No more BIG data and creepy marketing - personalize emails with customer email billing data instead
I’ve been having some reservations lately about just how much of a footprint I leave online and how my footprints are being followed by various companies. I reckon I have fairly ordinary online habits. I search for things using Google; I check out travel options and review places using TripAdvisor; I book hotels and airlines using hotels.com and I buy the occasional bit of tat from Amazon and eBay.
I like idea of a tailored experience – to a degree. I understand that after having searched for hotels in Bangkok using TripAdvisor, I can expect a couple of follow-up emails over the course of the next few weeks suggesting some similar options.
But when I’m on a website and see ads for something I’ve looked for on a completely unrelated website, it’s a bit creepy. Or when I’m abroad somewhere and it’s clear that “they” know where I am or where I’ve been, I feel like I’m being stalked!
Big Data or No Data?
Of course, it’s all to do with Big Data and how it’s processed. I’m not sure I like where companies are going with this, and an article in TrendWatching.com has confirmed that I’m not alone. Trendwatching is suggesting that 2014 will be the year ofNo Data – with some brands eschewing data collection to bring themselves more in line with their customer’s views on personal privacy.
No Data is maybe too much (or too little anyway!), and I’m not sure that any brand will truly be able to pull off great customer service without any data. But why not make more use of the customer information you already have on hand, without trawling the net for every clue and nuance as to their preferences and interests?
Use what you’ve got!
Most of our clients have great customer data on hand already. Telco’s have call records, utilities have usage data (and that’s getting more and more detailed with Smart Meters) and banks/financial institutions have spending/saving information by the bucket-load. And the great thing is that the customers know, understand and accept it!
Critical communications like eBills and eStatements can include personalized eMarketing offers inserted on-the-fly according to customer usage data. If you are delivering to the inbox, these targeted messages can be inserted in the email body or even into the attached bill or statement.
Here are some examples of offers that would add value to me:
- If I spend a lot of money on roaming calls – send me a promotional message detailing a more cost-effective package.
- If I spend more than $XX on a credit card for eating out – I’d be inclined to click on a marketing message promoting offers with the card’s restaurant partners.
- If my peak electricity usage is high – a message promoting low energy appliances would be really useful.
The one thing these messages all have in common is that it’s personalized, relevant and included an expected communication. Plus after every communication is sent out, you can measure the effectiveness of these eMarketing efforts through link tracking. But they’re not intrusive, not unexpected and not creepy, so your customers aren’t going to be worried about just how much data you have on them and how you collected it. The 1-2-1 nature of email married with the ‘big data’ you already own is a winning combination.
And you can do this all now! No need for a new Big Data team and an expensive platform to search for and crunch all that personal information.
Let’s make 2014 the year of Not-So-Big Data, and keep everybody happy – the customer, the Marketing department and the bean-counters! We’ve been round the block for over a decade and are happy to show you how to get started!
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