When email campaigns perform badly, the culprit is usually targeting. With effective targeting, every single email can be a great performer.
Segmentation is one way to improve your targeting. It will make more of your emails better performers.
Segmentation is one approach to understanding and recognizing your customers’ tastes. Segmentation allows you to improve targeting by putting your customers into buckets based on shared attributes like age, location, or gender.
This helps more of your emails get to the right customers at the right time. However, you still miss out on opportunities due to the fixed nature of segmentation.
Once your customers are placed into neat little buckets, you can make assumptions about the content to deliver to each group.
But remember, segments are static. Once a customer appears in a segment, they stay there, regardless of any behavioral changes.
For example, let’s say a customer is in your “Men’s apparel” segment. But within the data, the shopper regularly clicks through email creatives that display promotions related to “Women’s apparel”.
Although this customer is in the “Men’s apparel” segment, they might be shopping for a gift. Your customers are dynamic – their tastes and preferences will adapt over time, and your messaging needs to adjust to those changes.
If your emails are targeted based on segments, this customer might not receive your next “Women’s apparel” segment email, even though they’ve shown a high prediliction to engage with this content. That is a missed opportunity to provide a customer with the most relevant content, at the time they are most likely to convert.
You have creatives and content focused around the “Women’s apparel” theme, which are highly targeted for this specific customer at this specific time. With segmentation, you will miss that opportunity entirely.
This is one example of why you need to advance further than full-file sends and basic segmentation to develop a customer-centric email program.
Instead of segmentation, there is a better way to reach customers and make every email a top performer.
Predictive analytics is the BEST way to understand customer preferences in real-time. And it will make ALL of your emails great performers.
Each customer on your email list is dynamic with changing tastes and preferences. It is critical to understand how each email nudges them closer to loyalty or, conversely, closer to an unsubscribe.
Your customer doesn’t have a preference for “email” – email is the vehicle used to deliver content to them. To tailor content to their tastes, you need to understand the impact of each piece of creative
As their tastes change, the ideal piece of content to send them will change as well. This reflects why segmentation is not an effective solution – it’s too slow.
This is the tremendous advantage of a machine learning-based approach. With machine learning, you can leverage all the data points from your email marketing to predict a specific customer’s future behavior.
And by breaking up emails into creatives, you can predict how to build each email. This results in a paradigm shift in email marketing. Instead of building emails, customers can opt in to the content that they want to receive – all in real time.
With predictive analytics, it is not uncommon to see 100%+ click lift over a segmentation-based approach.
Using predictive analytics to determine the creative that should be sent to each customer will turn every email and every piece of creative into a winner.
At Coherent Path, we’ve fully automated your email targeting. All you need to do is set the strategic objectives for each event. Click here to learn how it works.
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