Do you know that Gmail affects your deliverability?

In February 2016 Google stated that it had over one billion active Gmail users, a news unthinkable when years earlier the first e-mail was sent. In 2019, it confirmed itself as the first e-mail client used in the world with a market share of almost 30%, and the other e-mail providers being separated by many percentage points – the only exception is Apple iPhone, which moved hand in hand, but that’s history unto itself.

So we can safely say that even among your contacts, we find a significant number of people using a Gmail e-mail address. And that’s why Google takes care of its customers.

Gmail in fact daily updates the e-mail filters and thinks them to protect the boxes as much as possible. How? Mostly by monitoring and reacting to users’ actions towards the e-mail communications they receive.

So it becomes important for brands that want to use e-mail as a contact channel, follow some best practices that also arise from the analysis of Gmail’s own behavior towards e-mail.

Brand objective: to maintain the reputation of the domain at the highest level and allow your e-mails to reach the inbox of the largest number of contacts.

Gmail deliverability

What can you do to increase the delivery rate of your e-mails to Gmail accounts?

To prevent your e-mails from being blocked and placed in the spam folder, you need to follow some precautions. There are several areas to work on, some in charge of brands, others to any ESPs that support you in marketing communication activities. Let’s try to see some of them together. It is not an exhaustive analysis but there are good ideas to improve delivery rates, opening and reading of e-mails. Let’s start.

Always use the same IP Address to prevent Gmail from classifying you as a new sender and you need to rebuild your reputation all over again. In case you have to use more than one, associate each IP address to different types of communications: service, promotional, newsletter, etc.. And in this regard, the suggestion is also to keep the same header: from for e-mails of the same categories.

In any case, remember to rationalize the tests you sent that often have a negative impact on the reputation of your domain and pay attention to the volumes: increase them gradually and monitor the situation with Postmaster tools to move immediately in case of critical issues. Above all, the initial phase of new deliveries requires a lot of attention, the so-called onboarding phase, i.e. the phase in which you start using new lists. While a bad reputation is unfortunately achieved in very few wrong moves, a good reputation is built with time and effort. And Gmail is very strict in this respect.

Keep the contents of your communications as consistent as possible, don’t mix extremely different messages in the same e-mail, and watch out for the domains in the entire message – even for images for example – because to define reputation, Gmail considers everything. Also, keep the e-mail format as close to standards as possible, but for this you can contact our consultants.

Another thing, perhaps even one of the most important. Remember when we recently talked about e-mail authentication? SPF, DKIM and DMARC?

Well, Google pays attention to these aspects and has been one of the first providers to use SPF and DKIM on messages. It was also one of the major contributors of DMARC. It protects its users from potentially illegitimate e-mails by relying on such protocols and for brand domain reputation systems. Ask us how to do it and we can support you in this fundamental step.

And then, be careful, as we said before Gmail trusts its users blindly, it monitors their behavior in the management of e-mails and for example, if some of them have not explicitly chosen to read your communications, they will most likely end up in the Spam box. If your e-mails start to be recognized as unwanted, it will happen more and more often in the future with devastating effects on your reputation as well as the success of individual campaigns.

Take it as a good practice to always opt-in to your e-mails – but don’t use forms with pre-filled permissions, let your contact decide and feel free – and give them the opportunity to unsubscribe. If your brand relies on an ESP, make sure that boxes are set up to handle abuse reports and that you constantly monitor all requests from your contacts, including updating their data. Contactlab also provides this service.

Do not rely on lists collected and sold by third parties, on the contrary, segment. Address more and more refined audiences. For example, Gmail reduces spam rates to those domains that have higher e-mail opening rates. Make sure that your contacts include your brand among the desired senders and do not report you as spam.

Concluding

The variables you need to work on to keep your domain’s reputation high and ensure the best possible delivery rates even for Gmail users can be grouped into macro-areas:

  • IP Address.
  • Authentication.
  • Engagement.
  • Opt-in.
  • Format.

Don’t waste time then, every delivery could be a missed opportunity – or worse – if you don’t follow the best practices Gmail requires. Call us and our deliverability experts can study an action plan tailored to your brand and the characteristics of your contacts and deliveries.

Contactlab has the right solution to your needs thanks to technology and experience.

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The personalization of your marketing campaigns also passes through Contactlab Marketing Cloud

A personalized communication activity immediately brings at least two clear and significant benefits:

  • It allows the brand to speak better and more effectively with its consumers improving the customer experience.
  • It prevents customers from being targeted with generic messages, thus increasing interest in the brand and increasing profits.

So there is every reason to consider customization as one of the keys to successful customer relationships and, consequently, to business.

What does personalization mean?

  • Choose the target.
  • Create customized content.
  • Discover the preferred contact channel.
  • Communicate at the right time.
  • Draw customer journey for each individual profile.

The collection and the management of all contact information and the adoption of a valid engagement marketing technology – together with the support of consultants able to accompany the brand throughout the duration of the entire relationship with its customers – allow together to achieve levels of personalization to create moments of tailored digital interaction, and not only with customers but also with those who have what it takes to become one soon.

What the Contactlab Marketing Cloud offers

Unique Customer Profile Audience segmentation

A dynamic profiling of your contacts allows you to refine your targets in real time and on the basis of data you have collected or processed, available always updated: demographic, behavioral, predictive. Integrate all your data sources, create unique profiles and segment your audience.

Advanced Segmentation Optimal timing
Communicate exactly when the contact is ready to listen to you. In the customer journeys, in the plans, in the service communications or in the bulk deliveries, you choose when it’s the best time to interact with your customers according to best practices or following habits and preferences.
Content Personalization Content creation
A drag & drop email editor easy to use and with the opportunity to check the effectiveness of what you have created thanks to A/B test. Availability of a series of templates ready to use or modify according to your needs and for maximum customization of the structure and components of your email.
Customer Journey Personal customer journey

Orchestrate target, conditions, content, channels, timing and pauses. Create automations to make your contacts live unique experiences.

Multichannel Multi-channel

Discover which channels your customers use. Track how they move online and offline and where their data comes from, which platforms or applications they use most. Build contact plans that reach them where they are. Eye-catching emails, multilingual and unlimited text messages, Facebook retargeting and more like push notifications, thanks to webhook.

Concluding

And it doesn’t end there. Don’t hesitate, contact us. Personalize every single relationship as if it were unique, your contacts will understand that you take care of them. Take the opportunity to give them unforgettable experiences and turn them into satisfied customers.

 

 

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Is an excellent e-mail delivery tool enough for the success of your campaigns?

Well, it’s done. You’ve choosen the Contactlab platform for your e-mail campaigns. Now? What other steps are essential to make your deliveries effective, the e-mail arrive in the inbox and the contacts engaged?

The value of a good database

Whenever we face with the activation of a new sender or the request to use a new database, our deliverability experts are ready to suggest some valuable and useful indications to improve the quality of the data and consequently the result of the deliveries.

Sending e-mails means configuring all technical aspects of the delivery but also taking care of the lists to be addressed and therefore the reputation of the sender – your brand. A bad reputation in fact very soon leads to being filtered, or worse, blocked, by the main recipient domains and this reduces the effectiveness of any e-mail activity.

While a bad reputation is unfortunately achieved in very few wrong moves, a good reputation is built with time and effort. Recovering a ruined reputation is much more difficult, expensive and uncertain than keeping it good by paying attention over time.

That’s why getting off on the right foot with a new database is very important. Among our proposals that go in this direction, we find the Vetting and Boarding procedures.

What is the Vetting

A qualification process: a simple questionnaire submitted to the brand on the database – and on the e-mail flow, to be filled in before any delivery addressing it. In this way, our experts are provided with information that enables them to complete the analysis independently and at different levels. The aim is to identify the best:

  • Technical configuration: from the implementation of dedicated or shared IPs to dedicated sender domains or tracking links in the e-mails.
  • How to start using the database or e-mail flow: for example the Boarding process that we will see in detail below.

For this phase to give a really useful result, it is necessary that the indications provided by the brands are complete and as correct as possible, otherwise the effectiveness of the whole analysis is compromised.

What is the Boarding

Boarding example

 

This is the phase that in the example above precedes the date of April, 15th and which puts resources into place to improve the KPIs of your e-mail campaigns. The chart shows the impact of the procedure: the opening rates on the receiving domains reflect a fluctuating movement that is stabilized over time by using targeted tasks under the guidance of our experts. If you are interested to know what actions have been taken in this individual case, please contact us.

It is essentially a risk reduction procedure caused by the use of a new database of uncertain quality, the duration of which depends on the results obtained during its execution.

The main aim is to identify any critical points and discover the best ways to manage or limit them, thus avoiding that new lists cause irreparable damage to the sender’s reputation due to massive or careless use.

How it works

The database is first sampled on a statistical basis and then segmented into tranches whose size is determined by the sampling result.

Both the initial sample and the subsequent tranches are then included regularly in e-mail campaigns:

  • No more than one per day per recipient.
  • For a period whose duration depends on the size of the database, on the sampling results and on the continuous monitoring of regular deliveries downstream of the sample.

The relevant phenomena initially assessed and then measured and reconsidered during the trial includes:

  • The information gathered in Vetting.
  • Hard bounce rates – i.e. invalid addresses – and their deviation from best practice values.
  • Spam rates and abuse reports.
  • Positive engagement rates: openings and clicks.
  • The result of spam filters analysis on messages sent during the Boarding phase.
  • The result of the Inbox Placement observation.
  • The distribution to the target domains.

In most cases the procedure is short and the brand can start sending. In other situations, however, more time is needed to reach a verdict that is perhaps below expectations. However, ignoring any problems is not the best way to proceed. The stakes are high and the benefits of such an approach are very clear.

What can Boarding reveal?

The results can be varied and very different. In the worst case a database can be unusable but also require:

  • Special actions such as the re-optin of the entire database.
  • Split into segments of different quality.
  • Reactivation initiatives.
  • The elimination of problematic segments due to e.g. original data collection mode or obsolescence.
  • The adoption of a different startup approach on different segments.
  • The use of differentiated dedicated IPs.

Concluding

Whatever the outcome, these procedures offer precise indications to be implemented and tailored to the specific needs of the brand at that particular time. It is a teamwork that starts and goes from the constant collaboration between the brand and Contactlab.

Contact us now. We’ll see together how Contactlab Marketing Cloud and the expertise of a team of experts can help you to design and implement successful marketing campaigns to support your business.

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Customer Service availability in August

During August, from Monday to Friday, the Contactlab’s Customer Service availability is:

  • from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm CEST
  • from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm CEST

except for the week from August, 10th to 14th when the team will be available during the following hours:

  • from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm CEST
  • from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm CEST

For further information visit our support website.

 

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New features for the email template editor!

The HTML template editor available in the platform in the Send functionality is renewed.

What does this release enable you to do?

Email Designer is enriched with two new features that add to the many features that distinguish it, making it more and more an effective and simple tool thanks to drag & drop.

 

Add icons to your template regardless of row structure.

Drag the block to the desired position within your template. Click, insert the image and start editing and customizing the area as you like with the dynamic side control panel.

 

Email Designer Icon

 

Easily enter menus, including burger menu for mobile devices.

After a quick drag & drop of the item into your template structure, you can insert the list of your menu items and customize the style. Font, color but also position and layout – i.e. vertical or horizontal. Decide how to make it appear in the desktop and mobile version or just one of the two.

 

Email Designer Menu 

What does this mean?

With these features, you can make your emails even more engaging and attractive by adding new elements of value that provide your customers with additional opportunities to interact with your brand.

 

 

changelog Guide Resources Support

 

 

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WEBINAR: Email Marketing for the Non Profit, fund raising strategies during and post Covid-19 (IT only)

No-Profit webinar

How did the digital communication change during lockdown? How to continue the relationship with donors in the phase 2?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020
at 2:00 pm
Speaker:
Massimo Fubini, Founder & CEO di Contactlab
Odette Di Maio, Head of Account Management, Client Manager No Profit

Subscribe now!

In an emergency situation people have shown new values than before by reorganizing their priorities and changing their habits.

How did it go for Non Profit? How did digital communication change during lockdown? How did the relationship with donors continue?

In this webinar we will see what critical issues NPOs had to overcome to keep the attention of supporters towards their causes and what strategies they put in place to continue their fundraising campaigns making the most of digital channels.

 

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Milky Way: the Contactlab Design System

The digital touchpoints between brand and consumers are constantly increasing, making it important to pay attention and to maintain consistency and uniformity between the different channels and the multitude of devices available. In fact, today’s user easily switches from a web page on the desktop to a mobile application and it is not uncommon for them to navigate from one product to another, both belonging to the same ecosystem without having decided beforehand.

The project to develop the unified experience of Contactlab Marketing Cloud grows with these considerations and comes to define a set of rules and guidelines to maintain consistency and continuity within the same universe. The Design System is the tool available to Designers, Developers, Marketers and in general to those who design products and services immersed in a complex context.

The Design System

One question we are often asked is whether it is really needed. There is no simple and above all unique answer, it all depends on how much care and respect is put into the application and updating of the Design System.

The approach of many companies is to create a catalogue of UI components – the so-called design library – trying to preserve the consistency of the brand and with the aim of making the Front-End development of new products more efficient. Once implemented and manipulated to adapt them to specific contexts, it often happens that the individual components undergo even drastic variations with regard, for example, to proportions or look & feel. This causes upheavals with impacts on the use and interaction between product and user. The Designer, often left alone in a complex organization, is not able to follow the entire chain of creation and maintenance of one or more products.

From this it emerges how a design library cannot ensure an optimal result if not accompanied by a governance that guarantees its application and maintenance, despite being the result of a continuous, long and expensive activity in terms of design and development.

The Design System extends the concept of UI component catalog because it provides a set of shared rules and practices to update and innovate this set, defining a governance system for the design library.

What we find in the Design System

Milky Way is the Design System of the Contactlab platform. We chose this name in homage to our Milky Way solar system, a set of planets and rules.

TopTen DesignThe inspiration also comes down to the space-themed illustrations – new style, new rules, new perspectives for a new frontier to reach – that are giving new life to our Marketing Cloud. The idea is a constellation of elements that relate to each other, evolve and move as one. The set of principles and conventions on which these associations are based are shared and discussed in a series of articles dedicated to the Contactlab Marketing Cloud interface.

Each Design System is designed starting from the business needs and the type of products to which it will be applied.

However, there are some recurring elements that can also be found in Contactlab’s Design System:

  • Functional patterns, consolidated solutions to a common design problem.
  • A styleguide, a series of guidelines and attributes that influence the look & feel of an interface with the aim of transmitting an identity regardless of the functionality of the product.
  • Practices, techniques, approaches and processes that influence the teams involved in product design.
  • UI components, repeatable and reusable blocks of an interface.

Moreover, a Design System can include a Brand Identity, that is all the documentation supporting the corporate identity even if not strictly related to the digital world: mission, vision, tone of voice, use of the logo, typographic and photographic composition, etc.. We, in Milky Way, have adopted this approach.

The benefits from a Design System

The Contactlab Design System is indispensable so that the platform and its functionalities can continue to evolve with a strong impact on consistency – style and use – while reducing design time and technical debt. In general, a well oiled and used design system supports:

  • A superior user experience.
  • An increase in product quality perception.
  • A significant reduction in support requests.
  • A decrease in the time needed to resolve bugs and inconsistencies.

Ryan Lum’s article How to measure a Design System’s impact provides an objective and subjective way to measure the impact of a design system in three key areas: the user, the company and the team.

The Contactlab System

Milky Way - infographic

 

Regarding the Contactlab Marketing Cloud platform we have adopted a systemic approach. We started by defining and theorizing a set of principles and rules that would bring order to the entropy of interface design and development processes. We adopted as components library an open-source project, Ant Design, adaptable to the latest Front-End technology stacks (Angular, Vue, React, React Native). Through Tokens – key/value objects – we are able to feed it with our styles and rules. The entity of these same Tokens varies depending on the language and technology used and are distributed through a single NPM package.Then, an additional package is available that can be installed in the project and provides the static resources created when prototyping a section or feature, such as service pages, illustrations, logos and icons. The individual parts form a galaxy composed and articulated in many sub-systems. Hence, again, the name Milky Way.

Concluding

If you’re curious to learn more about our Milky Way, from the beginning to the next evolution, you can call us right away. Or browse through the documentation we’ve made accessible to you as well. The material is in fact open source, from the source code of the Design Token on GitHub to the design documentation, hosted instead on Notion so that everyone is able to update it without special technical skills.

 

 

 

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Restart your business: calculate your customer’s RFM!

The lockdown is over, slowly the shops reopen and activities restart believing that e-commerce will remain a much more used sales channel than in the past. Don’t leave anyone behind. Find out how your customers have behaved online during the lockdown, plan ad hoc marketing campaigns for them and help your business get going faster.

We have already seen the benefits you can get from combining ecommerce and marketing automation. Try to think about the level of customization that your journeys could reach if you had available for each customer the RFM index, which is the result of an algorithm able to group your customers in different clusters according to their purchasing behavior.

RFM and ecommerce

It is widely believed that customers to focus on are the loyal ones, who have bought more recently or spent more. With few resources you keep them on board in a profitable way. Acquiring a new customer costs at least 5 times more than retaining an existing one (source: Harvard Business Review).

However, it might be worth getting a better understanding of the purchasing dynamics of the last few weeks, getting to know new customers or perhaps discovering the value of those that seemed less interesting in the past.

What they have in common, however, is that for each of them your brand should have a different but conscious engagement strategy. And so RFM measurement becomes a valuable support.

It becomes intuitive as talking about RFM that the ecommerce should be looked at with a double valence, because:

  • It provides the data for further processing resulting in the synthetic index.
  • It uses the result of this processing to segment and create a better customer experience, retain more customers and increase their value.

Why a RFM analysis?

The RFM analysis, in addition to calculating a precise data useful for direct customer management, for example during a phone call with your Customer Care, proves to be a valid segmentation technique of profiles into categories starting from the history of the transactions in a given period of time.

From the combination  of the three variables:

  • Recency: when they bought last time.
  • Frequency: how often they bought.
  • Monetary: how much they spent,

you can identify homogeneous groups of customers and design relevant content that will drive them to an action or purchase.

SegmentationOr you may decide that under a certain value or for some clusters it is no longer convenient to continue to promote engagement activities for example for customers who have not purchased recently, frequently and whose spending has been low or negligible.

The model is applicable for all brands, however, it is necessary to consider the characteristics of the sector, products, seasonality, etc.

RFM audience segmentation is the key to achieve the level of personalization your customers expect, targeted campaigns instead of initiatives aimed at your entire audience.

You can use the calculated information, for example, to:

  • Discover valuable but at risk of churn customers who usually buy frequently and who have not shown up in the last 2 months. Reconnect them with your brand through customer retention initiatives. Send them targeted proposals, special discounts, recommendations and valuable content.
  • Identify who bought a lot in 2020 before the lockdown, but not lately, and carry out remarketing campaigns on social media – for example Facebook – or up-selling.
  • Get to know the Top Customers who mantained the same status even during the health emergency and differentiate communications to increase loyalty with cross-selling proposals.
  • Select new customers who have spent little in quarantine and promote nurturing initiatives to encourage other purchases with discounts and promotions making them more profitable and pushing, why not, even the visit to the store now that it is feasible.
  • And so on…

It is immediately apparent that this clustering model is useful in many ways.

If, on one hand, it identifies your customers’ buying habits, on the other hand it defines which of them is more sensitive to your brand and responsive. You can then use the model to increase the value of individuals by switching them from one cluster to another and:

  • Understand which types of activities are most appreciated.
  • Find out which customers respond best to each of these.

In this way it also becomes a useful decision-making tool in the marketing planning phase because it allows you to direct your resources and invest in targeted initiatives that can ensure a quick return by improving conversion rates and helping to achieve business objectives.

The RFM algorithm of Contactlab

The platform gives you the opportunity to create your targets intuitively and immediately using the RFM index as a condition – and more generally all the standard or customized insights that our Business Intelligence team can build with you quickly and easily. Thanks to our experts you can apply the RFM algorithm to your customer base and define 11 behavioral patterns.

After choosing a scale of votes (1-5) and assigning one vote to each of the three variables Recency, Frequency and Monetary, from the 125 combinations you can identify 11 clusters to associate a set of actions for customer engagement and marketing activities really 1-to-1.

 

RFM evolution

 

Let’s see some examples together.

CHAMPIONS

They have bought recently, frequently and their level of spending is very high. These are typically loyal customers who must be rewarded and you have to keep the three variables at high levels. You could even rely on them as early adopters of new products or services and certainly rely on them as a channel to promote your offer.

POTENTIAL LOYALISTS

They may be the new lockdown customers: they are recent but have spent a lot several times. Offer them membership cards or loyalty programs and push cross-selling activities with recommendation of other products or services related to what they have already bought.

PROMISING

They’ve been customers for the past few weeks, but they haven’t spent much. Was it really their intention, or did they not have the time or were they not properly solicited? Try to interest them, insist perhaps with free trial programs, check their value to the end and then decide if it’s worth continuing to follow them.

CUSTOMER NEEDING ATTENTION

All values are above average: recency, frequency and even monetary but have not purchased so recently. That it’s because of the medical emergency? Will it just be a temporary condition or is there something else? You could bid on them in time by doing campaigns based on past purchases. You have to do everything you can to reactivate them.

AT RISK

They spent a lot and bought frequently, but… a long time ago. Even before the lockdown, they’d been absent for some time. Their value has always been high and you could count on them, you have to reconnect them. You’ve got to do something, plan personalized emails to the extreme, don’t let them go to the competition: if they don’t buy from you, they’re doing it or they will do it elsewhere.

RECENT CUSTOMERS

During the  health emergencies, consumers have had more time to browse online and look for alternatives to their usual habits. These contacts have purchased recently, so maybe right during lockdown but not frequently. Maybe did they take advantage of the special offer you designed a couple of months ago to new customers for their first purchase? Contact them, follow them in the on-boarding process and gradually build a new relationship that will soon become valuable for both of you.

Now, what have we discovered more from the Contactlab model?

The RFM calculation has to help you develop customized campaigns for each phase of the life cycle of all individual customers – clusters are made from identifiable and actionable profiles – but understanding the transaction data deeply, you can predict the (re)purchase process that becomes the true engine of the future of your brand.

Concluding

RFM shows you a realistic snapshot of how your ecommerce customers behaved during lockdown. If you want to further enhance the analysis, you can also merge the data offline. From your customers’ online and offline purchases, you know habits and preferences and measure their current value. You can recognize buying behavior patterns and answer questions like ‘What are my top customers and which ones I can consider lost?’. It is one of the most powerful segmentation approaches in terms of targeting messages and offers.

Contact us and our team of experts will show you how to make the best use of the segmentation and automation features of the Contactlab Marketing Cloud platform, combine them with your ecommerce and other systems, collect as much information about your contacts as possible, process it and get new insights like the RFM index for 1-to-1 marketing strategies.

 

 

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WEBINAR: Email marketing in the GDO, strategies during and post Covid-19 (IT only)

Webinar

How did the digital communication change during lockdown? How to continue the relationship with consumers in the phase 2?

 

Thursday, June 11th, 2020
at 10:30 am
Speaker: Massimo Fubini, Founder & CEO di Contactlab
Subscribe now!

We’ll talk about CRM, LOYALTY and MARKETING in retail.

 

Brands are called to have an ethical approach to communication, to review their relationship strategy with the consumer who, in an emergency situation, has new values. In this webinar we will see what strategies have been put in place by retail brands – useful ideas for other industries as well – to reassure consumers and continue to sell through digital marketing.

What has been the role of direct communication (email, sms, social…) in this period? And in the next phase? Which messages were used? How often? Which images, which Tone of Voice? Promo or Branding?

 

 

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What does the health emergency teach marketing engagement?

The use of technology has been fundamental during the lockdown and customer engagement tools have become extremely important, especially because people are at the centre of the critical issues of these months.

Brands now know it, they have understood it: they need to approach and use tools to create and maintain longlasting and valuable relationships with their customers. They have to build different customer journeys than in the past: longer, more articulated, differentiated and sometimes not aimed at an immediate and direct creation of new business but simply to support the existing one. It is necessary to re-evaluate the loyalty theme, which also passes decisively through customer engagement.

4 things marketing engagement can’t do without

We were saying, brands have realized the enormous contribution that customer engagement solutions bring in a moment of social distancing. But what lesson does the health emergency teach us? What is no longer possible to ignore, need to re-evaluate or manage in a different way?

What is certain, and many analysts are convinced of this, is that the habits that consumers took during the forced quarantine will remain in the future.

1. Deeply customer knowledge

Customer KnowledgeThere is an incredible increase in data sources compared to the past. Consumers are reducing distances through many channels, many of them digital. We see many more people online who, according to recent studies, spend almost 10% more of their time online than just a few months ago, leaving different and often uncoordinated traces here and there on the web, and chasing brands’ proposals based on new variables.

Without a good data-driven strategy, brands can’t think to last long in an efficient way. A data-driven strategy must rely on data management solutions. At the heart of Contactlab Marketing Cloud is a Customer Data Platform, able of:

  • Capture all the data left by consumers in their daily activities and collected by brands on different systems often distributed in the company as real silos.
  • Integrate the information collected simply and practically in real time in a unique point, a unified profile that gives a 360° view of every single contact, thanks to API, SDK and plugins.
  • Elaborate data and events to enrich the profile with KPIs, insights and future behavior predictions that allow brands to anticipate needs and communicate accordingly. Measuring metrics such as email engagement, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) or RFM index, becomes increasingly important to fully understand each contact and fill the gap to achieve a superior customer journey and a perfect customer experience.

2. Target refinement

The consumer has different needs than in the past. The lockdown has changed habits and interests, actions and expectations and the gradual return to normal will be impacted by what happened. The Contactlab Marketing Cloud platform offer a segmentation functionality that allows you to explore the database and identify targets of contacts with similar characteristics in order to communicate with each of them as if they were the only one and ensure the necessary attention throughout the entire life cycle – not just the purchase one.

Advanced Segmentation

You can create audiences from:

  • Demographic information: knowing for example where every single customer lives, you can build targets to suggest the nearest open store, with promotions or initiatives designed ad hoc to restart in-store purchases. Or since the lockdown has brought online many more users with purchasing power, you could decide to promote campaigns dedicated to them maybe on social networks.
  • Digital Behavior: If your business is electronics and you find out that during the lockdown almost 50% of purchases were made from smartphones and 5.3% from tablets (source: Human Highway eCommerce Trends), you may want to address with ad hoc offers those who open your emails on mobile, make the reading and shopping experience even easier as well as further optimize your communications and ecommerce mobile use.
  • Purchasing habits: the frequency of shopping has decreased but the average receipt and the number of products and services in the cart have increased (source: Osservatorio Multicanalità 2020). It could be time to put in place retention strategies – through communication – for those who have significantly changed their receipt, with the aim of continuing to keep its value high. Or discovering that in the #AgeOfQueues – as always defined in the Observatory – physical and virtual queues have led about 11% of total shoppers to give up their shopping at least once, you might decide to activate initiatives for those who have abandoned their cart and not concluded any purchase, for example, since the beginning of March.

Clusters can also be identified on the basis of KPIs resulting from the processing of expressed preferences and, perhaps more interesting in order to anticipate your customers’ wishes, segmented according to predictions of future actions deriving from standard or custom algorithms applied to the data collected on each profile.

Forced quarantine shows that it is necessary to refine engagement techniques and change segmentation priorities. We need to move from traditional audience segmentation – based on a balanced supply and demand match but often still driven by brand objectives – to a new segmentation that takes even more account of the emerging picture:

  • Omni-channel customers, for purchases, information search, content fruition, etc..
  • Multi-device customers, who move from one device to another with expectations of consistency in content.
  • Multi-brand customers, the flood of many online initiatives have opened up new opportunities to new brands that had previously been neglected.

With reliable profiles and advanced audience segmentation features, you can rotate your marketing initiatives around the customer, reserving them a personalized relationship and 1-to-1 communication activities tailored to their specific needs.

3. Personalized experience

Personalized experienceContent, timeliness, channel. During the lockdown time it has become perhaps even more important than in the past to communicate:

  • The right message.
  • At the right time.
  • Through the right channel.

Marketing automation is one of the answers to new customer needs, now in post-lockdown, which allows you to save time and energy and a faster return on investment.

Combine segmentation with BI services and use the Contactlab Marketing Cloud to identify your ideal audience to create customer journeys that follow your contacts closely, triggering personalized content communications when conditions are satisfied. All in a simple and automatic way. Take advantage of the platform’s editors to create engaging messages for omni-channel experiences that you can take to the next level with the support of our team of experts.

You can automate more complex campaigns to manage manually, but also simpler tasks: think about welcome email, or birthday series or even tracking a shipment.

The resulting benefits go both in the direction of simplifying the brand’s business but also increasing the quality of the experience for customers who will receive the information they want when they expect it.

4. Omnicanality

Omnichannel

One of the keywords of tomorrow – if possible more than today – seems to be omnicanality (source: Nielsen). Omnicanality that means buying habits, favorite devices, info search methods, contact channels with brands, etc.

The platform offers a sending engine for multi-channel campaigns and customer journeys. In addition to email, which despite the years continues to maintain the primacy among the favorite channels of customers in the dialogue with brands, and SMS, during the lockdown the number of downloaded applications has increased, thus increasing the value of communication through push notifications and the use of social media that reevaluates the use of campaigns such as Facebook Lead Ads or Custom Audience.

Think about the possibility to generate new contacts through ads forms on Facebook and have them available on the platform in real time, and maybe immediately inserted in a welcome journey. Or you can reach your customers also on Facebook, refining the target of your social initiatives by using custom audience look alike.

What becomes important is the awareness that multi-channel customers require the presence of brands on all the channels of their interest. And brands must adapt to this new reality.

Concluding

Contactlab’s Marketing Cloud platform offers all the features to meet the new post-lockdown dynamics and maintain high levels of customer engagement, always GDPR compliant.

The health emergency is having repercussions on everyone’s life. People’s needs and behaviors are changing and this implies new challenges for marketers. Contact us. Together we can see how the Contactlab Marketing Cloud platform and the competences of our Digital Marketing Services can help you to be up and running in a time of great change but full of enormous opportunities for your business.

 

 

 

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