How a little customer information creates a big impact on your communication strategy

I dread networking events.  It’s nearly impossible to have meaningful conversations with complete strangers over a watered down cocktail or generic beer.  We end up talking about the weather or sports andcreate a quick-to-forget interaction that’s almost always a waste of time.

It’s nothing like a good talk with your friends and family, with whom you’ve accumulated vast amounts of knowledge and never have to think twice about what matters to them and what topics they don’t want to discuss.  You look forward to speaking with people you know.

It’s no different with customers—the more you know about them the better your communications will be. It’s an easy approach to successful messaging.  The hard part is extracting that information.

So, how do you do it?

First, scrape together easily available information on your customers, such as energy consumption and publicly available data on their home, through real estate databases such as Zillow.  Knowing whether or not your customer lives in a 700 square foot apartment or a six bedroom home is enough to tailor your messaging.

Now that you have some background data, it’s time to go straight to the source. Ask your customers directly the additional information you need for a successful communication campaign. But know that your customers will only answer you if you give them something they value in return—whether it’s reward points, helpful  tips, or new features to unlock.  At MeterGenius, we have a lot of metrics we’re proud of, but one of our most amazing stats is that nearly 50% of our users answer more than 100 home profile questions about themselves.  These questions give us insight into their home features, energy consuming behaviors, and even what motivates them to lower their energy consumption.

But having the information and knowing what to do with it are two differing things.  We use this data to create targeted messages that make the customer feel like the email was written specifically to help them.  And it works.  We see 68% open rates on our targeted emails!  That’s a 48% jump from the open rate of users that receive generic messages because they haven’t answered enough home profile questions.

Not only are customers more likely to respond to targeted messaging, but the interactions build trust that leads to improved odds of these users responding in the future. They know we aren’t stuffing their inbox with a generic newsletter that feels about as familiar as a happy hour networking chat.  Implement a customer information and targeted messaging campaign and you will create the type of engagement that develops more satisfied, loyal, and valuable customers. Kind of like if they were friends and family.

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