Email marketing: a matter of getting to know your customers

by Webpower Europe in Blog

Relevant email marketing begins with knowing your customers

“Relevance is the only thing consumers are loyal to. They forget they ever granted you permission to email them.” Florin Armasu, one of the speakers at the Webpower event about customer loyalty, says: “If you are not relevant in your communication with customers, it will do your relationship more harm than good.” And relevance is about so much more than just sending the right message to the right person.

His organization The Emailing Network, a Spanish consultancy firm in the area of email marketing, uses the Webpower software. “If you want to do marketing, you absolutely must have the right software. If you don’t, building a knowledge base about your customer is impossible. If you want to be relevant, you have to learn something from every single click someone makes: what emails are they opening on their smartphone, and what emails do they open on their computer? At what time of day do they open the most emails? And what are they about? What subjects generate the most clicks, and how does this clicking behavior relate to the time at which the message is sent, and the device used to read it? If you are unable to analyse that, it is absolutely impossible to be relevant, because it means you know nothing about your customers’ behavior.”

In determining relevance, The Emailing Network uses the 3D model: your content has to be dynamic, tailored to the users’ behavior, and it has to match the context. In short: the right message for the right audience at the right time and the right device. Preferably with large numbers of customers.

“One of our services is allowing people to subscribe to a newsletter with a variety of offers that we select from the content of our partners. We receive around 30,000 offers from partners like Groupon, Trivago, Zalando, eBay and other major online retailers on a daily basis. Based on our knowledge of the consumers in our database, we then send personalized newsletters that actually match the interests of the consumers.”

This personalization only gets better as time goes on, because The Emailing Network learns lessons from every newsletter and every offer. And the partners benefit from each other as well, because The Emailing Network continues to build on the profiles of the consumers in the database with each click and each conversion. Partners even benefit if they are part of the same offer as their competitors. Armasu explains: “For example, we also provide retargeting, which means we include four to six different offers on average. So it’s not just that one dress at Zalando that someone viewed, but three other similar ones in other stores as well. The funny thing is: doing so increases conversion rates by leaps and bounds, and all four retailers benefit from that, including Zalando. After all, the customer wants to know just how good the offer is. You then offer them various options, but not too many. By providing consumers with similar offers, they will feel like they can make a more well-informed decision. We’re lowering the barrier to making a purchase.”

The company also develops long-term campaigns for specific brands. As an example, Armasu names TripAdvisor, as his company takes care of all of their email marketing in the United States. The first email is a ‘trial’ newsletter based on the place of residence of the customer, as well as their past behavior, like a flight they booked recently. Step by step, we learn more about the types of trips the person likes to go on, making the content increasingly relevant. The eighth newsletter includes a connection to Facebook. This results in the campaign becoming social proof: X friend left a favorable review about Y hotel. This social aspect slowly develops into something of a ‘tribe’: the consumer becomes part of a group of people with similar interests. This is the perfect moment to proactively ask consumers to leave reviews of their own. As soon as they start doing so, they are part of a competition without even realizing it. Through gamification, leaving reviews about hotels, airlines and other travel companies turns into something fun. The more people read a review, the more points the customer gets. “This is how we gradually turn a one-time customer into a returning customer and, eventually, into a TripAdvisor ambassador,” says Armasu.

He noticed that many companies that are starting to use email marketing want to start working on all the details. “We keep insisting that the basics should be your first priority. That is to say: classify the customers in your database according to active, idle, new. And apply the RFM-method to the entire database. If you don’t know who your best customers are, any further segmentation is doomed to fail.”

He concludes with this piece of advice: “A study by MarketingSherpa has shown that email is the favorite channel of 72 percent of consumers, of which 61 percent would like to receive an email on a weekly basis, and 28 percent wants to receive an email even more frequently. In short, consumers are in need of information. You have to meet those demands while still respecting someone’s wishes, needs and behavior.”



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