July 3, 2013, 12:01 PM

The right timing

The e-mail buzz at IRCE was all about using data to make e-mail more personal and relevant.

Lead Photo

At its most basic level, the retail world has two components: Buyers with money to spend and sellers with goods to sell. Retailers, wanting to sell, are increasingly layering data insights into their e-mail marketing communications to help them create the perfect buying moments.

Gathering and applying relevant data in e-mail marketing helps encourage these buying moments, and speakers and exhibitors at the 2013 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition last month had lots of ideas on how to make these moments happen.

Browse Manager, a new remarketing service from marketing technology firm SeeWhy Inc., puts a new spin on e-mail remarketing by introducing it earlier in the buying process. E-mail remarketing commonly refers to e-mail triggered when a consumer puts a product in her online shopping cart but does not convert. Putting the product in the cart is an overt sign of the consumer's intent to buy, and the remarketing e-mail encourages the consumer to complete the purchase.

Browse Manager goes a step back in the process, letting retailers send personalized e-mails to consumers based on their on-site browsing behavior, said SeeWhy founder and chief strategy officer Charles Nicholls at IRCE. For example, if a consumer views dresses on a retailer's site, the retailer can immediately generate a timed series of follow-up e-mails showcasing the products viewed.

Marketing services vendor Silverpop is also seeing its e-mail clients incorporate content based on previous browsing or buying behavior to personalize e-mail. Loren McDonald, Silverpop's vice president of industry relations, said retailers are connecting their customer relationship management databases to their e-mail templates, using the CRM data to personalize portions of the e-mails based on consumers' behaviors, typically from the last 30 days.

Purchase data, combined with seasonal data about clicks and opens, helped David Workman, manager of e-commerce operations at retailer Delta Apparel, pinpoint perfect buying moments during the last holiday season. Pointing to SaltLife.com, one of several e-retail sites Delta Apparel operates, Workman explained during an IRCE session how he applied trend data provided by his e-mail marketing service provider, Bronto Software Inc., to improve the effectiveness of e-mails sent the Monday after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as Cyber Monday.

Even though SaltLife.com decreased the offer value (from 30% off in 2011 to 20% off in 2012) and ran it for a shorter period (48 hours in 2011, 24 hours in 2012), SaltLife.com generated 168% more revenue from its e-mail in 2012 than 2011. It also sent the 2012 e-mail at 3 p.m. instead of 9 a.m.; Bronto analytics showed 3 p.m. as a peak shopping time, and a time where SaltLife.com's e-mail was more likely to stand out in recipients' inboxes.

Moving forward, multiple e-mail marketing vendors on the Exhibit Hall floor talked about ways merchants can further apply data to personalize e-mail marketing and make it more of a one-to-one communication. While no vendor spoken to had yet incorporated data consumers share on social networks like Facebook and Twitter into e-mail marketing, all noted they are looking at ways to do so.

allison@verticalwebmedia.com

@AEnrightIR

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

From IR Blogs

FPO

Shmuli Goldberg / E-Commerce

Five tips for winning Amazon's Buy Box during the holiday season

Negative deliveries and bad feedback will keep you from the coveted spot on Amazon.com. On ...

FPO

Jochen Moll / B2B E-Commerce

Grasping the global dimensions of B2B e-commerce

To successfully sell online to businesses around the world suppliers must get a lot of ...

Advertisement