Of course, privacy is important, she notes. You want to know more about your customer, but you also want to avoid the "creepy factor."
"You need to have visible privacy," McNabb says. "You need to allow people to opt in and out. When a customer is talking with you in a more one-to-one way, they opt in more. For many age groups, when they're asked on surveys, they say they want more privacy. But when they're asked to opt in, they're willing."
Build Loyalty Using Social Media and Big Data
Using social media, you can have conversations with an unlimited number of potential and actual customers. Your customers can tell you what they're thinking, and you can leverage that information to tweak your offering or expand your market.
"Each data point tells you something valuable about your customers' purchasing habits," McNabb says. "Leverage client engagement into a source for big data through social media interactions. Distributing a coupon or other offer through social media tells you far more than if your customers are clipping newspaper coupons."
Deliver the Right Offer to the Right Person at the Right Time
The principle is simple: If you offer someone something they need, right before they need it, they're more likely to buy. To do that, you need to understand your customers as individuals. If a customer once bought something for an infant six months ago, you need to understand what that means.
"If a child is six months older, talk to me like you know that," McNabb says. "Don't still talk to me about summer Huggies. You need to understand their life stage."
In other words, if a customer bought something for a living room, help them complete the room's transformation. If the customer bought a piece of clothing, help them complete the outfit. Of course, you need the customer to see the offer in the first place. It's not just about making the right offer; it's about reaching the customer with it in the right way.
"You want to move from mass communication to acknowledging what an individual looked at or first bought," McNabb says. "What trips them over is you're actually talking to them, not en masse. Potentially it's the subject line or the content of the email. You're recognizing something I bought and talking about something that would be complementary to me."
The first-time customers receive a personalized, one-to-one email, average open rates go up by 15 percent to 25 percent, McNabb says. The message after that tends to have open rates that increase by 30 percent to 60 percent, she adds.
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