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4 Simple Steps to Turn Customer Data into Targeted Campaigns That Sell More Stuff

How to collect, manage, and use audience data—from email engagement to purchase history—to market smarter in Mailchimp.

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If you haven’t yet decided on a New Year’s resolution for your business, here’s one to consider: Get smarter with how you use customer data in your marketing.

Targeted, personalized marketing is about piecing together what you know about your customers to build a more complete picture of who you’re talking to, then using that insight to build better relationships at scale. This process is often referred to as customer relationship management, or CRM. And with lots of new holiday purchase data at your fingertips, there’s no better time to incorporate CRM into your plans for the new year.

By following the steps below, you can start to:

  • Get better at collecting customer insights. Streamline the process of gathering information about your customers and growing your audience.

  • Learn more about your audience at a glance. See patterns in your data that can tell you more about the people who you're marketing to.

  • Dig into the exact insights you need with just a few clicks. Analyze your data based on what’s most important to your business.

  • Automate to save time. Turn insights into action and build better relationships with your customers—even while you focus on other tasks.

So go ahead and prepare for a year of smarter marketing campaigns to sell more stuff—without increasing your budget.


Step 1: Collect all your customer data in one place

The first step to doing more with data is simple: Bring it into one place. With all of your customer data into Mailchimp, you’ll have a more complete view of who your audience is. Here’s a checklist to make sure you’ve gathered your data sources:

  • Have you connected your store?
    When you connect your online store to Mailchimp, your customer and purchase data syncs automatically, so you can learn what resonates with your customers. You’ll be able to segment based on purchase history, recommend the products your customers are most likely to love, and stay connected with your audience every step of the way.

  • Have you integrated your channels?
    Connect your favorite apps and web services to pull in even more insights that can help with your marketing. Check out our integrations directory to find the tools you already use (or might want to use next year).

  • Are all your contacts in one organized audience in Mailchimp?
    For most Mailchimp customers, the best practice is to keep all your contacts in one audience. This way you can learn about your audience at a glance, and you can segment however you need to from there.

  • Are you making the most of opportunities to collect the right information? Make sure you’re giving customers every possible chance to opt in to your marketing, using tools like pop-up forms and Facebook ads to bring in even more data and continue growing your audience.

More resources:
How to Design Pop-Up Forms that Work
We’ve found that adding a pop-up form to your site can increase your subscriber growth rate, on average, by 60%. Learn how to create forms that turn visitors into subscribers.

Step 2: Look for high-level patterns in your audience dashboard

Once you have your customer data in one Mailchimp audience, it’s much easier to see patterns that tell you about your contacts—and our audience dashboard is built to help you do exactly that. Ask yourself a few questions as you check out this powerful, actionable view of your data:

  • What do your sources of recent growth tell you about your marketing?
    Maybe landing pages worked well for you over the holidays, and you should create more of them in the new year—or maybe you need to expand your efforts to try something new.

  • Are you considering the right locations with your marketing?
    See what your data can tell you about where contacts are who engage with your content. Is there a new city you should try targeting a campaign to, or a potential location for a pop-up shop next year? Plus, Mailchimp offers pre-built segments based on your contacts' top locations, so that you can send people content that resonates with where they are.

  • How can you target your campaigns based on customer lifetime value (CLV) and purchase likelihood?
    Predictive analytics tools like CLV and purchase likelihood use past purchase data to forecast which buyers are likely to be your most loyal and valuable customers in the future. Those insights are used to create pre-built segments that you can reach in just a few clicks with special offers or personalized messaging.

More resources:
How to Create a Homepage That Drives Clicks
Your website's homepage is one of the best places to grow your audience. When you build your site in Mailchimp, it's easy—a signup form is automatically built in. The best part? It will add new contacts directly to your audience in Mailchimp’s Marketing CRM.

Step 3: Start organizing insights based on what’s most important to you

Your audience dashboard is a great tool for spotting high-level patterns in your data, but when it comes to knowing the insights that are most important to your marketing, you’re the expert. That’s why Mailchimp offers several tools—including tags, groups, and segments—that work in slightly different ways to help you track and access the insights you need. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to start making these tools work for your business:

  • What insights do you have about contacts that could help your marketing?
    You know things about your contacts that you can leverage, like who you met in real life at an event, or the fact that a customer has a dog they love to shop for. You can create tags to note this information in Mailchimp—and even tag contacts right from your phone—so you can use it later to target and personalize your marketing.

  • Are you asking your customers what they want to hear from you?
    Adding a group field to your signup form can help you learn more about your contacts’ preferences, right from the source. Which type of communication do they want to receive? What types of products are they most interested in? This collected data is stored as groups in Mailchimp, and can be a valuable tool for quickly getting content to the people who will find it most interesting.

  • How can you create more targeted messages based on your new insights?
    Don’t forget that you can create your own segments based on tags, groups, or insights from your audience dashboard—or a combination of all 3. By layering on several different criteria, you can make your messages even more targeted and relevant. It's worth the effort: On average, segmented campaigns have 23% higher open rates and 49% higher click-through rates than unsegmented campaigns.

More resources:
How to Manage Your Audience in Mailchimp
Get to know Mailchimp’s audience management tools with a deeper dive into segments, tags, and groups, and when to use each.

Step 4: Find the right automation to turn these insights into action

Customer insights are important, but they can quickly become overwhelming unless you have an easy way to make them work for your marketing. That’s why Mailchimp offers several kinds of automations that make it possible to send personalized campaigns based on data. A few considerations to get started with:

  • What do your sources of recent growth tell you about your newest contacts?
    These insights could help you set up a more tailored welcome series to introduce prospective customers to your brand. For example, if people are signing up through a specific landing page, your welcome email could offer a related discount or promotion to get them purchasing right away.

  • Have you turned on an abandoned cart email yet?
    As long as you’ve connected your store, you can start using this automation right away (you can even turn it on right from your phone). And there’s no reason not to: We’ve found that abandoned cart emails increase orders per recipient by a factor of 37. In fact, the average user earns enough money from abandoned cart automations to pay for their entire Mailchimp account.

  • Do you have tags that show a customer would be a good fit for a campaign?
    Maybe you have a great email about your outdoor gear—why not automatically trigger it to send to any contact that you tag as ‘likes outdoor sports’? You can do that (and trigger a campaign based on just about any insight you can think of) with our tag-triggered automations.

More resources:
Identifying the Most Profitable Automations for E-Commerce Businesses
See what we found when we analyzed the data of 150,000 businesses that use Mailchimp, to learn how much revenue each automation type has generated for their business.

See how other people use Mailchimp to understand audience data

Oh, you like trends? We’ve got more.

Whether you’re a brand new SMB owner or a marketing expert, our small business growth and trends report has loads of insights that’ll help you grow and adapt with the times.

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