Stuck in the Digital “Dark Ages”? Get on the Path to Data Enlightenment!

Posted by Jen Ribble on

Despite all the technology at their fingertips, many marketers are operating in the “Dark Ages” when it comes to data. They recognize the importance of using data to optimize their email program and connect with customers, but they lack the right data to make this happen.

Wondering whether your email program is stuck in the Dark Ages? Here are some signs:

  • You make strategic decisions based on past experience, best practices, and rules of thumb.
  • You monitor email delivery, but not inbox placement rate.
  • Your most important metrics are opens, clicks, and conversions.
  • You have no insight into how customers are interacting with your competitor’s emails.

Data is the key to emerging from the Dark Ages, but not just any data. You need the right data and the right insights to gain visibility into the inner workings of your email program and build trusted customer relationships. You need to get on the Path to Data Enlightenment.

Awareness: The first step toward Data Enlightenment
Often brands don’t recognize the gaps in their data until something goes wrong, like a failed campaign or a missed market opportunity. Only then do they begin to question what’s really happening within their email program.

Recognizing that you have a problem is the first step toward a solution. For this reason, the first step toward Data Enlightenment is called “Awareness.”

The questions you might ask during this stage might look something like this:

  • We spent so much time and money on our last campaign, but our results were terrible. Did anyone even see the email?
  • Our design team creates beautiful emails for our campaigns, but how does the layout look on various email clients and platforms?
  • Do we have insight into which of our competitors are sending email to our customers?

With Awareness, data will provide visibility into previously unknown issues, and empower you to find solutions.

Clarity: Deeper insights on the Path to Data Enlightenment
Realizing there are hidden issues within your email program can be daunting. But once you’ve identified the problems, data can help you determine why these newly-identified issues are happening, and how to fix them. Thus, the next step on the Path to Data Enlightenment is “Clarity.”

Questions you might ask at this stage include:

  • Why are my emails being blocked or classified as spam?
  • How can I ensure that my email designs look great on any device?
  • Why am I losing customers to certain competitors?

With Clarity, data will help you understand the root cause of the problems within your email program, and empower you to find the right solutions.

Connection: Building trusted customer relationships through data
Ultimately, the success of any business relies on deep and trusted customer relationships. During the final stage on the Path to Data Enlightenment—Connection—you’ll begin to derive deep insights from your data and use these insights to create deeper connections with customers and prospects.

This will lead to fundamental shifts in your approach to email:

  • You make fact-based decisions about your email program, rather than relying on gut instinct and “rules of thumb.”
  • You’re using advanced engagement-based metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your email program.
  • You’re able to target campaigns individually, based on each customer’s unique behaviors and preferences—not just content, but also email frequency and send time.

After moving through this final stage, the Dark Ages will be a distant memory. Your email program will be transformed through the power of Data Enlightenment.

Reaching Data Enlightenment with Return Path
The Path to Data Enlightenment is filled with challenges, but you don’t have to face them alone. Return Path can help you navigate through the stages of Awareness, Clarity, and Connection, to finally reach true Data Enlightenment. Data is the core of our business, and for more than 15 years, our data has helped companies around the world make better business decisions.

To learn more about these stages and how Return Path can help you reach Data Enlightenment, download our ebook, The Path to Data Enlightenment, or join us for the Return Path World Tour.


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About Jen Ribble

With more than 15 years of marketing and PR experience, Jen Ribble is passionate about the art of storytelling and the science of creating high quality, data-driven content. In her current role as Director of Public Relations for Return Path, Jen is responsible for elevating the company’s reputation in the marketplace, crafting engaging thought leadership content, enhancing customer relationships, and driving inbound leads. In her spare time, Jen is an aspiring chef and food lover, a movie fan, and a travel junkie.

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