One thing that E-mail, Web 2.0, and social media enables us as marketers to do is become far more personalized in our communications. E-mails don’t have to read ‘Dear Investigator’, communications can be relevant to consumer interests, landing pages and personalized URLs (PURLS) can enable an extremely personalized experience with a brand. BUT nothing ruins it faster than when data is not carefully monitored for accuracy.
Our biggest asset as a marketer is our database. We work hard generating leads and compiling a house list of contacts that we hope over time will turn into customers that will turn into repeat sales. It is critical that we take the time to monitor our data for accuracy. While this seems so elementary, I received an email this morning that made me stop and think about how many marketers might continually push this to the bottom of the to-do list. It doesn’t take too long for an ignored database to become riddled with errors and inconsistencies. The email displayed below showed up in my inbox this morning – and it jumped right out at me – not because the content was so relevant (it’s not – I have a job) or the design was pleasing – but rather because it used personalization with the wrong name. I’m not Don! This turned me off and I hit delete.
We can get so caught up in crafting finely tuned, relevant content so please don’t overlook some of the most basic details – your customers name! After all, no matter how relevant the subject matter may be, if you start with ‘Dear Don’ and I’m not Don, I may not read the rest and be quick to hit the delete button. Thinking about some of our own personal assets that we treasure so dearly (house, car etc), we wouldn’t think about not setting aside time, resources or budgets to keep them maintained. Why then do we as marketers often overlook the importance of database maintenance?
I cleanse my list every 3 months. At a minimum, I encourage you to export your database as an excel list so that you can see if the email address appears to match the name. If not, remove it quick and strive to run an update profile campaign. And PLEASE, stop calling me DON!
According to Forbes, 82% of US business executives and 28% of U.S consumers carry a smartphone. With the launch of tablet readers such as the iPad, more and more people are working with extreme portability. For both B2B and B2C marketers, integrating mobile marketing should be part of their overall strategy and is an ideal platform for brands to interact and collaborate with their customers.
So let’s talk apps.
I have an iPhone and absolutely love it. I am sure I will love my iPad equally as much when I get it (I am a fan of all things apple so I have no doubts). I have a variety of apps installed such as social media apps, banking and payment apps, efficient utility apps (currency converters, time converters etc), travel apps and my favorite fast food ordering apps. I LOVE apps – I don’t have to bother with going to a users website to navigate all over, particularly when the site isn’t really designed for mobile. As I was using a variety of my apps today it got me thinking about whether or not it makes sense for a business to develop an app, and if so – which app platform (apple, android or blackberry).
When looking at mobile marketing, there are three basic ways to deliver content via a smartphone: normal webpages, websites designed for mobile devices and with native apps that run directly on the phone, which no doubt delivers the best user experience. Every business should develop a mobile friendly website to aid in having a strong mobile presence. Only then, should a business consider if an app would be worth considering.
Before jumping into the world of apps, ask yourself these questions:
- Know your customer base and their online behavior. Are they on smartphones? If so, which type (blackberry or apple)? Are they on Facebook, Twitter or email?
- Define your goals for the app. Does it give value to the user? Does it make your customer’s life easier or is it a gimicky marketing tool?
I myself prefer an app to a website when using my smartphone. I also am reminded of those businesses which apps I have downloaded on a daily basis. How about you – do you prefer mobile apps or websites? Does your business have an app?