Relevance – getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time – is a critical part of successful marketing. Our clients have anything from a few thousand, to many millions of subscribers, so identifying the right people for each message can be a challenge – a very important one.
We like a good challenge. Our answer to this one is Audiences, our new way to precisely target your email and SMS messages to exactly the right subscribers – easily. It’s available in all Sign-Up.to accounts right now.
Every subscriber is a real person, not an abstract thing, so we decided to call the new feature Audiences, rather than something dehumanising like ‘segmentation’ or ‘targeting’. For each message you send, you can now select the right Audience from your subscribers.
The world is full of different people, so there are lots of different ways you could divide up your subscribers, and often people will end up in more than one selection. If you had to create different lists each time your data could quickly get out-of-control messy.
That’s why we created Audiences so that it doesn’t affect your core data (your lists). An Audience is essentially a set of rules used to pick who gets included in a particular send. You can change the rules and the people that get picked will be different.
We wanted to make it easy to create really useful Audiences as quickly as possible, so each Audience is made up of one or more ‘Dimensions’ which look at a specific aspect of each subscriber.
You can select people using the information in their subscriber profile fields. You can have fields that are text, dates or numbers and choose whether these should match, not match or be within a certain range of values. These fields could be completed by the subscriber through a form, or imported from your CRM or eCommerce platform. Through the web interface you can use up to 5 fields in a Dimension, but you can also create infinitely complex selections using our API.
Want to select all your customers who’s favourite colour is pink and who have a lifetime spend of more than £150? Easy. See the full guide here.
We’ve always supported location targeting, but you had to know someone’s country and postcode, and you had to create quite complex rules to use it. We wanted to get away from these limitations as location targeting is really powerful for creating relevancy. So we set about creating a completely new system.
Now if you know someone’s address (even if only partial) we’ll use that, but if you don’t, then we work some magic to get their approximate location from the IP address they open your emails from.
Next we wanted to make it really easy to put this information to work. We’ve developed a map based system that lets you include (or exclude) areas like towns or countries, or select a radius around a specific point. And no, you don’t need to know exactly where Stow-On-The-Wold is on the map, simply start typing a location and we’ll auto-suggest appropriate matches.
So if you run an eCommerce site and want to run a free delivery offer only to your UK customers – it’s simple. Got a new branch opening in Epsom and want to let customers within 10 miles know? Easy.
Some of the people on your lists will keenly read all your messages, click onto your website and buy your products. Others may have started to lose interest and become disengaged.
If you could identify the least engaged of your audience, you could make extra efforts to win them back (after all, it’s far cheaper to retain a customer than find a new one); likewise you could reward your most loyal fans with a special offer.
How do you really measure engagement though? Simply looking at who opened an email isn’t good enough as there are many different factors involved.
With this in mind, we set about creating a unique algorithm to measure the engagement of each of the people on your lists. We take into account many factors including opens, clicks, goals, bounces, unsubscribes – and importantly, time. We then give each person a score from 1 (least engaged) to 5 (most engaged). There’s also a special ‘null’ score if someone’s new and we don’t have any data on them yet.
Using the Engagement dimension you can select people based on their engagement score, making it easy to create win-back campaigns or reward your top subscribers.
Putting it all together
Each of these dimensions can be combined together to create a very precise Audience. You can take things even further, and apply it just to specific lists, or add additional filters like recency, to get really specific.
Audiences offers a lot of power – for example if you want to re-engage old contacts by offering free delivery to UK customers who aren’t highly engaged and have a spend under £100 you can do so in just a few clicks.