Boost your Email Marketing Strategy

email marketing strategy
Bertrand Besse

Product Marketing Manager

6 December 2016

Rules-based trigger marketing and full-base newsletters are two key components in the marketer’s toolkit. The first strategy reaches only a very small amount of your customer base, while the latter spans the entirety of it. Both have their weaknesses so luckily there is another option. One that’s a balance between sending super-personalized emails to a minuscule number of recipients, and sending completely indiscriminate emails to an enormous amount. One that can help you optimise your communications strategy to your customer base. One that will prove to be the most effective way of contacting your prospects and customers.

Here’s how:

Trigger email marketing

Trigger email marketing – and broadly speaking, marketing automation – helps you send contextualized, highly specific emails and has proven to be an effective way to boost your conversion rate. Using this strategy, you can reach out to your prospects at key moments and increase your chances of converting them into customers. Your ROI will shoot up if you tailor your emails to suit every customer action or situation. For example:

  • Shopping cart abandonments
  • Specific article views
  • Product type searches
  • Customer anniversaries

However, since these messages are based on the context of each customer’s interaction, they don’t reflect your wider marketing agenda or priorities. Ultimately, this ROI-centric method, while it’s focussed on sending relevant messages to your customers, only allows you to interact with a very small section of your customer base – about 1%.

Newsletters sent to the entire customer base

In addition to personalized emails, newsletters are another must-have in your marketing strategy. Newsletters are a way of contacting 100% of your customer base at regular intervals. It’s also the best way to disperse the same message to everyone.  Hence newsletters rightly earn their place in your email policy, especially as they:

  • promote consistent, high-quality branding, at acceptable intervals
  • reach out to all of your customers when you need to, to mark events, promotions or new collection launches.

Two complementary communications strategies – so what’s missing?

These two strategies have become classic email marketing tools and they’re almost the perfect pair. Almost, but not quite.

Trigger marketing strategies have one major defect: when you rely on triggers, you can only send predefined emails, meaning you are relying on your customers to “do something” first. What’s more, there is only a tiny window of opportunity. If you wait too long to communicate with a prospect after they’ve visited your site, your follow-up won’t be as effective and it could even be counter-productive.

Newsletters also have their drawbacks. With general content you run the risk of generating fatigue and disengagement among your customer base, especially if you don’t keep up a regular rhythm. And ROI isn’t always a given.

The outcome? If marketers solely rely on these two strategies, they risk getting stuck between:

  • trigger marketing tools with great ROI, albeit limited to 1% of their customers
  • newsletter strategies or identical emails that are easy to send, but can have negative effects if they’re too repetitive and they aren’t always commercially effective.

Predictive targeting solutions that can maximize your customer data bring these barriers crashing down. With them, you won’t have to just target 1% of your base on some occasions and 100% on others. You can talk to different segments each day using engaging and targeted content.

Multiplying the number of targeted campaigns – the trump card in your email strategy

Firstly, how do you target customers who haven’t visited your site for several months? By using targeted campaigns! Targeted campaigns give you the power of choosing exactly what you want to promote, and then finding the targets who will be most receptive to this chosen offer. Even targets who have been inactive for months. Let your creativity run wild and create campaigns by harnessing the diversity of your product catalogue!

Secondly, how can you optimize your emails to target a large proportion of your customers, while also those that will be the most receptive to a specific offer? By exploiting the data you already have available in your customer database. You need to compare your prospects’ characteristics (demographic details, online behaviour, purchasing patterns etc.) to the profile of your customers who have already bought the product that you want to promote.

With targeting (which can be automated) there will be something to tell a portion of your prospects and customers about every day. And that’s without sending the same thing to everyone. This is your chance to promote the full diversity of your product catalogue while meeting each customer’s expectations. Marketers will then have more time to tap into their creative side and add real value to their role.

Use this strategy to achieve two goals simultaneously:

  • Revitalize your newsletters. With the same occasional, high-quality contact, newsletters will remain a key player in your branding strategy and stave off fatigue in your customer base
  • Generate incremental revenue. With targeted messages, you can increase your email volume by about 20% and your overall revenue by more than 5%, without your customer base disengaging.

A combination of trigger messages, full base emails and targeted campaigns will cover the entirety of your database and deliver unbeatable results. Over to you!

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