By now, you’re good on the different kinds of data you can include in your schema. You’ve taken time to consider how explicit and implicit data points can help you develop highly targeted audiences. Very thoughtful of you, well done. Highly targeted audiences are of course key because 269 billion emails were sent each day in 2017, according to Campaign Monitor.
When you’re evaluating the data points you want to include, think about the values associated with those data. There’s likely four categories…
|Binary||Values that are either true or false||Subscribed to emails|
|Words/Phrases||Any alphanumeric value||First name, SKU|
|Numbers||Anything that is a number, shockingly||Age|
|Dates||Time stamped actions||Last purchase date|
Now it’s time to put together your wishlist – all the data points that can help you inform your email segmentation and personalization. It’s helpful to think of it in these terms because there are data you want to improve the relevance of your emails through personalization, but wouldn’t be relevant for segmentation. For example, first name – you probably wouldn’t build a list for everyone named “Kevin” – but it would be nice to customize an email with Kevin’s name to drive better engagement.
Here’s an example of s list help you get started – there’s likely things that are unique to your business that you’ll want to include.
|Data Field||Values||Data Type||Purpose|
|Last Visit Date||Date||Implicit||Segmentation|
|Last Item Purchased||Alphanumeric||Implicit||Segmentation|
|Last Purchase Date||Date||Implicit||Segmentation|
|Email Subscription 1||Binary||Explicit||Segmentation|
|Email Subscription 2||Binary||Explicit||Segmentation|
After you’ve got your wishlist together, it’s time to chat with your technical resources. They’ll be able to help you understand what data points can be accessed and packaged to deliver to an email service provider.
There are two primary ways to deliver data to an email service provider – either as a batch file or through an API. A batch file will aggregate all the changes from a time period – mostly likely the previous day, and deliver those records all at once at a specific time. Batch files will have latency, or a delay in syncing information between systems. An API on the other hand can send updates in near real-time to an email service provider as users engage with your site.
When you chat with your tech team, be sure to understand not only the data points that you can use, but also the delivery method by which you’ll deliver those data as it could change the conversation about what’s available to you.