email segmentation

How data can be used to take your email marketing up a level

What needs to be done to bridge the gap between ordinary email marketing and best-in-class email marketing?

I’ll be taking a look at our recent report, Bridging the Gap in Email Marketing, written by Morag Cuddeford-Jones and in partnership with Pure360, in which interviews were conducted with digital marketing professionals across a range of businesses, exploring the challenges and opportunities for marketers who are committed to taking their use of email to the next level.

As the report reveals through its interviews, to ‘go up a level’ in email marketing actually means the necessary act of going down a level. Many levels in fact. Drilling deeper and deeper into data, into the organisation and deeper into the customer’s needs to deliver effective campaigns.

There are four key areas which need to be explored; mobile, personalisation, automation & integration, and data. Here we’ll be taking a look at the latter discipline.

Email marketing segmentation: dead man walking?

It seems like the staple diet of a digital marketing blogger is to declare something dead, or not dead, or cleverly D.E.A.D.

Only this week, our David Moth wrote a piece on email marketing’s rude health (email is not dead). 

I think the reason we’re obsessed with the death of marketing technology is because, despite the pace of change in digital, there are many age-old marketing principles that remain absolute. 

Relevance, timeliness, perhaps more broadly the four, five or seven Ps – these will ever remain in the marketing canon. 

And, of course, no matter how sophisticated technology becomes, there will still exist businesses that don’t get the marketing mix right. 

However, despite all this, I am interested in areas of marketing that might undergo automation and sophistication to the point where they require little work. 

What I foresee is the perfection of certain disciplines (e.g. marketing automation) throwing light on new priorities, such as a renewed interest in conversion rate optimisation or data cleanliness.

With marketing as a department more powerful than ever, why would the amount of work decrease? Surely we’re sticking our elbows out, and our oars into every part of the org? 

So, what about email segmentation? Will there be a time when it’s no longer a core skill, something to be done actively by marketers? Will technology take care of it for us?

10 case studies that show the power of email segmentation

In spite of all the advances and innovations in digital marketing, good old email remains as one of the most effective channels for driving traffic and conversions.

Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Census found that just over half (55%) of respondents achieved more than 10% of their sales from email.

But to really reap the benefits of email marketing businesses should also be personalising their campaigns based on user demographics and behaviours, and according to the Census three quarters (73%) carry out basic segmentation.

However only 22% said that they currently implement ‘advanced segmentation’.

To show why this tactic is so important I’ve rounded up 10 case studies from businesses that have improved their traffic or conversions using segmentation…

73% of businesses carry out basic email segmentation: report

Almost three-quarters (73%) of businesses carry out basic email segmentation while a further 16% are planning to implement it, according to the new Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Census.

After basic segmentation, encouraging sharing of content (52%) and regular list cleansing (49%) are the email practices which marketers are most likely to be undertaking.

Businesses are clearly seeing the benefits of segmenting their email marketing as a further 46% are planning to implement a more advanced programme.

The report, which is based on a survey of 1,329 agency and client-side respondents, looks in detail at the approaches taken and the resources given to email marketing, as well as issues regarding effectiveness, deliverability, technology integration and mobile.

Three lessons social marketers can learn from email marketers

The  world of social media has led to significant hype about the possibilities this  emerging channel offers  marketers.  And there is certainly a lot about social media that should get the experienced, informed and enabled marketer salivating. 

Social media is not, however, the first new channel marketers have had to adopt in recent years. We don’t hear much about how practitioners of social marketing can learn from their colleagues operating in other marketing channels, specifically email, which has evolved considerably in the last few years as well.

The dos and don’ts of email segmentation

Segmentation is an important part of any successful email marketing effort, particularly as consumers are coming to expect brands to send them personalised correspondence.

Email marketers need to be aware of all segmentation and targeting opportunities in order to improve relevance and increase clickthrough rates.

It’s a topic we focused on in our recent Google Hangout with directors from Amazon and J. Crew, and it’s likely to become more important as email marketing evolves.

With this in mind, I spoke to Experian Marketing Services data analyst Helen Taylor to find out some of the dos and don’ts of email segmentation…

Is engagement email marketing finally here?

How engaged with your brand are the majority of your database contacts? This fundamental question should determine how your entire emarketing communications strategy is structured.

Until recently, email marketers have been under huge commercial pressure internally to continue doing the same ‘load and blast’ mass email marketing they’ve always done.

However, for some, response rates are waning as consumers become fussier about the marketing messages they consume. The advent of the intelligent inbox (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo) means ISPs are working hard to ensure only the most wanted email is at the top of the pile.

ISPs are helping recipients to prioritise their inboxes, helping them to de-prioritise or block email that they no longer want. Google priority inbox, for example, prioritises your email automatically based on what you respond to; so encouraging response is now critical to your ongoing relationship with customers.

Without proper targeting, your emails can be seen as spam, becoming de-prioritised or blocked by the recipients, encouraging customer disengagement.

Four ways managing frequency can make money from email in 2012

An important question on the mind of the modern email
marketer is: ‘how often can I send marketing emails to my list?’

It’s not
surprising really; online sales hit record highs this Christmas
and New Year, email is now a core revenue-driving channel and is proving to be
very important.  

So how do you manage
that fine balance between short term revenue and longer term list value, to
make the most of the sales potential now and protect the value of your list for
the future?

In this post I will set out the key elements to consider when
deciding who to send to and how often.