Digital direct: Personalising emails helps marketers to win newcustomers

I was chatting to the head of a digital agency whose clients include some of the most sophisticated email marketers in the land. One nugget stuck out: despite the wealth of information available, he felt only a quarter look at email campaign data in any detail.

These marketers realise more analysis would be time well spent, but simply lack the time and resources to discover the real value of email marketing, and answers to key questions like 'what's the benefit of sending it?', 'what's the effect of not sending it?', and 'what's the danger of sending the wrong email and how would they find out?'.

The good news is that some firms are making significant strides by investing in sophisticated techniques. The technology now exists to allow even the most time-challenged marketer to fulfil the dream of one-to-one marketing: to deliver dynamic, personalised content and ensure customers get the right message at the right time.

Those using personalised email marketing are adding real value to customers' inboxes, reducing churn and increasing new business. One smart firm has been timing its emails to coincide with the time of day their prospects first enquired about its product. By recording when prospects are likely to be interested in what they have to say, and emailing them at that time, they tripled the value of orders generated.

With people expecting messaging from other channels like mobile and RSS, the online marketing world is changing fast. The message and tone must be right for each channel plus there are the challenges of deliverability, renderability, changing value propositions and cost, and a tighter legal landscape.

To gain advantage, enlightened online marketers must start asking the difficult questions and collaborate with partners whose technology can provide answers to them.

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