Email Marketing 2015: It’s All About Enriching Personalization

As the world becomes increasingly connected via technology, marketers have broader visibility into their customers and their characteristics. Whereas digital technologies were once viewed as “dehumanizing,” savvy marketers are now using these channels to deliver rich, unique and personalized experiences to customers and prospects.

It’s clear that in 2015 we’ll continue to witness the development of email marketing campaigns featuring increasingly sophisticated personalization – not only will behavioral targeting techniques become more advanced but also geographic and demographic factors will be meshed in to create fully immersive customer experiences.

This evolution with respect to email marketing extends to marketing across channels – personalization is no longer a trend, it’s a cross-channel pillar. The reason that personalization is so effective is that people resist homogenization and long to be treated as individuals – and this core principle is transforming brand management and digital marketing programs across the board.

The best email marketing software solutions integrate with many flavors of behavioral tracking capabilities – things like web site browsing history, items left in the shopping cart, and response rates to various types of email marketing offers. From there, email marketers can make inferences about what products and offers will resonate within highly refined segments.

Meshing geographic and demographic customer information with behavioral data enriches user profiles such that email marketers can overlay these characteristics to refine segmentation even further.  For instance, a retailer with a timely snow gear offer can use geography as a filter and only send offers to subscribers who live in areas where it actually snows.

Retailers can also use geographical information to drive in-store foot traffic. For instance, email marketers can send an offer about an in-store event or flash sale specific to the store location closest to a subscriber’s residence.  These types of offers are particularly effective because most customers are multi-channel shoppers.

In addition to geographic data, demographic characteristics can also be applied to improve personalization. For instance, if a retailer is sending out a discount on women’s shoes, it makes sense to limit the send to women only.  By using this very simple type of demographic data as a filter, retailers avoid sending email offers to subscribers for whom the value is irrelevant.

When retailers send out highly targeted offers based on the combination of behavioral, demographic and geographical characteristics, the benefits extend beyond favorable open rates, click-through and conversion. This is because behavioral data only tells part of the story.

While behavioral data has long been viewed as the gold standard around identifying subscriber preferences and proclivities, the context provided by demographic and geographical characteristics rounds out the picture and provides email marketers with the static framework they need to fully understand their customers and deliver better, more valuable offers.

As personalization continues to take the marketing world by storm across channels, email marketers have a unique opportunity to create rich, dimensional user profiles by meshing behavioral, geographical, and demographic data to refine segmentation to a whole new level. This improves both campaign performance and customer satisfaction – everyone wins.

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