Consumers are drowning in emails. Faced with a flood of offers, marketers have a tough job getting consumers to open their emails let alone take the next step and engage with the brand.
Mind the Engagement Gap
Open rates (the percentage of delivered emails that were opened) have remained consistent over the last three years. However, our Email Benchmark Report on Q3 2016 which analyzed over 7 billion emails tells a different story for what happens next. Click rates (the percentage of delivered emails that were clicked) and CTO rates (the percentage of opened emails that were clicked) continue to plummet. Overall, the CTO rate has declined 12 percent from the previous year. We call this the engagement gap.
People want to have an emotional connection with a brand; yet they’re tired of batch and blast campaigns that don’t show any awareness of who they are. If digital marketing is about creating relationships, why does it often make a company look like the friend who can’t remember how much you hate sushi when making dinner plans?
Many emails’ only personalization is a customer’s first name in the greeting or subject line but that’s not enough. Marketers need to find a better way to create 1-to-1 communications with their customers.
Segmenting an email audience based on their purchase history and browse behavior (product pages they’ve visited, items they’ve placed in their shopping carts but never checked out) can close the engagement gap. This information allows marketers to deliver personalized, relevant content that will connect with customers and increase conversions.
Let’s look at some of the most cost-effective and relevant data streams that can help brands personalize their communications with consumers and increase relevance. Using data from these disparate sources to personalize communications can drive engagement and ROI:
How can you implement behavioral segmentation? What kind of offers can you make?
The key to increasing conversion is to make email campaigns smarter. If your daily promotional emails feature the right products for each consumer, they’ll drive 20-50% more in sales.1
If you’re worried the size of your subscriber list is a barrier to segmentation, don’t be. Although the amount of data you’ve collected can seem overwhelming, there are several steps that can help you simplify the segmentation process. For example, creating personas for major audience segments will help brands better understand, target and cater to different groups in their database.
According to a report by RetailTouchPoints commissioned by Data Axle, many retailers find it challenging to identify, collect and apply behavioral data.
Marketers who use behavioral data to target email subscribers are able to create more personalized communications which generally result in higher click and CTO rates that yield better conversion rates.
Besides the Engagement Gap we identified, Data Axle’s benchmark study reveals two other gaps marketers must pay close attention to in order to drive more engagement and ultimately conversions from email marketing campaigns. Gain insights into the differences between mobile and desktop click and CTO rates; as well as among smartphone, desktop and tablet purchases.
Lisa Mayer is a a B2B marketer who sees her role as helping clients and prospects find a solution to business challenges. She finds explaining how technology can transform a business to be especially interesting.