E-Mail Relevancy Crucial: JupiterResearch's Daniels

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NEW YORK - Last week's OMMA conference was focused on the agenda, "The Internet: Back On Speed." This is a good time to reassess where things are with all the new capabilities on Web 2.0, especially with e-mail.

When it comes to e-mail, still the No. 1 activity online, marketers need to get more sophisticated and focus on relevancy.

"For every 100 e-mails we send, 70 people are saying go away," said Dave Daniels, senior analyst at Jupiter Research, in his panel titled 'The Road to E-Mail Relevance: New Metrics on the ROI of Targeted Content.' "In the online channel, we have so much ability to measure and track behavior, so this shouldn't be the case."

This kind of tracking is important because consumers are receiving an average of 285 messages a week in their inbox. In order to remain relevant to customers and drive sales, Mr. Daniels said that it is imperative to target.

Most marketers today are targeting somewhat by demographic or geography, but according to Mr. Daniels greater sales come from even more refined targeting. For example, targeting customers who are clicking through e-mails differently than others. Also targeting based on past purchases, like ink for a printer a few months after purchase, when the time life of the consumable is up.

If Sprint loses a customer to Verizon, then 11 months later, when the contract with Verizon is almost up, it is time for Sprint to target the customer with a promotion to get them back.

He also recommended measuring click throughs as a list hygiene practice to help keep clean lists and follow best practices. Following best practices can often drive sales, as targeting to customers who are listening is the only way to sell.

The topic of shopping cart abandonment was raised from the audience. Mr. Daniels said that he could not believe that only 10 percent of marketers use this tactic.

But how do you target shopping cart abandonment with customers whose e-mail addresses you do not have?

"Home Depot added an opt-in for promotions feature to every page on its Web site," Mr. Daniels said. "They saw a 66 percent subscription rate increase in the first month. They tracked which page the customer signed in at, whether it was the garden section or the BBQ section and used this information to segment."

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