Data + Tech + Messaging = Customer Engagement

Email is not just a tactic. It’s a strategic communication channel, one that’s capable of generating an immediate response. With more digital channels, campaigns and data, messaging is becoming more complex, but managing that complexity can lead to deep, long lasting and engaged customer relationships.

Messaging can fall into the categories of being focused on the product, brand or offer. Data enables customer profiling, advanced segmentation, precise targeting, dynamic customization and unique 1-to-1 messaging.

Matt Vernhout, Chief Privacy Officer and Manager of Deliverability at Inbox Marketer outlined the parameters for his presentation at Interact 2013 with a formula for customer engagement – leveraging a combination of customer data, messaging technology and digital messaging.  Through a series of case studies, he highlighted how brands were able to more successfully engage customers.

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Case Study 1: Walgreens Demonstrates The Value of Combining Data Sets

By getting data from the Centre for Disease Control, Walgreens was able to provide value for their customer database by sending coupons to people in places of high flu density.  Walgreens’ success stems from the following:

  • Going beyond clickstream
  • Combining data sets
  • Profiling, segmenting and targeting customers
  • Leveraging on insights to drive behavior change

Case Study 2: SureBaby Provides Useful Information for Mums-To-Be

SureBaby, an online community for mums-to-be places subscribers into automated stream. Aside from sending a welcome message, SureBaby tracks the progress of their subscribers’ pregnancies and sends relevant emails based on the number of weeks a mum-to-be is pregnant.

Case Study 3: Petro-Canada Reactivates Customer Purchase Behavior

Petro-Canada runs a Petro-Points Loyalty Program for customers and enters declining purchasers into an email program. Through the automation of a dynamic eFlyer that pulls products and offers based on customer location data and postal codes, Petro-Canada were able to streamline their team and channel resources to more needed areas, going from a team of 7 to 3 people managing the program. A third of declining purchases also went back to their normal behavior.

Matt talked about how it was necessary to set up a messaging blueprint once so as to fully understand the program and what data can tell you.

Relevant content is critical, so optimize messages / campaigns, and send messages based on behavior by:

  • Automating data flow (2 ways)
  • Automating messaging
  • Using triggers and business rules
  • Designing for all devices

Case Study 4:  Publix Created A Sense of Urgency With Real-Time Messaging

Publix, a supermarket chain, created a sense of urgency among customers for their products by allowing them to sign up for alerts the moment fresh fruit reached shelves.  An engagement stream was created where customers received six touches over 31 days through email and SMS. There was a retention stream, where customers received relevant product eAlerts, as well as a loyalty stream.

Publix was able to succeed in their campaign through dynamic customization. They created personalized content using dynamic blocks, were relevant and the smarter messaging approach they took led to customer engagement and behavior change.

Case Study 5: M&M Meat Shops Targeted Behaviors To Change

Having done a lot of research, M&M Meat Shops discovered that while their customers’ lifestyles have changed over the last decade, the company had done little to keep up with those changes.  With the goals of increasing shopping frequency in a key segment and upselling new products and categories, M&M Meat Shops decided to move away from the “one size fits all” messaging approach.

They created an eMax eFlyer, which was one publication that was intended to satisfy 10 objectives. The eMax eFlyer incorporated 20% loyalty messaging, 10% new product features and 20% on brand and lifestyle messaging. It had content geared towards:

  • Purchase: Recipes, Product Suggestions
  • Segments: Content, Images
  • Shopping: Promotions, Offers

Matt concluded his presentation by emphasizing the need to tap into data, technology and messaging to become a leader in the industry:

  • Combine and condition data
  • Set up message automation and triggers
  • Segment audience to deliver relevant messaging

While personalization appears to be key to customer engagement, Matt was also quick to warn about the creep factor – mainly don’t freak your customers out by sending them information that is too personal. Remember Target?

Yep, we do too. No one wants to be confronted by an angry dad, so pretend that you know less than you do so as not to creep out your customers in sensitive situations!

Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up next week, we’re sure some people have been too busy trying to clear their work load to keep track of the latest in email news. As such, we at Message Systems thought it would be a great idea to round up some of the hottest topics in email marketing this week for your leisure reading. So without further ado, here’s what people have been talking about:

What you can learn from 1.159bn B2B subject lines

Adestra recently released results of a study where they found that people were more likely to sit up and take notice when money words like “$” & “£” (a 96% click through rate!) are in the subject lines of B2B emails. In case, you’re wondering, the word “revenue” drives click through as well. Somehow, we’re not surprised…

The Rise Of 0-to-1 Email Communications

Here’s an interesting read about how 1-to-1 communications via email, have evolved and changed through the rise of machine automation to become 0-to-1. Here’s a golden line from the article: “When targeting, relevance and scale all matter, machines win.” Do you agree? I guess that’s one point to the bots and none for us humans…

Think all your marketing automation problems are solved with the right technology? Think again

Marketing automation is a key buzz word among email marketers and here are 5 ways how not to do it right. The key to focus on in all of this is lead nurturing and not just indiscriminate email blasting.

Data privacy: Not a priority for marketers?

Online and data privacy is definitely on everyone’s mind this week with the ongoing Petraeus controversy.  A study by Edelman shows a huge disconnect between the importance placed on privacy by marketers and individuals.

10 Ways To Improve Your 2013 Email Program

Here’s a comprehensive list of a number of ways to start improving your email marketing campaigns. Do you agree with these recommendations or do you have some of your own?

And that’s it for this week’s email news round up. Stay tuned for more of the same good stuff in the weeks ahead!

Need more tips on improving your email program? Check our Email Best Practices 101 eBook!

Email Best Practices eBook