E-mail Service Provider Targets Pitches Based on Buying Behavior

What e-mail marketer doesn’t want to target shoppers by their buying behavior? The ability to pull transactional data from the e-commerce channel to target customers provides a valuable layer of interaction, which iPost says it now provides through its Autotarget e-mail product.

After a trial period with a handful of clients, the direct e-mail marketing firm is ready to release today its predictive analytics technology to more clients. Based on past purchases, customers are segmented into personas or groups, and then sent e-mails based on the group customer profile.

Although customers are targeted based on past purchase behavior, company executives said one-time transactions won’t haunt consumers such as a baby shower gift bought a year ago. A profile is likely to grow with the customer’s life stage and lifestyle. “We’re not trying to target everybody who bought Pampers, but look at how often they interact,” said Russell McDonald, CEO at iPost.

The data are based on how recently a consumer has made a purchase (recency), frequency, and monetary (RFM) analysis, which is a practice used among print catalog retailers to segment customers. The model allows marketers to reach customers with specific messaging based on past purchase behavior.

Trial customers include automotive tool supplier Eastwood Co. and Garrett Wade, a supplier of specialty woodworking and cabinetmaking tools.

While companies like Genius.com apply one-to-one e-mail marketing, iPost contends it’s best to group pockets of customers together to target e-mail than to market individuals. McDonald contends messaging to individuals is time consuming and just as cost effective.

Following the release of Autotarget to the e-mail channel, iPost plans to develop additional services across other direct marketing channels including telemarketing and optimized Web sites, and later expand to brick and mortar, catalog, and direct mail. An existing numbering scheme will be used to identify iPost customers.

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