Do you know if your newsletter subscriber is a he or she? What about purchase history, has he bought from your online store just once or ten times? Moreover, is he an active or a passive reader of your newsletter? Segmenting subscribers and carefully targeting your content are an essential part of email marketing and communications. Far too often subscribers are seen as a faceless mass receiving the same message regardless of the individual characteristics of each subscriber. Newsletter subscriber profiles on the other hand are a helpful tool to make your email marketing more effective and influential.
What are subscriber profiles?
A subscriber profile is a group of characteristics that helps you segment and target your content more carefully. You could start by creating from 2 to 4 different profiles to which you create dedicated campaigns to or segment parts of your newsletter to.
7 Tips to Create Subscriber Profiles
1. Fill in the Blanks
While subscribing to a list you might ask a few more details that just the email of your new subscriber. However note that subscribing should still remain easy so don't wear out your potential subscriber by asking too many questions at once. Asking one or two extra details probably won't work against you as long as the questions are relevant and taken advantage of.
Don't forget to ask extra details even when your subscriber is unsubscribing your newsletter. The motives for unsubscribing might serve as a valuable source of information to help you take your marketing efforts one step forward. For this reason placing a "Why do you unsubscribe" drop-down next to your unsubscribe button is worth thinking about. You may also add a "Fill in the blank"-field for those who want to express the reason in more detail. Creating profiles from people who unsubscribed helps you assess what you're doing right at the moment and which parts of your communications still need a bit of fine-tuning.
The background and characteristics of newsletter subscribers are often already known in companies but for one reason or another not fully utilized. As an example, the data might be laying inside a CRM-system or other customer database. Integrations between the existing databases and email marketing platform are an effective way to benefit from the previously collected data. An integration automatically transfers information from one system to another thus making it easy to create new mailing lists based on subscriber's features and information collected over a longer period of time in a customer relationship. Even a few minor modifications might make your newsletters feel much more personal and persuasive.
Surveys are a valuable tool to learn new insights about your subscribers. Surveys are also an interactive channel that makes your communications efforts much more engaging. No doubt your most loyal readers would be more than happy to express their take on your letters or to provide a bit of extra info of themselves to help you target your messages even better. Surveys may also be used to ask your subscribers what they want to read about thus providing your subscribers the kind of content they want to read.
In practice surveys may be carried out in few different ways. One of the ways is to create an On-Page survey placed on your company website or landing page. These kind of On-Page surveys are right for you in cases when you want to know a bit more than just yes or no-answers and give your readers the opportunity to write their own answers. The other option is to utilize One-Click Surveys placed on the newsletter itself. The advantage of One-Click Surveys is that they are easy and quick to answer. On the other hand they don't provide you with thorough answers or more detailed knowledge about your subscribers. In addition to On-Page surveys and One-Click Surveys there are dedicated survey tool providers on the market, such as Surveypal.
4. Enriching the subscriber data
Rented and purchased subscriber list providers do not have the best reputation as players on the market. However, there are also high quality database providers that can help you enrich the information about your existing subscribers. In most cases this is a much better option than buying bulk addresses. As an example you could claim information such as the home town, decision making role, financial information or any other additional info that will help you segment your subscriber base. Remember, however, that the utilization and claiming of this kind of information might have country specific legislation or restrictions.
5. Purchase history
Going through your clientele's purchase history might help you find specific groups among your subscribers. Offering your customer base products and services that actually interest them will improve the results of your email marketing campaigns as well as prove your subscribers that you care.
6. Let your subscriber tell
What about giving your subscribers the change to tell you who they are? If you're an e-retailer you could let your clientele choose the profile that best suits them, such as: "I'm brand loyal", "I go after bargains", "I'm a spontaneous buyer, considerate buyer", etc. or you could map out the variables that affect purchase decisions: "Product images have a huge impact on me", "I'm basing decisions based on other's opinions", etc. Depending on the service or product at hand humour might also work well as an incentive to form subscriber profiles. All in all, letting your subscriber tell who they are will diminish the change of forming false profiles and distorted segmentation.
7. Marketing automation
Forming subscriber profiles can be seen as a stage of moving towards marketing automation. Not all of us utilize marketing automation, however, nor do all companies need them in the first place. Yet the idea behind marketing automation and subscriber profiles is the same: personalized and targeted content and better understanding of your audience. The seven tips mentioned in this article are something you can do manually or with a bit of extra effort, whereas a marketing automation tool will do it for you. Triggered newsletters are based on many different micro-signals that the automation platform collects from various data sources such as social media or eCommerce website.
Targeting in practice
We recently added a new feature, Dynamic lists, in LianaMailer newsletter tool. Dynamic lists make it much easier to create subscriber profiles and target your content more effectively.
With Dynamic lists you can easily create new subscriber lists by narrowing down your subscribers based on their characteristics, such as male over 30 living in Berlin, etc. All of this is done with only a few clicks in your admin view, contact us if you want to try out the new feature!