Tuesday, June 22, 2021

How Email Marketers Can Use Data to Combat Inbox Overload

James Glover
May 10, 2021

3 minute read

The average professional sends and receives 127 business emails per day.¬†That’s a large chunk of time spent on one communication channel.

But often, email marketers, specifically in retail, send large amounts of email because they may feel pressured by those who believe it drives revenue. More sends beget more money, theoretically.

However, email marketers also recognize that email file health is critical. In this case, “health” means an email that provides customers with content featuring relevant products and promotions that meet their specific tastes and interests.

Email marketers want to engage customers so they open emails, click on links, and make purchases. However, high volumes of messages sent leads to email fatigue. Subscribers will stop engaging or, worse, unsubscribe.

Should you send fewer emails? This could make sense, but the solution is more nuanced.

The ideal email

Ideally, you send emails that:

  • Feature relevant, engaging content that drive more sales.
  • Cater to a customer’s interests and tastes through personalization.
  • Use content strategically to maximize returns from creative assets.

In other words, think about email strategically rather than employing basic segmentation or a one-size-fits-all, high-volume approach. To embrace a more effective plan, ask yourself:

  • When is the right time to send emails to customers?
  • How should I prioritize my content and creative assets?

Smart retailers focus on sending the right content at the right time to each subscriber. It sounds straightforward, but it takes a lot of work.

At the same time, it’s also important to identify and remove the worst-performing content and the worst times to send an email. These guidelines can help prevent costly mistakes that can lead to unsubscribes. Then, what’s the solution?

Data makes a difference in email marketing

The great thing about email is it makes it easy to collect data that can enhance the user experience. You can quickly see whether emails are opened, as well as clicks and unsubscribes. At the same time, you can start to pinpoint what resonates most with your audience and prioritize the right content.

The first step is to establish a performance baseline for opens, clicks, sales, and other metrics. Use this as a benchmark to compare how other pieces of creative perform for a specific audience. From there, you can rank each piece of content based on conversion rates.

Simultaneously, start to correlate the quality of content and email send times. When does above average content perform well, and when does it perform worse?

Email marketing can be a numbers game, and success ultimately comes from leveraging data and high-quality content to deliver campaigns that drive results.

Don’t fall into the volume-only trap. Your audience likely already receives too much email. If the content you send them isn’t relevant, your email performance will suffer, and customers will tune you out and take their business elsewhere. That’s why it’s beneficial to offer a data-influenced email “diet” that’s catered not only to your business goals but also to customers’ changing desires.

Using data to inform your next steps, you can personalize communication based on customer preferences while also exposing more of the product catalog and improving the performance of existing email content. This approach enables retail marketers to hit short-term metrics and leave customers with a higher propensity to click through and buy more in various categories.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, or both, here are more resources for you.

Download the Personalized Marketing for B2B Marketers ebook here.

Download the Personalized Marketing for B2C Marketers ebook here.

To find out more about the tools needed to succeed as a digital marketer, check out Oracle Marketing.

James Glover
James Glover is President and CEO of COHERENT PATH, where he helps retailers transform their email program into a modern data-driven channel focused on revenue. Prior to Coherent Path, James was VP of Sales at Desktone where he was responsible for accelerating customer adoption and revenue growth from zero to over 100 customers to whom he sold through world-class partners like Dell and Time Warner Cable. Before that, James held executive positions at Memento (acquired by Fidelity Information Services) and Watchfire (acquired by IBM). He earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto.
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