The power of email and cross-channel personalization


Selligent Interactive Marketing is about optimizing cross-channel interactions, based on a strong customer-centric approach and a single view on the consumer. In practice, email plays an important role in these cross-channel interactions. This should not come as a surprise. Some have been proclaiming that email is dead, but it's clearly not. At least, when email marketing is properly done, taking into account individual preferences, relevance and a personalized approach. 

The problem is that many people classify email as a pure outbound and even broadcasting activity. It is not: permission-based, preference-driven and triggered opt-in email marketing is very much alive.

In that regard, it's interesting that most 'email is dead' opinions come from countries where opt-in is not as regulated as in most European countries, for instance. Finally, when used in a cross-channel marketing approach, email is crucial. However, there is more, as a recent survey shows.

Email and personalized product recommendations

US-based e-commerce company Baynote found that 68.3% of online holiday shoppers in a survey stated that the best personal product recommendations they got during the 2011 holiday season, were received via email.

32.2% of shoppers said the personal product recommendations they got via email were very relevant to them. 36.1% said they were relevant to them. This way, email beats other interactions where personalized product recommendations happened, even those in e-commerce sites and in-store!

Is this due to the channel email? No. It's because email marketing, when done as we believe it should be done, is one of the channels that allows a very personalized approach, given the technological, analytical and integrated possibilities.

When it's relevant, it works

Clearly  personalization leads to a better conversion. When something is relevant to people, it works. Obviously, this also depends on the ways people behave and interact via channels and on media. When they get an email from a business, they have a relationship with (which is what an opt-in is), they know what they can expect when they open the email. When people use social networking sites, however, they are mainly doing it for other reasons. This doesn't mean social isn't important, on the contrary. But we must understand the context.

Obviously, the degree in which email can be personalized depends on many other channels and interactions: behavioral profiling through websites, social data and many more provide the possibility to deliver an ever more personalized experience. That same personal experience is also possible via other tactics, for instance, mobile marketing. What matters most here is the integration and thus the cross-channel approach with the customer in the centre. 

Personalized experiences, as Selligent Interactive Marketing enables them, increasingly happen on other channels and online properties as well. We are continuously adding more possibilities as we prove daily with our partners and our customers in their campaigns, on their websites, etc.

It is a well-known fact that conversion requires consistency across touchpoints. Imagine what a consistently personalized experience means to conversion…

Thierry Téchy is Co-founder & Chairman of Selligent. You can connect with him via Twitter and LinkedIn.