DM News' Essential Guide to E-Mail Marketing: Untangling Data Issues: A Key to Relevant E-Mail

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Today's multichannel e-mail marketer understands the importance of relevant messaging, but many programs barely have moved beyond campaign-by-campaign mass marketing.


Often it is not lack of data or access to capable e-mail technology that is the roadblock. The barrier is in calling into play all that rich data from multiple sources and in different formats, turning the data into relevant messaging.


For Jones Apparel Group, the solution came from Yesmail and implementation of an automated e-mail profiling system.


Jones, a key player in the apparel and footwear industry, operates e-commerce sites for three of its brands: www.ninewest.com, www.easyspirit.com and www.bandolino.com.


Since NineWest.com was launched six years ago, Jones has collected customer information across multiple channels. But the process of analyzing information, extracting certain fields of information and then formatting and exporting the data in ways that deliver personalized e-mail messages to shoppers was time consuming.


Jones had rich detail providing a 360-degree view of the customer from the beginning, but it was a full-time job to dynamically customize about seven elements in each customer's e-mail.


Enter the Yesmail Enterprise e-mail application and Yesmail's client engineering team and data integration specialists. The result is an automated e-mail profiling system that integrates disparate data sources to create dynamically customized interactive e-mails reflecting a unified view of each Jones customer.


The solution automates the process of synthesizing data from Jones' Web sites and cash registers with e-mail behavioral data. The combined customer profile includes critical information such as shoe size and width, channel activity, loyalty status, geographical proximity to stores and the customer's own store preference.


Yesmail brings to bear explicit, implied and inferred data and uses extensive logic to fill in holes where data are missing or aren't clean. Yesmail also automates the collection and synthesis of data enhancements and processes from third parties, such as ECOA and e-mail append.


The benefits of this automation are enormous. Jones has delivered multichannel personalization, reduced staff costs and refocused the marketing team on marketing strategy rather than data manipulations. Also, the data for every brand are in an ever-ready state to deploy an e-mail with full dynamic customization.


The result of Jones' multichannel personalization is that relevant newsletters focus on the customer's interaction with the brand, not just one of the channels.


Messages are customized to reflect recent store and Web activity, prompt for updated street address and feature ads customized for the customer's shoe size and width. Customers who meet spending thresholds are managed in a loyalty program within the existing message stream.


A streamlined online marketing program is helping Jones generate response rates and other metrics above the industry average. Deliverability and open rates are consistently higher and click-through rate is three to four times higher than retail benchmarks.


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