I wanted to share with you a quick summary of the main points of our presentation on “Using email to get relevant and to get incremental revenue” that we gave at eCommerce Expo last week.

The Business Case for relevance

Jupiter Research’s, “The ROI of Relevance” report, discovered that being relevant can yield significant returns:

  • Use personalisation and you are 40% more likely to have an average conversion rate of more than 3%.
  • A targeted approach achieves 9 times the response of simple broadcast emails.
  • 60% of consumers who made immediate purchases from email did so if it contained products they were already considering.

When you look at your own campaigns, improving clickthrough rates will push more people to your site, and it’s fair to assume will result in more conversions. 

So, although the research appears compelling, exactly how to be relevant is less so. 

Relevance through targeting

The right people at the right time

Many companies are using dates in the calendar as a trigger for sending campaigns. In the run up to Christmas, the TV is already full of breaking festive promotions. Many use personalisation, but it is simply limited to addressing the email to someone.

Targeting relies on good data. Many email marketers are using only a fraction of their available data sets to power their email marketing. 

Broadly speaking, there are three sets of data available:

1. Given Data: Information surrendered by your contact such as demographics, contact details, billing information and more. Most email marketers are using just this data set.
2. Snooped Data: This is information you can gather on your contacts based on what they do with your email and your website. ESPs and web site analytic agencies can track how people interact with your communications (or don’t) – very powerful information.
3. Your Data: This is information you hold about your products such as product information, pricing, complementary products and more.

Bringing these three data sets together allows you to use dynamic content where you are building mass customised emails based upon the recipient.

For example, you can build emails which include products related to previous purchases or change the offers based upon whether the recipient has responded to an email campaign recently in order to manage yield and include high margin products to drive considerable returns.

Relevance through design

The right people at the right time, with the right message

Many email marketers are guilty of sending campaigns at the same time every week. Check your inbox – it is amazing how many companies are in the same routine. 

There is another way – moving to action based promotions. This is where the recipient instigates the send or the company sends the campaign when a relevant action is completed:

  • Recipient Action: thank you for registering, abandon basket campaigns, reactivation campaigns
  • Company Action: delivery notifications, product shipping alerts.

In a nutshell, your recipients become self-selecting, which means you can set up these programs to run along side your campaigns.

We can send full copies of the presentation slides to you – simply get in touch at moreinfo@adestra.com

Henry Hyder-Smith is


managing director.