Topic: Customer Experience
So you’ve convinced your team and other relevant departments to begin a preference management system implementation. Congratulations! This in itself may have been a monumental step for you, since obtaining approval and collaboration from multiple departments can sometimes be a giant roadblock to a project of this scale. But now, the next question looms: how to show the other stakeholders in your company that your project is effective and showing results?
By limiting the scope of the original preference management project, enterprises can simplify metrics and create powerful business cases for additional investment and expansion. In many instances, preference management is initially introduced as an opt-down initiative designed to convert opt-outs to targeted opt-ins. Within 90 days of full implementation, opt-down initiatives have been shown to convert opt-outs to targeted opt-ins by more than 60 percent.
Here are 6 simple steps for tracking and ROI demonstration:
1. A clearly outlined initial implementation.
Limitation of original scope and clear benchmarking (converting opt-outs to targeted opt-ins) is essential. Try to have a quantifiable metric – percentage of conversion rate from opt-out to opt-in for a different area of interest, for example. Specific numbers of conversions provide actual numbers of customers who chose to stay within a level of engagement with your company.
2. A reasonable timetable for results.
In concert with the implementation team, create a realistic timetable to manage internal expectations and allow the program enough room to demonstrate value. Have this stated at the beginning of the project – plan for a 90-day or 180-day review in advance, for example.
3. A detailed “before” picture.
Prior to launching the program, assess the current state of affairs and define what is being collected, where it is stored, how many are opting out, and so forth. Work with the other department stakeholders to collect these numbers, and track them in a way to be able to provide a comparison at your 90-day or 180-day review.
4. Once the program is in place, frequently assess results and course-correct.
In many instances, the challenge of serving as preference management “champion” inside an enterprise is one of connecting departments that wouldn’t otherwise share information. An internal advocate may be a necessary linchpin required to keep the project on track. This is likely to be you, so keep a close eye on the metrics that stakeholders want to see affected. If you aren’t noticing change in a particular area, test a different opt-down page for that group (for example). Put some effort into course-correction, when necessary. Many email distribution software options allow an A/B test, where you can send two versions of the same communication (half your group would receive communication A, and the other half would receive communication B), and see which performs better.
5. Translate preference collection to bottom-line value.
In other words, assess the opportunity cost of an opt-out and, in turn, create a value for a targeted opt-in. Without a bottom-line layer to reporting, ROI may be misunderstood. For example, work with the sales team to determine what the average closed-won opportunity provides in margin/revenue/etc (whatever you determine important to measure). From there, what percentage of people from a prospective company are opting out of your communications? Those opt-outs could potentially mean a person who will never buy your product or service. That specific opt-out could have cost your company money. What is each individual opt-in worth in potential revenue?
6. Don’t just explain the difference.
If given the opportunity, demonstrate the future. Presentations that marry results with before-and-after screen shots featuring opt-down functionality and preference center designs help decision-makers see the bigger picture and embrace the effort. Many people prefer visuals to text, so show people these side-by-side demonstrations as well as verbally providing context.
The solution to preference management implementation is breaking it down into a series of actionable steps. Prepare for success, select a targeted introduction point, expand gradually, centralize data, track results and prove ROI. For enterprises seeking the enormous marketing and risk mitigation rewards that come from listening to and learning from consumers, it is an essential step.