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If you’re a retail marketer, there’s something very gratifying about receiving a personalized, promotional email message that draws you in. Like when you got that message telling you it was time to re-order your Platypus Ortho Flossers from Amazon, and lo and behold, you were about to run out!

Research shows that retailers spend a lot of time thinking about how to “get more personal” with customers. Can’t you just dive in and start doing it?

The answer is yes, thanks to many technological innovations that have occurred over the past several years. In fact, once you know where the data is and can start accessing it, you can be on your way.

Let’s break down exactly where you can start to change the tide with relatively little effort. 

Building a personalization initiative begins with data

Leveraging a shopper’s personal context is, of course, the best way to personalize an email. We can now use techniques, such as time-based targeting, geo-targeting, device targeting, and many more. Doing so requires immediately accessible real-time email data, which comes in two forms:

Native open-tIme data. This type of data provides contextual information such as location, device, time-of-open, etc., and can be used to present the right offer and creative at the time of open. And the good news is, it can be integrated into the email deployment itself instead of having to mine historical data.

With relatively small investments, Chico’s personalizes email content for 100% of its subscribers based on live customer context.

Live business-context data. This data can come from a variety of systems via real-time APIs or by webscraping. It includes information such as current pricing and product availability, rewards points, or even shipment tracking updates. Using these important data improves the message relevance greatly, and ensures the customer receives up-to-date information. Both of which are vital to boosting loyalty.

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Evine displays live package location information in its transactional messages, improving the customer experience and open rates.

While the above two types of contextual data are necessary for increasing personalization, they should not be used in isolation. Your best bet is to couple them with data you already have or are already collecting, including:

Preference data. Typically housed with your ESP subscriber-level data, this includes information such as customer name, demographics and interests. You can now collect (and even use right away) more of these details by embedding live polls or product carousels in your email messages.

Behavioral data. User-level behavior data collected via the web, email or mobile apps, are very informative and effective for boosting email engagement. Page views, product categories searched or cart abandonment information, for example, can enable you to hyper-personalize email content – even without having to segment your list or manually send separate messages.

KEEP Collective sees click-through rates rise by using behavioral data to display relevant product offers.

With these four types of data, the possibilities for personalizing email content are virtually endless. Furthermore, being able to deliver on it, right at the moment a message is opened by a shopper, means that you too can close the email personalization gap.

Driving Even More

For much more information on driving personalization and email’s role in boosting revenue for e-commerce organizations, please download Uncovering Hidden Personalization Opportunities in Retail from Liveclicker and Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Image source: Pexels

This post originally appeared on the RealTime Email blog

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