We go to these amazing marketing conferences chock full of inspiring presentations and hear how the email experience could be better … must be better. Only, to do that, you need to make good on a one-to-one marketing strategy.
Easy, right? (Ha!)
So you walk out of Conference X thinking, “Personalized emails that speak to each of our customers — this is what I’m supposed to be doing, but I’m not.”
Now it’s up to you to figure out how your small, overstretched team can make it happen, but batch-and-blast is all you know. What is scalable about that?
Inch closer to one-to-one by being a better batch-and-blaster
First things first, you are not alone. Your company’s struggle to produce one-to-one communications is a lot more common than you might think.
Of course, the goal for all email marketers should be to one day move beyond batch-and-blast. But if that’s the tool you currently have, then you need to make the most of it.
How? Start small by asking yourself, “Can we get just a little bit better?”
Recent Mailchimp research shows segmented email campaigns have an open rate 14.31% higher than non-segmented campaigns. And when comparing click-through rates, segmented email campaigns experience a 100.95% higher return than the alternative.
So consider this: If you can go from sending one generic email that nets you $X.XX in ROI to an email that’s a touch more personalized and realize an ROI of $X.XX + 50% — not even x2 — you’re starting to move the needle. Now you’re proving out that you can get slightly better, which means you can then get slightly, slightly better.
When I say “email that’s a touch more personalized,” I mean rather than isolating Bill from a large group and then creating an email that speaks to him (and only him), try aiming for a bigger target.
Take what you know about your customers — what you actually have data to support — and create giant groups of like people. (You can also go an experimental step further by making some assumptions and testing out what you think you know about them.)
Now, instead of only talking directly to Bill, you’re reaching Bill and all the people that look like Bill at some level (e.g., gender, loyalty program status, location, purchase history, etc.). This is where you go from batch-and-blast to batch-and-blast better. It’s all about leveraging what you already have to make your emails more relevant to your customers.
Too often, email marketers get caught up in thinking there needs to be 900 versions of an email. (Here’s a little secret: There doesn’t.) Remember, Bill doesn’t care if someone else gets the same email. He cares that the message in the email you send him is relevant to something he wants or needs.
Ramp up email’s ROI by making the most of your data
It’s easy to get sold on the idea of a one-to-one journey based email program, because for the modern-day marketer, it really is the ultimate goal. But what if you don’t have enough data to support it? Or the infrastructure and manpower to get you where it’s promising to take you?
If those questions hit a sore spot, it might be time to consider working with seasoned data analysts who can help you effectively start to bridge that gap by making the most of the data you do have. This kind of expert support can promise marketers:
- Optimized data (e.g., identification of breakpoints in your data that differentiate one group of customers from another)
- Increased (email) marketing ROI
- A strong case to grow your department (hire a second creative!)
- A chance to finally entertain the idea of one-to-one marketing
Working with the right partner will help you define, enable and deploy successful email marketing initiatives through analytic consulting work that drives and validates customer engagement strategies.