I get it – email isn’t that exciting or sexy. At least, not on a first impression when you compare it to all the capabilities social has going on. But email is stable, it’s the relationship you can rely on. And why shouldn’t you? Email is a cheap date: for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38. Not bad, right?

It’s also popular because by the time 2020 rolls around, email users worldwide are expecting to top 3 billion. Not to mention, it secures a one-to-one connection with your customers.

Let’s dig in further to see how you could build up your brand and customer relationship through email.

Segmentation: Successfully Target Your Subscriber Database

Email blasts effectively kill your subscriber database. No one wants to get an irrelevant email anymore, especially when the internet is at our fingertips and we can access just about anything from anywhere.

What makes your message worth opening?

Given the data collected, you can segment based off: personal attributes, personal preferences, what the potential customer browsed and carted, and engagement behavior.

Sure, you could be having a winter sale. But is your customer interested in women’s apparel over men’s? Have they looked at a certain product and didn’t realize it’s now on sale? This is where you can bolster engagement. If you can answer your subscriber’s questions and wants before they realize they can answer it themselves, you will have an engaged and satisfied customer.

In the image to the left, the email is pulling products in that were left in the customer’s abandon cart, as well as similar options.

In the image to the right, product images are brought in based off what was purchased, so if you didn’t buy the complete bed set, you now have the option just a click away.

 

Personalized Emails: Successfully Serve Your Subscriber Database

Personalized emails are simply playing off your segmentation that you have (hopefully) created. You can use code to serve certain fixed content for certain subscribers. However, you can now do it in real time.

For example, the ESP Salesforce Marketing Cloud now has a platform called personalization builder where you feed your emails with real-time data. So, if a subscriber looked at a certain product, this product is then served in their live email – which cuts out the need for a third party that might come in and fuel these audiences for you.

Furthermore, this product is set to be a “carousel”; similar to carousel ads on Facebook, you can scroll over products in your email and click on whichever one you like best. While HTML code in emails still does not match the capability websites have, it has grown to match the competitiveness of social media advertisements.

Cadence: Don’t Annoy Your Subscriber Database

For example, I signed up to receive emails from a brand and was sent to 30 times in a matter of two weeks. It could have been the segmentation where it went wrong (placing a subscriber into multiple groups), or they could not have put necessary suppressions in place.

How can you prevent this from happening? Set up time of day and week of day tests to see when users are most engaged. Sixty-six percent of unsubscribes happen between 5 pm and 10 pm, so tread carefully and get to know your subscriber. Your segmentation could help you predict when this subscriber might be active. If your targeted subscriber is between 24-30 years old, you could plan on emailing when they would be on their phones – a morning commute, a lunch break, etc. Work with your ecommerce team to see what time of day has the highest amount of purchases being made; then, you can create another time of day test surrounding this data.

Not only does cadence help the longevity of your subscribers, but also your deliverability. Inboxes, especially Gmail, have become quite clever at detecting spam. Build up your IP’s reputation by keeping a steady relationship of when you email your subscriber.

What Now?

Let’s say you’ve implemented optimal segmentation, dynamic content, and have a good cadence with your subscriber.

You’ve set up the foundation with your subscriber – now is the time to have fun with your email program! What types of journeys do you want your subscriber to go on? Is there some way you can give back to your most valuable customer, à la a loyalty program? You should be doing more with email than just selling your brand, you should be building your brand.

Email isn’t going away, it won’t see its stocks tumble due to data privacy, its interface won’t change over 100 times and back again. Cultivate a relationship with this digital tool and you will see your brand expand beyond that of just another product or service.

Special shout out to Merissa and Brittany on our email team for helping compile the stats for this post.