Article

Aliya Zaidi
Aliya Zaidi 26 November 2019

6 Surefire Strategies to Enhance Email Marketing with Data

In a recent London Research webinar, Ricardas Montvila, Senior Director of Strategy at Mapp, and Kath Pay, founder and CEO of Holistic Email Marketing, discussed trends that are enabling companies to succeed at customer-centric marketing. This post summarises the main points of the webinar, looking at how marketers can use data intelligently to boost their email marketing efforts.

1. Customer-centricity is a win/win for both the customer and the brand.

Marketing teams must maintain a focus on customer-centric strategies, as putting the customer at the heart of their marketing will allow companies to achieve their goals by default, thus boosting the success of the brand.

While email has traditionally been described as a push channel, shifting the focus to a customer-led approach is a no-brainer given that both brands and customers reap the benefits.

Brands can provide their customers with a great experience by concentrating on three core principles: helpfulness, personalisation and customer-centricity.

In turn, the brand will be rewarded with higher levels of engagement, which ultimately translates into greater loyalty, more conversions and higher customer lifetime value.

2. Start treating email like advertising.

Marketers need to start treating email like advertising by making their communications personalised and targeted. Personalising email needs to go beyond merely tailoring the content and using the first or last name of the customer.

Companies have access to sophisticated data sets that can be used to deliver a far more engaging experience. Making emails location-aware allows marketers to deliver timely and relevant emails. If the customer is opening the email while on the high street, the content could include in-store offers and promotions.

Social proofing or social influence has an impact on customer behaviour, and brands can incorporate this into the design of their emails. Looking at what your Facebook friends and Instagram followers are currently buying, or knowing how many people are looking at a particular product creates a sense of urgency, increasing the propensity to make a purchase.

3. Use data to become smart with personalisation.

To achieve effective personalisation strategies, companies need to segment customers better and understand what influences their behaviour. Recently published research by Revtrax indicates that food and restaurant brands are over-discounting products by 13–16%. This is because many companies are offering blanket discounts without drilling down into the more granular details of customer behaviour.

With companies offering discounts to even their most dedicated customers, brands may be losing revenue without any discernible impact on loyalty. An offer that recognises loyalty may be far more emotionally engaging to this segment.

4. Segmentation needs to take into account several dimensions.

Companies need to grasp more than the low-hanging fruit of segmentation based on transactional and demographic data, and adopt a funnel-based approach.  

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Marketers can tailor their strategies by targeting individual customers who are at different stages of the buying lifecycle. For example, some customers will only make a purchase with a discount, so it makes sense to target this group with special offers to increase their likelihood to purchase.

Advanced segmentation techniques provide companies with least 30 different dimensions to use in their customer analysis. Segmenting by channel can allow companies to gain visibility on the value of an email subscriber versus a social media user, and subsequently allocate marketing budget to the most effective channels.

Utilising a funnel-based approach will equip marketers with the ability to understand how long it takes a customer to convert, and how many interactions are needed before they make a purchase.

Customers purchasing high-value items will exhibit very different behaviours from those buying lower-ticket items. When it comes to basket abandonment, sending a reminder email to a high-value customer after a few hours may see a positive uplift in sales, as making a purchasing decision is typically a longer process. For a customer buying a low-cost item, it’s likely they have already diverted to buy from a competitor.

5. Make the experience seamless.

With customers typically interacting brands through a wide variety of channels, the challenge for marketers is offering customers a unified experience, and ensuring that messages across different channels do not conflict.

For email specifically, this means tracking the call-to-action regardless of the device that the interaction occurs on. According to a recent study by SDL, 60% of millennials now expect a consistent brand experience, whether the interactions happen in-store, online or by phone.

Connecting customers to multiple channels has clear and tangible benefits for companies. Research from The Harvard Business Review indicates connecting customers to multiple channels results in 23% more repeat shopping. In addition, customers who use four or more channels spend 9% more on average, when compared to those who used just one channel.

6. Help customers by predicting what they want, using AI.

Companies can help customers by predicting future actions.  The benefits for the company are clear, as users of predictive analytics solutions achieve better results with higher customer lifetime value and greater average profit margin per customer.

AI is essential for processing the vast volumes of data available to customers. Marketers must take into account a wide range of different data points, incorporating choice of channel, messaging data and customer data. Processing such huge volumes of data is only possible when companies arm themselves with AI technology and predictive solutions.

When marketers make use of AI-enabled engagement, this results in higher response rates, increased average order values, and a reduction in customer churn. Measurement and tracking are essential, as this will allow companies to gain buy-in at all levels of the organisation.

For more tips on cutting-edge companies are achieving customer-centric email marketing, download Mapp and London Research’s latest webinar now

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