In previous posts, we explored the skills and practices that enable top-tier email marketers to outperform their peers. As Loren McDonald relates, Silverpop’s 2013 Email Metrics Benchmark Study provides further insights into the ways savvier email marketers are able to achieve superior results.
“How can you become a top performer?” asks McDonald. The three key takeaways he cites are:
- Try implementing more “triggered” emails in response to customer/prospect actions or inactions into your messaging mix
- Start thinking of your emails as dynamic content platforms that pull content in from various sources to be as relevant as possible to each recipient
- Be vigilant about verifying email addresses before adding them to the database
Triggered emails, as McDonald notes, are typically the highest-performing types of email. And indeed, for the past two years Epsilon’s email trends and benchmark studies have shown triggered emails produce higher results. In the latest study (1Q 2013), triggered email open rates were found to be 60.8 percent higher in Q113 compared to “Business As Usual” emails, and triggered click rates were 116.9 percent higher.
Top-tier marketers are able to distinguish themselves by mastering and deploying triggered systems effectively, including monitoring the sea of Big Data for opportunities and having triggered systems in place to capitalize on them immediately.
As we have seen, there is an art and science to triggered email. Technological systems and skills are required to identify triggered opportunities and respond to them in real time, while copywriting and presentation skills are needed to deliver creative content that engages and persuades.
Buyer profiles and buyer personas also enable marketers to understand prospects and deliver relevant content. Gathering demographic and psychographic information, observing and analyzing buying behavior, and molding the information into accurate buyer profiles and buyer personas is another skill that separates top-tier marketers from the pack.
As McDonald explains, the reason triggered emails are so successful is that behavior can be a strong indicator of customer and prospect interests, making emails triggered by these actions inherently relevant.
Segmentation + Personalization
The ability to personalize messaging for each individual prospect is another way that top-tier email marketers are able to distinguish themselves. Triggering typically involves segmenting your audience according to demographics, tastes and interests in order to be able to personalize messaging according to each prospect’s personality profile.
As McDonald relates, you can increase your audience’s engagement by building content into your messages that can change based on the recipient’s actions, stated interests and demographics. Experts recommend using demographic appending services to obtain the necessary information about prospects and customers.
While triggers can be based on longer-term events like customers’ birthdays and sign-up anniversaries, the hot trend today is real-time marketing in response to immediate opportunities that arise. eWay Direct CEO Neil Rosen is among the biggest proponents of real-time triggered emails delivered in response to what he calls Now Data.
The trick, says Rosen, is in the response time. It is essential, that marketers use Now Data “quickly enough to catch the customer while the customer is still on the device and still has that retailer in front-of-mind.”
Hygiene Makes a Difference
As Silverpop and other email service providers relate, dedication to consistent and effective data hygiene is an attribute that elevates email marketers to the top tier. Verifying email addresses before adding them to the database enables you to reach more inboxes while reducing bounce rates. Real-time verification at points of data entry is a practice recommended by numerous email experts.
Keeping your bounce rate low is a must-do to crack the top tier. Thus, counsels McDonald, “Remember to perform regular list hygiene to remove undeliverable addresses.”
Because recipients’ engagement is part of ISV formulas for determining your reputation, top-tier email marketers stay on top of this issue as well. As McDonald relates, “Many top performers identify disengaged subscribers, segment them and either remove them or target these inactives for reactivation, reducing possible deliverability problems.
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Photo Credit: János-Csongor Kerekes