How to create relevant e-mail communication by using explicit & implicit customer data


When you want your email communication to be successful, many studies have shown that relevant content is critical, but how do you create really effective e-mail campaigns? Yesterday I read an article on Econsultancy, called "Email marketing: How to make more of subscriber data" that inspired me to this post about the different ways of using data and progressive e-mail dialogue relevance: from dating to trust and personalization.

Gathering the right customer data: towards a single customer view

Starting an e-mail dialogue is like the perfect date. You know what you're up to, but don't want to frighten your date. So start by asking just enough data to do your job without overdoing it. Friction, or the specific resistance due to over-demanding of user data, is a key influencer in e-mail acquisition.

In this first stage, you are collecting "explicit data", information directly obtained by the data fields that recipients submit via the subscription form. Once you start your e-mail dialogue, try to gain the trust of your "date". If your e-mail frequency and content are right (ideally triggered by the recipient), you can ask for more explicit data over time. However, just don't only rely on explicit data. Now that you are e-mailing your reports will tell you so much about your customer's and recipient's interests.

What kind of e-mails are they opening, what are they clicking and what are they looking at on your website? "Implicit data" collection is the most valuable source of customer knowledge. Now that you have a fair amount start pulling it all together and create a single customer view.

Segmentation and personalization

As e-mail marketers we often make the mistake to focus on the number of contacts and not on the number of valuable contacts. What's the use of mailing to 100.000 contacts if you are annoying half of them? Try to focus on effective relationships! The risk of not doing this is e-mail marketing and list fatigue, a topic we have recently tackled in this free white paper.

Let's start with an example. You are in the lifestyle business. A person's "lifestyle" is different depending from his or her age. If you configured your database right, you should be able to distinct senior, adult and junior profiles. They all have their specific interests and lifestyle approach. So start building separate e-mail messages for them with a different tone of voice and content. In other words: segmentation.

Many e-mail marketers already do this. However, that's not all: implicit data will tell you where they are really looking at. So why not use a different content approach by segment? Some like more wellness info, some enjoy gastronomy and others maybe home decoration. By combining these types of data you can easily work on the personalization of your e-mail campaign.

Consumers shift in interests, frequency and channels. If you really want your e-mail communication to perform at its best, you will have to monitor your reports, adapt content and frequency and even channels based on their daily behaviour.
Find the right tools to do so and have regular staff meetings to discuss the next steps in what methodology to adapt in out-performing your previous e-mail marketing campaigns.


Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue? Optimizing communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.White paper Marketing Pressure & Fatigue

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