A newspaper headlined research which concluded that women were ‘more attentive’ as drivers than men. Anyone who has worked with email marketing would have ignored the sexist nature of the comment and wondered how on earth the authors of the report had worked out who was and who was not attentive.
An essential skill in feeding email marketing software with information is knowing what to measure and this will obviously vary from product to product, but there are general rules.
1. Believe the product
What you are selling will define what you should measure so it will vary from product to product. If the main attraction is value for money then you need to discover who favours bargains.
2. Consider who will buy it
Remember this is different to who will want it and who will use it. Parents use a pram but they might not be the purchasers. There is a sort of rite of passage in some groups for grandparents to buy the first one. So which group does your product need to attract?
3. Aim precisely
Be specific. Do not just record a subscriber’s age: their preferences are much more important. The classic example is silver surfers, those who take boards onto the waves. These might be more inclined to take holidays away from acres of bars. They will probably prefer a good night’s sleep.
4. Sell, not just appeal
Do not be sidetracked. You need to look for those factors which will convince a person to buy. Triggers are vital. A holiday-maker might like the idea of a view of the Taj Mahal, who wouldn’t, but needs a crèche for the children.
5. Only measure what can be measured
Here we return to how the researchers concluded which drivers were alert. It seems they decided that a person with their hands in the classic ‘10 to 2’ position were more awake than those with hands below screen level. If they put this on email marketing software then all they would know is who had their hands at 10 to 2. Not a lot of use there for email marketing.