Digital MarketingEmail MarketingLess Is More: Simple Data Serves Killer Email Marketing

Less Is More: Simple Data Serves Killer Email Marketing

Though marketers have access to a wealth of consumer data, many of them leverage the most basic data sets, such as birthdays and purchase histories, for the best email campaigns.

Content Takeover Email MarketingWith so much data out there, how can you sort through it all to decide what to use for your email campaigns? For many marketers, simpler data sets are the key to sending engaging emails.

Bonobos, a men’s fashion e-commerce brand, tends to utilize specific data sets in its email marketing, including purchase history and previous email engagement. The retailer targets you based on what you – and men in similar demographics – already bought, while the prior engagement gives them an idea of how often to send you an email.

“People who have clicked and engaged but haven’t bought something, they’re maybe interested in the product, but it’s not as seasonally relevant,” says Elizabeth Trongone, marketing director at Bonobos. “In January, not many people are interested in seeing the shorts they’re going to wear in May.”

Bonobos is currently working with a data scientist on an algorithm to decide who gets which emails, when.

“Our goal is to figure out who would be the most relevant,” Trongone says. “We have a complicated set of products at various price points so we want to layer on the demographic data. We want to be like, ‘Who would be likely to purchase a suit in an email for $500?'”

Harri Williams, an email marketing executive at U.K. digital recruiter Salt, agrees that simpler data is the way to go; otherwise, marketers could come across as intrusive and voyeuristic. In addition to tracking website visitors based on the jobs they look at and thus would be more likely to be interested in applying for, Salt sends contractors emails when their contracts are about to end.

“If we place a contractor, we know exactly when their contract is going to expire. We target them a week before the contract is up so we’re back on the radar,” Williams says. “That kind of knowledge is so much more powerful than buying a list of 20,000 people and sending them emails asking, ‘Would you like a list of stuff we’re offering?”

Williams believes marketers should be focused on growing their databases organically, rather than exponentially. By purchasing data and collecting every possible email address, rather than those of people who had already expressed interest in your company, you risk alienating consumers.

“If people have never heard of your business and you’re emailing them three times a day, it’s just bad practice,” Williams said. “[And if you’re the consumer], straight away you’re going to be annoyed because your data was passed on without your consent. You’re going to be more likely to unsubscribe.”

Ultimately, the most important piece of data an email marketer can have revolves around what consumers do after opening the email. Mobile payments company Square recently launched a new email marketing tool that allows businesses to track how much foot traffic – and how much money – their emails generated.

“Businesses don’t want to just know how many people opened their email; they want to know how their marketing drove foot traffic and sales,” says Faryl Ury, product communications manager at Square. “By letting businesses know which customers are loyal, casual, and lapsed, they’re able to modify the promotions sent and language used to make their email campaigns most effective.”

Image via Shutterstock.

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