Outside of marketing, people tend to think of data as a static resource, something to amass and store the way a collector might gather coins or stamps. For marketers, data’s dynamic. It changes over time, influences analytics, and reshapes marketing strategies. Data accomplishes great things if you have the tools to harness its power and put it to work. Here’s how to get more from the information you gather and make big data technology an active component of marketing success.
How Does Your Audience Connect with You?
We’ve noted before that email opens on mobile devices have surpassed those on desktop computers, but that’s a very broad statement that only careful data analysis can refine for your specific business. In some industries, mobile opens account for nearly 70 percent of all email, according to a 2015 survey summarized in Movable Ink’s Consumer Device Preference Report. Email reading habits change by industry, though, and some industries are far closer to a 50/50 ratio or even skew in favor of desktop opens. Not-for-profit organizations, for example, still use desktop devices to read email more than half the time.
Open rates are a good indicator of interest, but they aren’t the only metric to consider. Knowing how your open rates align with conversions and sales is essential to planning future campaigns. If your analytics tell you that desktop readers convert more than twice as frequently as mobile-oriented email recipients, for example, it might be worth bucking conventional wisdom about prioritizing mobile. You might find that your most interested leads are those who open on multiple devices – that is, they open first on a smartphone and then take action from another mobile device or laptop.
How Sticky Is Your Email?
Data analysis can also tell you where people are paying the most attention. The length of time an email stays open once a recipient opens it is a clear indicator of interest, and that open time can vary widely by device. “Sticky” email – messages that stay open for 15 seconds or longer – drive conversions at a far higher rate than mail that’s opened for just a few seconds. Movable Ink found readers who saw mail on their Android devices stayed with the message for longer than their iPhone counterparts, but that’s not necessarily going to be true for your audience. Marketing automation tools that monitor open rates and times and correlate that to devices used will tell you volumes about the people you most want to reach.
Putting Your Data to Work
Knowing where your readers prefer to get their email is only part of the data you need. Cross-referencing that information with specific data about open rates and times gives you a clearer picture of how your audience interacts with you. Instead of optimizing your marketing methods for a theoretical audience, you can now tailor your message for an actual audience – one that has a unique profile you can only see through careful observation with big data technology.
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