GOAL: Whether you're new to marketing automation or have used other marketing-automation software in the past, this article will help you identify the resources you'll need to gather and the items you'll need to map out before you build your first Persona or set your Scoring metrics.
Personas and Scoring can be a tricky concept. These two features of the Communications Professional tools can be used as stand-alone tools, or they can work with the other marketing-automation tools as well. Whether you use Scoring and Personas on their own, or use them with the other marketing-automation tools, it’s important to remember that they are really there to help you build a solid strategy for interacting with your subscribers in a more targeted way. Furthermore, they can help you identify problems or issues that you may not have been aware of otherwise.
Personas and Soylent Green are people
Personas allow you to profile your subscribers. First ask yourself what type of people are subscribing to your mailings. Make a list of all of the different types, and then ask yourself what do you already know about this type of subscriber. For example, if you work with a medical association, your subscribers may consist of doctors, nurses, EMT’s and even medical students. Now that you have this breakdown, ask yourself what you know about each group. What type of education did they have? How long does it typically take for someone to gain the experience or education needed to obtain these positions?
Then take what you already know, and ask yourself what can you assume about each group based on that. Medical students may be interested in learning more about resources for finding employment than a doctor that has already established their practice. Know this may affect how you address your subscribers, the tone of voice that you use, which resources that you send to them, or which campaigns they are entered into.
Speak, friend, and enter
A Persona is not a profile of one actual subscriber - it is a profile that represents a whole group of subscribers that have similar interests or backgrounds. Don’t over think the persona, but also don’t gloss over any specifics that could affect how you target them.
Boldly go where no Scoring has gone before
Scoring is a great way to go beyond your basic reporting benchmarks and develop a much better idea of whether or not your subscribers are interacting with your mailings and campaigns in the way you had hoped. You can use scoring to access the performance or your Personas, or any other list of subscribers. The scoring can then be used as either more granular reporting data, or as a way to build target groups for mailings or campaigns.
Do, or do not (there is no try)
First, you should decide how you want to score your Personas or subscribers. Do you want to score them based on their interactions with your mailings? Do you want to score them based on activities that you are tracking in an integrated database? If you score based on mailing interactions (opens, clicks, social shares etc.), make yourself familiar with your existing reporting benchmarks. If your organization's benchmark for open rates is around 35%, then setting the scoring metrics for an "A" letter grade to a click rate of 40% may be too aggressive, and too difficult for your subscribers to attain. Always know your current benchmarking goals and keep them in mind when setting your scoring criteria.
Hello, my name is digital marketer. You are tracked in my integrated database. Prepare to be scored.
If you base your scoring metrics on the target group they exist in, the most helpful target groups to focus on will be action-based target groups, Web Tracking target groups, and target groups that are dynamic queries that have been sent to Communications Professional from your integrated database. Are there any activities that you are tracking in an integrated database that you are not tracking in Communications Professional that would be helpful for scoring purposes?
For example, if you are not using the Communications Professional Event module, but in your integrated database you track who registers for and attends your events, you could create a query in that database that finds all of your subscribers that attended 50% of your events. When that target group gets pushed over to Communications Professional, you could set the scoring to say that everyone in that target group will be scored with an "A" letter grade.
Think about what types of actions or interactions you would like to score to assess the performance of your subscribers. Then map out how you can represent that with scoring metrics based on mailing activity or target groups.
May the odds & Scoring results be ever in your favor
When viewing the Scoring reports, aside from seeing the scoring results for your Personas, you can also see the scoring applied to your subscribers based on the email client that you use. Pay attention to those scoring results. If you see that everyone is scoring fairly well, except that subscribers viewing the mailing in a web based email client are mostly scoring with an "F" letter grade, then this may alert us to a possible rendering or deliverability issue that you may not have been aware of.
Scoring can help build target groups (based on letter grades) to use for mailing or campaigns, but the target groups that are created based on their letter grade can also just be used to filter reporting results. This is the same for Persona target groups as well.
When preparing to use Personas and Scoring, gather all stakeholders in your digital marketing efforts and collectively come up with the subscriber break down for your Personas. Flesh out these Personas as much as possible to develop a better understanding of the subscribers that are represented by the Persona. Then figure out what you want to know about how these Personas (or any subscribers really) that will affect how you build your Scoring criteria. Be mindful of current benchmark and don’t be too relaxed or too aggressive with your metrics. These tools can both refine how you understand and target your subscribers.