Back to School 2021: Retailers Should Use First-Party Data Enrichment

back to school 2021

Back to school 2021 is nearly upon us. And, with it, retailers who haven’t geared up back-to-school marketing strategies by now are behind the eight ball. However, it’s not too late! Plus, we bring good tidings about the forecast for back-to-school spending this year. 

According to the National Retail Federation:

  • Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend $848.90 ($59 more than last year) on back to school items this season.
  • Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach 37.1B, up from 33.9B last year, and an all-time high.
  • College students and their families are also setting records in spending. Total spending on back-to-college is expected to reach $71B, up from $67.7B in 2020. 

This is the perfect opportunity for retailers to dig into their email databases and really understand what their target customers and prospects need most this school year with first-party data enrichment services. 

What is first-party data enrichment? 

Def: First-party data enrichment involves leveraging the customer and prospect data that you have acquired through organic list-building practices, such as newsletter subscriptions, content downloads, customer loyalty programs, etc. Enriching your first-party data via a data enhancement service can offer deeper insight into customer demographics, cross-channel behavior, postal addresses, interests, and more. 

Why use first-party data enrichment? 

The more insight you have into your customers, the better you can tailor targeted offers based on their specific interests, needs, and demographics. What’s more, if you know what devices and channels they use most frequently, you can plan your launch even more strategically. 

Let’s walk through an example. For the back-to-school 2021 season, say you’re targeting a consumer named Michael. You have his email address and his first and last name in your CRM and that’s it. If you leverage Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you might be able to deduce that he primarily uses his mobile device to view your emails and visit your website. 

Data enrichment with a data enhancement service will tell you he’s a single parent or guardian of two. He’s 35. He owns his own home. His credit score is healthy. His yearly income is around $55,000. And, it will also tell you his postal address. (Crucial for direct mail campaigns.)

Equipped with this information, you can craft a campaign for him (and others like him) that is relevant, timely, and highly effective. You’re ready to meet him with quality content and offers on the device and channels he frequents most often. 

How do I start?

1. Clean Existing Customer and Prospect Databases with Email Hygiene

The first step is to take a look at your existing data and ensure that what you do have is as accurate as possible. The answer to this? Working with an email list hygiene service provider. 

An email list hygiene service provider will identify any malicious email threats hiding in your list that can cause real damage to your campaign results. That way, you can focus on maximizing ROI with real, valid prospects who need your products or services.


Cleaning your list with Email Hygiene will increase your deliverability, protect your sender reputation, identify fraudsters, spam traps, typos, and more. 

Download The Complete Guide to Email Hygiene

2. Enrich Existing Data with a Data Enhancement Service Provider

Once you’re confident that your first-party data is as clean as possible and you’ve mitigated any identified threats appropriately, then you can enrich your data with data enhancement. With Webbula’s Data Enhancement, you can append email addresses, phone numbers, age, income, postal address, gender, and credit rating. 


Leveraging the power of data enhancement will allow you to increase the quality of your database and the reach of cross-channel campaigns. It will also help you maintain your email list health by ensuring you have the current, most up-to-date email and contact information for your customers.

Download the Complete Guide to Data Appends

Bonus! Explore Programmatic Audience Data to Expand the Reach of Your Campaigns

Say you’ve gone through the exercise of cleaning and enriching your first-party data, but you’d like to expand your reach beyond just email or direct mail into digital ad serving. Programmatic audience data can help supercharge your back-to-school 2021 marketing campaigns. With the right audience data, you will be able to deliver digital ads to the right people at the right time. 

Webbula Audience Data is self-reported, deterministic, and individually linked. That means that it comes directly from individuals filling out things like surveys, questionnaires, and interviews. It’s not modeled or made up of assumptions that vary in accuracy. It also means that each piece of data is linked to a single person. Each person’s linked data is collected in a profile and scored for accuracy. (By the way, Webbula recently ranked #1 in determining age and other data sets by Truthset.)

With Audience Data, you will accelerate the impact of your back-to-school campaigns, increase conversion rates, and maximize display, streaming, and OTT advertising return on investment. 

To get more ROI from your back-to-school 2021 campaigns. Contact Webbula today to get started with first-party data enrichment and cleansing services. 

Contact us today for a free email list hygiene test.


Melissa McGaughey, Director of Marketing at Webbula 

Melissa McGaughey is an SEO Strategist and Inbound Content Marketer with a decade of experience in B2B spaces. With a background in Agile Scrum methodology, developing processes and systems to streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and drive ROI is her jam. 

Webbula is the undisputed industry leader in Email Hygiene, Data Enhancement, and Audience Targeting services. Check out to see what Webbula has to offer.

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