1. Put your consumers first – think about their experiences with your brand and make it easier for them to transact with you. 

    Ask yourself these questions. Would you be recommended? Is your consumer happy with you? Were you able to meet their needs – before the transaction, during the transaction, and after the transaction?

    As businesses we do pulse surveys to stay in touch with our customers – the idea is to see how well we are doing and how effective each one of our departments might be as we try to service the consumer.

    While some brands are more successful than others in getting the consumer to complete the ‘survey,’ what do you think the actual value of that interaction is? Is the purpose of the feedback to give yourself a score or is it to create a genuine ‘fan?’

    Why not think about getting your brand to engage with your consumer one on one – put your person to person skills to the test and talk to the consumer about their experiences. Conducting a survey is not about statistics; it is about making friends out of our customers.

    Put your customer through the ultimate test – have your prospects talk to your customers.  Ask them if they would act as referrals for your brand?

    Now, would the consumer say something good about you or your brand when you are not looking?

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  2. 'Email is cheap!' 'Social media is free!'
    These two reasons is why many marketers are forced by their management (the ones making these statements) to send as many messages to the same set of consumer as possible.
    There is value in focusing, personalizing, and reducing the amount of messages sent to consumers. Don't send everybody the same offer, don't mail them all at the same time either. Here are a dozen ideas to help you with simple segmentation.
    • Message Type: From a technical perspective you can split your group into those who want HTML, text, rich text or those who enjoy social content. Social content includes videos, images, podcasts, and direct links to social media pages. What is wise in this process is to keep a little tab at the bottom asking the reader if they would like to see what the other types of content look like.
    • Timing: Timing is an important aspect as well. Stagger your emails by time zones and, if your technology allows, ask your user what time they would like to receive your alerts. A number of marketers are experimenting with sending people emails the same time they typically read them. The lesson to learn from this strategy is that this may not be as predictable.
    • Operational Segmentation: It is good to target people right after the order process or even after an incomplete transaction. It is also useful to target people differently if they have not responded to your emails.
    • Transactional Segmentation: Track how often people open, click or respond to your emails. Leverage this information into the emails you are sending them. You can build a repository of preferences based on their click throughs. The number of times they click on a column or an offer over time is also going to help you with the personalized offers you generate for them.
    • Buyer/ non-buyer: This is a natural; make it better by breaking the non-buyers into those who have opened (once, twice or more), those who have clicked and those who have not opened. Same thing with buyers, split them into product areas as you try to coax them into other interests.
    • Source-Code Segmentation: This is a good way to see where people came from and where you can lead them. People don't just sign up for email – they may have come from a variety of sources, from an inquiry, purchase, directly from your website. They could have found you as the result of a search, perhaps a contest entry, partnership, append or perhaps from “Brad” their representative (call center or branch).
    • The “Brad” Segment: A number of companies perform micro-segmentation by targeting their customers or prospects through the various representatives that work for them. This keeps it personal; this approach can help you begin, establish a relationship and then move into your mainstream campaigns – it is a good way to open the door.
    • The Betting Pool: This split is a way to get your employees involved, choose copy, creative or just subject lines and have people bet on the one that will do better – split the list and keep the excitement (involvement) going.
    • Exclusive/ Top Dogs: Of course one of your strategies should be to move people from lower performing segments to higher performing segments. Take your first responders, let them know that they are part of this group and give them advance notice of the communiqué.
    • Sniff and Pow: This is an interesting one, track what people do on your site, and then target them with offers that are specific to what they are looking at.
    • Tuesday/ Thursday Segment: This is also useful; my friend Christine used to target her list with four versions on Tuesday and then target the entire list with the best performing email on Thursday. Of course, times have changed and now her Tuesday/ Thursday test is done within a few hours.
    If all else fails there is always the A:B Random split – if you’re just starting out or have limited information/ time why not split the list into two groups to see which one performs better.

    If you have limited data, improve your sign up process, ask your users about their preferences – simple preferences ranging from types of communiqués they would like to receive from you to more complex preferences of how they use your product/ service. This forms the foundation for a lot of the personalization that is possible.

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