Email creates a doorway for dialogue and data capture

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Rusty Warner
Rusty Warner

Compared to traditional communication vehicles, email marketing has the potential to create powerful customer interactions at a fraction of the cost. Yet many businesses fail to see measurable results from their email marketing efforts. Company managers too often view email as a cheap delivery vehicle for traditional marketing content, instead of recognizing its unique value as a customer engagement tool.

At its core, email should serve as a doorway that invites customers into an ongoing dialogue with your brand rather than a place for dumping disconnected or poorly integrated content into your customers' lives. If your emails aren't advancing conversations, your campaigns will struggle to gain traction with your audience.

Effective email marketing recognizes the importance of measuring outcomes and engaging customers at a personal level. One example is Princess Cruises' marketing strategy, which calls for tactical emails to fill empty cabins and strategic emails to penetrate new markets. Using Alterian's Dynamic Messenger solution, Princess Cruises leveraged high-level analytics and message tracking to generate personalized content that dramatically increased customer engagement and response levels.

Multichannel data capture is critical to your e-mail marketing efforts. Instead of relying on bulk, impersonal email messaging, use the data you collect to create a segmented picture of your audience and then leverage it at the level of the individual consumer.

When it was time for an overhaul of their online customer loyalty program, Best Western identified the need to integrate their email marketing efforts with their brand's loyalty strategy. They turned to Alterian for assistance in segmenting and analyzing data to generate targeted and personalized e-mails for loyalty program participants. The outcome was a 40% increase in email click-through rates and a 30% ROI.

Marketers need to take a closer look at the role of mobile technology and social networking in brand strategies (and email campaigns). Impersonal, generic emails are often ignored by mobile consumers and social networking users, underscoring the need for segmented, personalized email campaigns that reinforce the brand.

Rusty Warner is the VP of product marketing at Alterian. Reach him at rusty.warner@alterian.com.

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