Eliminate wasted efforts through 'uplift' modeling

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E-mail campaigns can prove tricky if approached incorrectly, causing the marketer more harm than good. Overcoming the “delete without opening” or “open and delete” tendencies that so many of us have is a challenge for marketers. Smart marketers understand that tailored, targeted e-mail campaigns are far more effective than broad mass blasts.

An effective way for organizations to achieve that targeted messaging is to incorporate uplift modeling into their marketing strategy. Uplift is a sophisticated analytic approach to marketing that predicts the impact a marketer's actions will have on the behavior of customers. Uplift uses customer data such as interaction history, current products and services used and personal preferences to segment an audience into: persuadables, sure things, lost causes and sleeping dogs.

Persuadables are those who are likely to buy or renew as a result of the marketing contact but wouldn't have otherwise. These are the customers to target. Sure things are those who will buy or renew with or without marketing, and lost causes are those who will never buy no matter what you do. Neither of these groups are worth contacting. Sleeping dogs, the most dangerous group, are also not worth the marketing investment. Contacting these customers could actually provoke them to opt out or take their business elsewhere.

By helping organizations to focus only on persuadables, uplift modeling enables marketers to eliminate wasted time and money spent reaching out to unreceptive customers. It also helps ensure that customers only receive relevant messages, which enhances their experience and loyalty to the brand. In doing this, uplift lowers the chance that customers will “open and delete” e-mails, as they know that the message will be relevant.

In a world where we're bombarded with information, getting through to customers via the e-mail channel can prove challenging. The best approach to conducting smart and effective e-mail campaigns is to avoid blanket e-mailing and take measures to ensure that your e-mail outreach is as targeted and relevant as possible. As with so many things in life, quality trumps quantity.

Mark Smith is EVP of sales and marketing at Portrait Software, a part of Pitney Bowes Business Insight (PBBI). Reach him at mark.smith@portrait software.com.

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