Why data-driven email design and marketing really matter in 2018…

Written by John Twinn, Senior CRM Manager at Madano. 

Imagine a drive in an unfamiliar area with no sat nav or map. On this trip, the road signs are personalised to your route, meaning not having to scan old style generic signs for the directions relevant to you. Your life made faster and easier by information relevant to you. This is the goal of email marketing. Emails to engage with customers and stakeholder should be seen as signposts to direct and engage readers to take action (click) and move through a digital journey (often towards purchase or conversion).

In 2018, these signposts must become highly personal ones with content that is truly relevant to the reader.

Without relevant content, your audiences will not engage with your key messages. Relevance also helps establish trust within your email audience, the second crucial ingredient for engagement. In the past, email campaigns were served with one-size-fits-all strategies, because using data intelligence was not cost effective or possible with limited resource. But we are now in an age of Big Data and machine learning, allowing marketers to seize the opportunity to use dynamic content. The days of sending the same content to all subscribers is over. Personalisation is a key mechanism to deliver truly relevant, 1 to 1 content across the life cycle of the average email subscriber. Now utilising automation can leverage data to provide a personal experience at scale.

However, it is also important to recognise there is a balance to be struck between personalised content and allowing subscribers to “discover” content organically. We, as subscribers, want to feel valued by brands we like, but also feel we are finding content for ourselves too. This balance is a tough, yet important, one to strike.    

Analysing audience behaviour will help drill down to what is working and effective in an email strategy, especially design, and what isn’t. For instance, you might find longer content (e.g. large images or long copy) are forcing Call-To-Action buttons (CTAs) further down the hierarchy within the email, especially on mobile devices. Therefore, returning fewer clicks than shorter content might do. This can be for several reasons, including:

  • We live in a fast moving society where people don’t have the time, attention span, or the inclination to pour through long emails.
  • The CTAs are simply missed as it requires too much scrolling.
  • Giving too much information reduces curiosity, thus affecting the propensity to click through as the reader has already found enough information within the email content.

The most effective way of discovering more about your audience is to test, learn, refine and test again! Testing everything from subject lines, sender names, different content approaches and/or send times can really help to deliver key insights around individual subscriber behaviour.

It can seem daunting to move to a more data-driven approach to design, content and email marketing in general but the results will prove it all worthwhile, both for brands and their subscribers.

You can either drive with relevant directions or navigate without them. You may know where you want to go, but do you have a strategy to actually get there?

If you want to know more about how Madano (and John) can help you with your email marketing contact John at [email protected].

Follow John on Twitter for more on Email Marketing at @MailTwinn https://twitter.com/MailTwinn