As we move into 2017 marketing executives and departments are busy finalizing their strategic plans for the coming year. Their email marketing efforts are likely front and center as studies continue to show that email is the most dependable way to reach customers and has the highest return on investment.
Still, much of email marketing success is tied to how personal and responsive marketers can make their campaigns. The companies moving closer to a 1-to-1 experience for their customers are the ones seeing the highest returns. Successfully personalized email campaigns get the responses, clicks, and conversions companies want – and quickly propel numerous other goals such as customer retention, engagement, new customer acquisition, and brand awareness.
This past November MessageGears partnered with Ascend2 and surveyed top leadership from marketing departments (view methodology) about their biggest concerns, goals, difficulties and desires for the next year (full report: “Breaking Down the Barriers for Successful Enterprise Email Marketing”). They found that 54% of enterprise email companies identified “improving email personalization” as a top priority for 2017. For those achieving this goal, they discussed their tactics for success. Based on those responses, here are three “musts” for achieving success in enterprise email marketing this year.
It’s all about the data.
It probably comes as no surprise that having access to the most current and relevant data is a key part of email marketing success. In our study 50% of the leaders polled said that enriching contact data quality was an important component but was the most significant barrier to email marketing success.
“The marketing team must have access to their quality data to do their jobs effectively.” To date, many large companies rely on multiple vendors and platforms to collect data on their customers, which creates problems when they need to access multiple characteristics quickly. However, companies that centralize more of their data are able to respond faster and with greater accuracy. The more data marketers can access, the better they can tailor responses and offers to the customer.
Timing is everything.
When it comes to personalized emails, enterprise email marketers had the most success with campaigns that were triggered by subscriber behavior and provided individualized messaging. We found that 44% of marketers said behavior-triggered emails were the most effective personalization tactic, followed by 42% for individualized email messaging, and 41% for email list segmentation.
Other tactics that successfully achieved personalization, although at a lower rate, were responsive email design, self-managed preference centers, social media integration and lastly an individualized landing page. “Enterprise organizations that stand out leverage real-time customer data to personalize even the most basic triggered messages,” the study found.
It is no surprise that most enterprise companies rely on multiple vendors, platforms, and companies to reach their marketing goals. We found that only 17% of companies relied on in-house resources alone, while 37% outsourced to a specialist, and 46% relied on a combination of outsourced and in-house resources.
However, the more vendors and technology platforms at play, the more complicated processes become. “Multiple vendors and technology solutions need to be carefully orchestrated to avoid an inconsistent and clunky experience for prospects and customer,” the study found. (By the way, marketers, you’re going to need I.T.’s help in that orchestration, so get along with them!) Meanwhile, companies who prioritized streamlining their processes and consolidating and/or combining existing technology for something new had greater success at making more data available to marketers and creating more personalized campaigns.