Think about the last time you bought a product online. Chances are, you were put into an email campaign and got a follow-up email from the retailer — and that email was most likely about products similar to the one you already bought.
That’s one approach email marketers use to try and keep customers engaged. Another approach is to send a set of personalized recommendations using everything they know about an individual customer’s past purchases to shape the offerings. No matter which approach is taken, it’s determining email content based entirely on past behavior.
A third approach is to use customer data to make a judgment on what products are best suited to a customer’s individual mood and tastes. And strange as it may sound, these approaches to email marketing aren’t that different from the story about three umpires and how they make their calls.
Umpire #1: “There are balls and there are strikes. I call ‘em as they are.”
The first umpire takes a literal view of the world and what retail marketers do when they craft strictly data-driven email campaigns, sending recommendations based on previous purchases. It’s an approach that might be accurate in one sense, but it often fails to address customers’ real needs.
Umpire #2: “There are balls and there are strikes. I call ‘em as I see ‘em.”
The second umpire makes his calls balancing intuition and facts. Here, email marketers are using data to create a clear view of each customer’s interests while simultaneously using purchase patterns to infer what the customer might want to buy in the near future.
Umpire #3: “There are balls and there are strikes — and they ain’t nothing until I call them!”
The third umpire uses his own judgment to make calls. This is similar to email marketers using data to make a judgment on what products will engage and delight each customer. A curated assortment based on the customer’s unique needs, and not products that have already been purchased or browsed.
Check out the full article on how to move beyond the one-size-fits-all approach to email campaigns in CEO James Glover’s recent Business 2 Community post, “There Are Balls and Strikes – How Do You Make the Right Call?“