As a cost-effective channel, email has long been the uncelebrated workhorse of many marketing programs. Sales took a dive? Send an email. Running a special promotion on toasters? Send an email. Need to push more web traffic? That’s right—you send an email. It is true that email delivers astonishingly high ROI (up to $38 according to a 2015 VentureBeat study), but the appetite for and atmosphere in which email is consumed has changed dramatically.
A major cornerstone of today’s effective email program is segmentation. Gone are the days of batch and blast pushing the same static message out to your entire list because it’s cheap and easy to do so. Subscribers are demanding that marketing content is timely, relevant and delivered at the time and place that makes sense for them.
With the advent of Big Data, it can be difficult to determine which attributes will be most effective in driving meaningful segmentation. Applying parameters that are too broad may result in segmentation that completely misses the mark, while getting too granular may prove to be an effort that isn’t worth the reward.
Fear not! There are a few simple strategies you can employ to jump start a true 1:1 relationship with your subscribers.
Use a preference or profile center to explicitly ask your subscribers what they are interested in. Ensure you’re asking the right questions by first outlining the explicit purpose for which each attribute will be used. How will it drive dynamic content or meaningful segmentation? Don’t collect data just for the sake of having a robust customer profile. The rule of quality over quantity definitely applies here.
Bottom Line: Only ask for data you are actually going to use.
Listen to what subscribers are implicitly telling you by the way they interact (or don’t) with your emails. Flag certain CTAs or links as high value and create a remarketing path for subscribers who interact with those pieces of content. Monitor the content a user clicks on in your newsletter and use that to influence the hero content in your next promotional send. Placing someone into a re-engagement campaign due to lack of interaction is just as important as tailoring content for those who do interact.
Bottom Line: Actions speak louder than words, so pay attention to what your subscribers are telling you with their email interactions.
Follow your subscribers after they click through an email and observe their behavior on your website. Perhaps they clicked through the “Women’s” category in the navigation but spent a majority of their visit in the children’s section of the site. The pages they visit, products they browse, and the time spent doing so are valuable tools to be used in influencing the relevant content presented in your next email campaign.
Bottom Line: The email journey doesn’t end with a click— monitor web behavior for further indicators of interest.
Implementing these strategies will allow you to identify the buckets or categories of interest that are most likely to drive conversion and subsequently use them to display relevant content in your email campaigns.