Whether you’re talking about converting leads or retaining existing customers, the success of any marketing effort comes down to how much you know about them. It’s an era of personalization and you need to know more than just names and addresses.
76% of respondents to a recent survey agreed to share personal data but their willingness to do this does not make the process of drafting forms and collating data any quicker. In addition, you may not always know the right questions to ask. It’s often more efficient to look into data append services.
What does data append mean?
Data append refers to supplementing the information known with data from other sources. It includes appending data to complete incomplete records as well as adding data that gives you more insight into customer profiles.
For example, you might have an address that is missing a pin code. This data can be appended to complete the record. Similarly, customer data collected through an onboarding form may be appended with demographic inferences.
There are many different types of data that can be appended to customer records. This includes:
Demographic data like age, income, marital status, lifestyle, presence or absence of children at home, buying behavior, etc. are often appended to customer records from third-party databases.
Appending data related to phone numbers works in two ways. You can either add a phone number from third-party databases to your existing records or if you have a phone number, you can connect it to email addresses, street addresses, etc.
A survey showed that 90% of customers are willing to share their email addresses. However, this data is prone to decay and is not of much use unless it is linked to customer profiles. Like phone data appending, email appending works in 2 ways. Existing records can be supplemented with current email addresses or records with just an email address can be appended with other data about the customer.
For brands interested in B2B marketing, appending firmographic data such as industry, market segment, size, annual revenue, website, location, who the decision-makers are, etc. is important.
Street addresses are not always enough. Appending geographic data such as latitude and longitude coordinates helps visualize where customers are on a map.
How Does Data Appending Influence Marketing Campaigns?
Investing in data appending can make your marketing campaigns more effective and boost ROI dramatically. Here’s how.
The information a customer gives you in a form or when making a purchase creates a partial profile.
Let’s say you have a customer who placed a high-value in-store order and you’d like to retain their business. You have a name and delivery address but no other way to communicate with them. By appending phone numbers and email addresses, you can bridge the gaps in such customer records. This helps improve the overall quality of data in your database and helps create complete customer profiles.
- It helps you know more about your customers
You might get a customer’s street address from a form but this address has the capability to tell you much more than just where an order is to be delivered. This is information you may not be able to collect from a form.
For example, appending geographic data gives you an idea of the family’s income. This helps you draw inferences about the type of products they would be most interested in and the price points they are likely to be comfortable with. The more you know about your customer, the more you can personalize your communication and product recommendations.
- It expands your outreach capabilities
When you have multiple communication channels available, why limit yourself to one? Appending phone and email data opens up new communication channels. When you send out messages about a promotion through emails as well as SMSes, there’s a higher chance of the recipient reading the message and acting on it. Of course, messaging must be consistent across channels.
Here’s a quick example. Let’s say a restaurant is opening a new branch in a part of the city that they earlier only offered delivery service. Appending email addresses from the known street addresses gives the restaurant a way to promote their new restaurant to their existing customer base without going door to door.
- It improves segmentation for targeted marketing campaigns
For maximum ROI, campaigns must target specific segments of your audience rather than everyone at once. Your ability to segment the audience into different categories according to demographics, interests, etc. has a direct influence on campaign’s success. There’s a very low chance of conversion resulting from an email promoting a home loan to a high school student.
Data appending helps create more complete profiles which in turn, helps segment the audience for targeted marketing campaigns. For example, a customer’s street address may help infer the size of their family and the presence of children. Customers living in a 3BHK apartment in a school district are more likely to respond to a promotion for children’s clothes as compared to a customer living in a studio apartment in the city’s business district.
Getting Started with Data Appending
Data appending cannot be the first step in building a database but it is an important part of the process. Once you have collected initial customer information, running it through a verification and appending tool can help you build a more complete customer profile. The records in your database are compared to records in a third-party database to verify them and identify gaps that can be appended with new information.
There are many data providers that can help with data appending but they are not all equal. It is important to work with a trusted data provider that has access to reliable third-party databases. This helps ensure that your records are appended with accurate, current data. In turn, this raises the overall quality of your database and marketing campaign efficiency.