New year resolution 3 of 12 – add insight!

8 minute read

Let’s be honest. If you want to send ‘me-too’ vanilla messages to a generic audience then you’ll have to take your chances against the other billions of emails out there fighting for attention. Good luck with that. However, if you want to gain an (unfair?) advantage and help your emails stand out, get opened and get read the secret is actually quite simple – relevance. The first step towards relevance is insight.


Welcome to your new year resolution 3 of 12.

If you’re pushed for time, here it is, Insights101. Subscriber profiling allows you to add insight to your bog-standard subscriber data. The more you know about your subscribers the more you can target your campaigns to their specific needs. The more you do this, the more they will engage with you and your campaigns. Audiences is a neat way of defining segmented subscriber groups according to specific profile characteristics. Dimensions are the various ways in which profiling information can be gathered. From Dimensions you can create Audiences, and with Audiences you can create highly targeted and relevant campaigns. There, done!

For those with a little more time, here’s some more information.

In there are 7 profiling Dimensions – Engagement, (Geo)Location, Profiles, Lists, Frequency, Date and Domain. All of these allow you to add additional insight to your subscriber data. Some of them require manual ‘collection’ and some of them can be collected automatically.

The most complicated first – engagement. This allows you to gain a quantifiable measure of the level of interaction your subscribers with your campaign. It uses a multi-parameter algorithm to automatically capture things like the quantity, frequency and depth of interaction over time and then scores each of your subscribers from 1* (generally disengaged) to 5* (highly engaged). You can then use this insight to target campaigns like re-engagement offers and VIP rewards and loyalty schemes.


Next, geo-location. Knowing where your subscribers are allows you to geographically target your campaigns, for example specify free delivery areas, or highlight local stores or restaurants etc. You can either collect location information directly (if you do this ask for postcode as a supplementary piece of subscriber data), or alternatively we can automatically gather location from a subscriber’s IP address when they open an email. Either way it’s a really useful insight to have.

Profiles is the easiest and most general. You can add profile fields for pretty much anything you want to collect. Just include the field in your data capture capture form and when it’s submitted the information will append to your subscriber profile. Don’t forget to tell your subscribers why you want this information and what you will use it for. Birthday is probably the most common example. It’s great for automated, timely and highly individual campaigns.

Lists is just a neat way of using already segmented data (that is already stored in separate named lists, each with their own specific ‘insight’) to combine and exclude specific user groups. Like profiles it’s really general and the only limit is your imagination.

Frequency is a way of controlling your message saturation. Like you’d imagine it allows you to group subscribers by how recently (or not) they have interacted with your campaigns. You can just use it as a saturation filter but it’s most useful when combined with other dimensions – we’ll get to that in a moment.

This is where older users say, ‘Hey I thought there were only 5 dimensions?’ We’ve recently added 2 more.

Firstly, date – that is the date that a subscriber was first added to a particular list. Pick a date then choose from the range of selection alternatives – before, after – you get the idea. The rest is done automatically.

And finally, domain. This dimension allows you to easily group subscribers by their email address – think segmenting, etc. then use this to target your campaign accordingly.

So, these are the 7 profiling Dimensions. The next step is to use these to create Audiences (by the way you’ll find this in the Send section of the Permission Marketing process). You can use individual Dimensions (for example just location) but you can also combine dimensions to include or exclude multiple selection criteria – think along the lines of a targeted campaign to all female vegetarians, located within 50 miles of your nearest restaurant, who are 5* lovers of your brand but who haven’t been contacted in the past 3 weeks, and whose birthday is coming up soon – or something similar!

OK, so that’s a lot to take in, but the take home point is that data for data’s sake is not valuable. The value is in the insight that your data gives you, and of course what you do with that knowledge.


So, your new year resolution number 3 is to start adding profiling insight to your basic subscriber data.

It doesn’t have to be complicated – even some simple insights will allow you to begin to target your campaigns more accurately. Welcome to the world of ‘Precision Marketing’.

Here’s a summary of a few actions to take:

1. Read some more on Dimensions and Audiences on our website. There’s a case study here too.
2. Review your current data – what do you collect, what else would be useful?
3. Define an ‘insights’ collection strategy – will you ask for what you need, if so how and when, or collect it automatically?
4. If you’re a user ask us for a personalised engagement report for your subscribers – we’ve replayed all of your historic campaigns and will be pleased to generate your engagement profile for you.
5. Plan how you’ll use your profile information to precision target your future campaigns. After all it’s not the insight you have, but how you use it!

I’ll be back with new year resolution 4 of 12 soon. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding adding data insights, give us a call, we’ll be pleased to help.