Getting Back to Basics for Effective Email Marketing

The hand of a girl touch on the envelope and email sign.

From targeted ads to personalized recommendations, big data has given us unique insights into customer buying patterns and behavior. However, when it comes to email marketing, many digital strategists still miss the mark. Marketers must understand their customer’s “online persona” and chart their “full customer journey” to ensure your campaign is relevant and meets their expectations. The one-size-fits-all approach is no longer effective for changing demographics.

If content is king in email marketing, relevance is the throne. It does not mater how catchy, profound or expensive your content is if it is not presented ideally given your customer. University of Illinois researchers have found that typical content that formerly attracted male and female college demographics are now unappealing. Men are actually put off by campaigns with partying and promiscuity, while women have grown tired of ads with chit-chat in the kitchen.

Customers remain on your email list when you understand their “online persona.” My friend recently received a sponsored email from a home appliance company advertising what they considered a “dream” refrigerator. To my friend, however, the advertisement was strange (even for a PR professional). They had made a costly misstep in most likely relying on generalized demographic statistics. Gary Angel in explains in “Tracking the Customer Journey” that this approach is extremely limited:

“[Putting] digital data from various channels and customer data together in a data warehouse won’t [create] a true 360 degree customer view. It won’t enable your marketing analysts to solve the critical analysis problems in today’s enterprise, and it won’t allow you to target and personalize customers more effectively. What it will give you, 9 times out of 10, is the data equivalent of a big plate of very expensive, uncooked spaghetti.”

Email marketing is only effective when you get back to the basics and understand who your customer’s desires and perspectives. After all, as Marketscan so eloquently shares, “It’s the same with any journey. There are hopes and expectations, and the thrill of reaching a great destination. So you’re either promoting or preventing the customer’s journey to your door.”

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