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Email Marketing by the Numbers: How to Use the World’s Greatest Marketing Tool to Take Any Organization to the Next Level by Ali Sales, Chris Baggott

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Chapter 11. Using Surveys, Forms, and Other Feedback Tools

Successful email marketing begins and ends with our favorite d-word: data. Segmentation and personalization both require quality data that can be leveraged as actionable, individual-level attributes. While many organizations maintain a long list of desirable data points, most of these attributes remain unpopulated throughout the life of the subscriber. Just like books sitting in a bookcase collecting dust and never getting read, those data attributes sit in a database collecting cobwebs, too. Marketers have a tendency to create a wish list (if only I knew eye color. Then I could deliver the proper message to everyone) and either never get around to collecting the data or never use it.

Historically (here I go on another history lesson), I understand it’s been hard to gather and leverage data. After walking barefoot and uphill for seven miles, rescuing a cow from the side of the road, and finally arriving at work, you probably didn’t have the energy to collect customer data.

Lucky for us, we live in a world full of conveniences, technology, and solutions that mitigate the pain we once felt. Today, it’s easy to collect data. It’s also easy to leverage that data. There is no excuse for not collecting and leveraging data. The more perplexing question is: What data will drive your business?

A small number of actionable attributes (in the 10 to 15 range) are the power behind many of the best programs. While there may be hundreds ...

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