of implementing disconnected or impersonal ads. Here's how.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What steps or strategies should businesses adopt for data/data privacy moving forward?

Steffen Schebesta, CEO, Sendinblue: Digital marketing is a broad category that goes beyond traditional, targeted advertising. There are many great ways to connect and engage with consumers, and many methods will be more effective than personalized ads that consumers may never see. There are several other strategies that can be elevated instead, like email marketing, SEO, SEA, social media or content marketing.

To begin adopting a digital marketing strategy that keeps data privacy as a priority, businesses will first need to be more transparent with their audiences. Businesses will stand to benefit from the bonds they'll create with consumers when they become more transparent, and many consumers are more loyal to companies with transparency policies. Other steps organizations will need to take include creating strong trust and long-term relationships with consumers, sourcing first-party data, and keeping the data secured while keeping customers informed on what data is collected and how it is used.

From my experience, email marketing is a great way to build and develop relationships, and drive sales with consumers. There are a number of platforms and services that offer separate data tracking capabilities and are not reliant on Apple or social media apps, such as Sendinblue's Tracker which enables tracking that is automatically entered into marketing automation flows. I would encourage business owners to look into some of the vast offerings out there and leverage them as a way to continue making connections to appropriate customers.

Kristina: How can email marketing strategies help fill the gap left by Apple's move to allow their users to opt out of data tracking?

Steffen: Email marketing is a competitive way to continue reaching consumers while allowing marketers the opportunity to collect important, first-party data to effectively and personally target their customers. Businesses can directly connect with customers and drive traffic straight to online sites. While ads are dependent on customers using specific platforms to discover them, email marketing provides a straight line of communication from organizations to consumers.

Email marketing also allows businesses to qualify the investment they are making - they are able to see which email marketing campaigns are working, identify trends and best times to send emails, and have the options to continue personalizing and targeting specific audiences through segmentation. When implemented correctly, marketing emails will engage targeted and interested consumers, and drive immediate sales for businesses.

Successful implementation typically can include a lot of different factors, which will be custom to each company and market. Some options to consider include strong contact lists that should be maintained to ensure contacts are receiving notifications of products they are interested in. Marketers will also want to create personalized content and segment their lists so the correct content lands with specific, targeted recipients. Other methods can include identifying best times for sharing emails or delivering clear and obvious calls to actions, such as discounts for spending a certain amount or purchasing within a certain timeframe. The best part about email marketing is that it's not owned by big tech - it doesn't report to Apple, Facebook, Google - it follows its own protocol and relies on transparency directly with customers, rather than through third parties who may have different standards of transparency.

Kristina: What are your top 3 best practices for businesses data collection and use?

Steffen: Be transparent. Consumers want to know what data is collected, how it's being used, and why. Don't make them wonder and opt out of tracking; tell them from the start what data will be used and how it can make their lives better. And in the spirit of transparency, explain your policies and data privacy approach in layman's terms so that everyone can easily understand.

Protect users' data and privacy. If users are going to remain opted in to data collection, make certain their data is not mishandled and is part of a secured database. Put an agreed upon policy and guidelines for data collection in place, and ensure it is enforced for all parties involved. This should also outline and include legal regulations that may be within a country, industry, or company.

Make the data exchange mutually beneficial. Companies can use collected data in a number of ways to achieve business goals and tracking data is often critical. In order to make sure organizations are getting what they need, provide some incentive to consumers for them to want to be opted in to data collection. This can look like many things - from discounts, to exclusive offerings or products, and more. Often, tracking leads to customization which can be widely beneficial to user experience, as long as users are aware of it and understand how it can benefit them.

Tags: email marketing, email marketing tips, mobile marketing, mobile marketing tips, Sendinblue

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