The tools build on the vast amount of information Google knows about consumers.
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"E-mail is one of the top applications consumers access on their smartphones, so retailers want to be sure to create their e-mail templates using responsive design so content not only renders properly on smartphones, but other devices," Taylor says.
Another challenge retailers face in using e-mail as part of a personalized, cross-channel marketing strategy is determining how e-mail marketing contributes to sales in other channels, particularly if the consumer does not click through in response to a message. In these instances, retailers can link loyalty program activity data to e-mail to determine if a consumer who received an e-mail purchased in a store.
"Through linkage techniques employed by its database team, a retailer can link the purchaser to the promotional event and make a confident allocation of the sale," Hassemer says. That store transaction data adds another data point that e-retailers can use to personalize future e-mail messages.
Ultimately, striking the right personal and conversational tone in e-mail comes down to delivering compelling, relevant content in a timely manner. "Engaging consumers on a personal level is all about having the right package of design, subject line, content and call to action, and evolving that package as consumers' interests and behaviors change," Taylor says.
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