E-mail Marketing Becomes More Customer Oriented

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

E-mail marketing has become more customer oriented, with sophisticated trigger-based approaches replacing the old batch-and-blast. How did it happen? Let’s review past and present e-mail strategies and see where the future may lead us.

BEGINNINGS

In the early 2000s e-mail emerged as a way to reach large numbers of customers efficiently and cost-effectively. E-mail engines were set up to send simple content to large lists. Campaigns were evaluated using simple metrics like open and click rates and conversions.

These days marketers demand far more intricate measurements of customer engagement and interactivity. The e-mail department’s key performance indicator used to be how many eyeballs a weekly blast reached. Now the focus is on the percentage of the marketer’s online base that the program manages to convert.

Analytics of the past centered on deliverability, file size and permissions, with the primary goal to deliver as much content to as many people as quickly as possible. Today life-cycle-oriented triggers such as click recency, Web-site activity and time-to-engage metrics are the standard.

Shopping-cart abandonment “remarketing” e-mails have become a favorite among e-commerce retailers. What better data exists to suggest an item to a prospect at the exact time he or she may be considering a purchase?

The segments marketers use to target content also have evolved. Where at one time the opt-in status of particular products or campaigns ruled contact strategy and frequency, marketers now rely on stated or inferred profiles to determine campaign treatments.

In turn, the data tied to e-mail programs has moved beyond open/click activity to include measures of customer value and demographics. More advanced techniques like data overlays, link/URL classification and recency of engagement metrics are being used to target campaigns. These tried-and-true direct marketing fundamentals make a life-cycle approach possible.

PURCHASE LIFE CYCLE

Marketers developing e-mail programs must consider the purchase life cycle and how it relates to e-mail engagement. For example, an auto manufacturer should evaluate activities taken along the path to a vehicle purchase (viewing a Web site, downloading a brochure, visiting a dealership, taking a test drive) as long-standing predictors of e-mail engagement. Similarly, a financial institution could look to account activity and deposit triggers to understand what services (investments, insurance, mortgages) it should offer as the relationship develops.

CONTENT TIPS

Let’s not forget content. Sure, it’s easy to recommend any number of custom-targeted, personal campaigns, but developing all that original material isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can help:

  • Think targeting rather than content

    Informed targeting carries marketers a long way toward content development and can drive more than 50% of the lift in campaign response.

  • Take advantage of the content options an e-mail channel offers

    Match the content most likely to be clicked with the subscribers most likely to respond by rearranging the right message “above the fold” — i.e., the portion of a page that appears in a browser window before the user needs to scroll.

  • Recycle “evergreens.”

    E-mail campaign managers often overlook a lot of potentially enduring Web-site content. Take advantage of this strong copy in welcome campaigns and win-back strategies.

TESTING AND BEYOND

An e-mail program can benefit greatly from testing. A/B split testing traditionally has been an effective way to identify winning subject lines or campaign copy. It works like this: The marketer selects a random set of perhaps 10,000 subscribers on its file and sends two separate subject lines and content offerings. After waiting 24 hours to measure initial response, the winner is rolled out.

While this simple test should be done for every e-mail campaign, newer testing techniques are far more rigorous. Enhanced methods like multivariate testing are nothing new to direct marketing but are just gaining momentum in e-mail. Multivariate testing establishes several statistical scenarios that vary content combinations to measure the impact of any one variable in the test as well as the interactions between variables.

Another way to advance e-mail marketing success is by establishing an executive-sponsored “center of excellence.” E-mail requires specific skills and approaches, and a devoted team can deliver key intelligence across any number of a company’s divisions or brands. Top-level sponsorship is essential for securing investment in the resources, training, and thought leadership required to make the channel flourish.


KEVIN MABLEY (kmabley@epsilon.com) is Epsilon’s senior vice president for strategic services.

More

Get Content Like This Delivered to Your Inbox

Related Posts

Chief Marketer Videos

by admin

Chief Marketer Awards

Fusion Marketing - Gold Velcro Industries - Gold Pringles - Gold Bud Light - Gold Bud Light - Gold Target - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold HISTORY - Gold Denny’s - Gold Ford Motor Co. - Gold Cottonelle - Gold Intel Corp. - Gold Intel Corp. - Gold Miller High Life - Gold McDonald’s Corp. - Gold Poland Spring - Gold REI - Gold Game of Thrones - Gold Kingsford Charcoal - Gold Pernod Ricard USA - Gold Breathe Right Nasal Strips - Gold Lincoln Motor Co. - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Mike’s Hard Lemonade - Gold National Football League - Gold Google Asia Pacific - Gold Piper-Heidsieck - Gold 2014 Show Your Joe Campaign - Gold Nike - Gold Cîroc Ultra Premium Vodka - Gold Kmart - Gold Kmart - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Cotton Inc. - Gold Nike - Gold Malibu Rum - Gold Hostess Brands LLC - Gold HBO - Gold Prevacid 24HR - Gold Samsung Mobile USA - Gold Cîroc Ultra Premium Vodka - Gold Frito-Lay and PepsiCo - Gold Hewlett Packard Co. - Gold FX Television Network - Gold Captain Morgan - Gold American Express OPEN - Gold HBO - Gold Corona Extra - Gold AT&T - Gold World Vision - Gold Gillette - Gold Pantene - Gold Porsche - Gold Duracell - Gold Corona Extra - Gold Microsoft - Gold Cottonelle - Gold Chicago Shakespeare Theater - Gold HBO - Gold Crown Imports - Gold Samsung Mobile USA - Gold The Clorox Co.
 - Gold Pepsi Co. - Gold Oreck - Gold Jockey International - Gold The Art Institutes - Gold Monster Worldwide, Inc.
 - Gold Pepsi Co.
 - Gold HISTORY - Gold MillerCoors - Gold Time Warner Cable - Gold Frito-Lay - Gold American Express OPEN - Gold AT&T - Gold MillerCoors Foster’s - Gold Microsoft Windows - Gold ConAgra Foods, Inc.
 - Gold Coca-Cola - Gold Nestlé - Gold Ford Motor Co.
 - Gold

Chief Marketer Top Shops

TRCO MARKETING WUNDERMAN VERTICAL MARKETING NETWORK UPSHOT TWO/TEN TRACK MARKETING GROUP TPN TIPTON & MAGLIONE TIC TOC TEAM EPIC TEAM ENTERPRISES TEAM DIGITAL PROMOTIONS THE STRATEGIC AGENCY SWITCH SOURCE MARKETING SOHO EXPERIENTIAL SLANT SCOUT SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT RYAN PARTNERSHIP RUBIK MARKETING REVOLUTION RE:FUEL AGENCY REDPEG MARKETING RED MOON MARKETING PSE-PACKAGED SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT PRO MOTION PRIZELOGIC POWERPACT PGW EXPERIENCE NEXT MARKETING NATURAL SELECTION PROMOTIONS MOMENTUM WORLDWIDE MKTG MIRRORBALL MICHAEL ALAN GROUP MASTERMIND MARKETING MATCH MARKETING GROUP THE MARS AGENCY MARKETVISION MARKETING WERKS THE MARKETING STORE MARKETING RESOURCES MARKETING LAB THE MARKETING ARM MARKETING ACTIVATIONS GROUP MARDEN-KANE LIVE NATION MEDIA & SPONSORSHIP LIKEABLE MEDIA LEGACY MARKETING PARTNERS LEADDOG MARKETING GROUP LAUNCHFIRE LAGARD´ERE UNLIMITED KICKING COW PROMOTIONS JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE INTERACTIONS THE INTEGER GROUP INSPIRA MARKETING IN MARKETING SERVICES IC GROUP HMT ASSOCIATES, INC. HELLOWORLD GROW MARKETING GOOD SOLUTIONS GROUP GOLDNFISH MARKETING GROUP LLC GMR MARKETING GEORGE P. JOHNSON GEOMETRY GLOBAL GENERATION Z MARKETING GAGE MARKETING GROUP FUSE, LLC FORMULA STREET INC. FLUENT FCBX FCB/RED FAME ESCALATE THE ELEVATION GROUP EASTWEST MARKETING GROUP DON JAGODA ASSOCIATES DEPARTMENT ZERO CONCEPT ONE COMMUNICATIONS COLLABORATIVE MARKETING GROUP COLANGELO CATAPULT CARDENAS MARKETING NETWORK BRANDFORCE BRAND CONNECTIONS BLUE CHIP MARKETING WORLDWIDE BFG COMMUNICATIONS BECORE BDA ATTACK! MARKETING A2G ARC ALL TERRAIN ALLIED INTEGRATED MARKETING ALLIED EXPERIENTIAL ALCONE ACTIVENT MARKETING, LLC THE A TEAM