Why Your Email Marketing Program Needs A Relational Database

Let’s talk about the exciting world of databases. It’s an immensely thrilling subject.

But, look, hear us out, because the type of customer database your company has directly impacts your revenue. So let’s take a look at the two different databases that your brand is likely rolling with.


This is the one you probably utilize currently. Looks something like this:


Doesn’t seem so bad, right? Well, not so fast there. Having a flat customer database can be a nightmare when it comes to personalization. First, most flat databases only allow a limited number of columns, which creates the other problems associated with having utilizing this method.

One of those problems being how to update the data when a repeat customer orders the same exact product or service he or she did before. You have to either overwrite the current field or shift fields to make room for the new data. Which brings us to another issue: How many similar fields are you going to retain per subscriber? This restaurant data could have endless fields per record for “Meals.” Too much historical data becomes difficult to work with.

What does this all mean? You end up with too much data that is borderline impossible to work with. No deep segmenting. No personalization. Pretty much all smart marketing is off the table. So what should you be using?


A relational database, which looks like this:


Look at that thing of beauty. To break it down, a relational database comprises multiple tables, each of which has its own fields with its own records. These tables contain defined relationships to each other, hence the phrase relational database. Each table represents its own topic: customer data, order data, supplier data. If you think of it in terms of a content area, each data table represents its own field of content. There is one record per customer, and additional records relating to it.

All those things you couldn’t do using the flat database? Back on the table. Using a relational database, you can personalize as much as you want to. Do you have a few customers that bought blue tops from your store in Juggville, Michigan? With all the relevant information from your relational database, you can let those specific people know that that same store has a pair of shorts that would match perfectly with it.

OK, Where’s This All Going?

You knew it was leading to this, so we’ll be brief about it: We believe in smart marketing, which is why WhatCounts utilizes relational databases in its platform. So let us help you utilize the power of your customer data and start boosting your revenue immediately.

Also check out 5 Important Email Types That Should Be In Your Marketing Arsenal and Are You Applying Smart Marketing To Your Email Program?



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