Sending timely-targeted e-mail will give your e-mail programs the relevance edge. Targeted messages generate higher opens, clicks, and ROI than "batch and blast" e-mails.
Relevant e-mail messaging is more important than ever these days, given the added demand for your recipients' attention in the inbox.
However, relevance by itself isn't enough. You need to aim for "repeatable relevance."
One-Offs Aren't Enough
I recently received an excellent retail e-mail that was highly timely and relevant. I ended up buying from it. Success, right? Not quite.
It was a one-off success: a one-time message from a brand that usually sends broadcast messages that aren't always relevant.
Further, the design and coding showed that this kind of message could not be repeated easily and cost-effectively as part of a regular messaging stream.
Challenges Facing Repeatable Relevance
So, although this particular e-mail is on the relevancy path, true ROI growth comes with repeatable relevance. It's not that easy to achieve, however.
Repeatable relevance is hard to deliver. You must be able to match behavioral data models to products and then execute the proper message, over and over again. For most marketers, this also has to happen with limited marketing-budget resources and time.
How to Get Started
These suggestions will take you down the path to relevance:
Tip: don't try to version every aspect of your e-mail message at one time. Try one module or component in the message first.
Start small. Begin with three to seven data categories, and build from there.
The time you invest now to build repeatable relevance the right way will pay off with higher engagement for your future campaigns.
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Matt Hayes is the director of services strategy at Lyris. With experience in the e-mail industry both in the U.S. and in the U.K., Matt has deep knowledge and experience working with clients in the strategy and development of welcome programs, lifecycle campaigns, list retention and growth, Web behavior segmentation, and e-mail design. Matt started his e-mail career at a U.K. agency that became Lyris UK and was instrumental in managing e-mail marketing campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the U.K. Matt's background is specialized in high-end fashion retail where he set up revenue-driving campaigns. In 2009, Matt moved to San Francisco to manage a team of campaign specialists and drove e-mail marketing strategy for clients in the U.S.