Engaging with customers via e-mail campaigns depends upon personalized, optimized content

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Marketers have long had the ability to deliver targeted, personalized e-mail campaigns. Techniques such as list segmentation, subject line testing, text personalization and other custom campaign settings (triggering an e-mail based on a cart abandonment, for example) are all techniques that improve engagement and e-mail click-through rates.

However, the level of understanding marketers have had about the efficacy of e-mail content has been limited. While companies may use segmented lists and optimized delivery schedules, they are less likely to know what content to show individual recipients to maximize revenue or conversion rates. This is a missed opportunity to bridge the gap between the business and the consumer, particularly when the capability to collect this information is now readily available. Truly personalized e-mail campaigns should be able to answer questions about the relationship between specific content and results. Furthermore, these marketing efforts must also test the visual elements within e-mail campaigns and work to automatically optimize them over time, based on learned behaviors.

Enter E-mail Content Personalization

E-mail Content Personalization improves the performance of e-mail marketing campaigns by optimizing the visual elements displayed to impact each recipient. By enabling senders to dynamically change images within the e-mail in real time and based on explicit delivery rules, each e-mail a consumer receives gains greater potential for click-through success. Marketers can choose to simply A/B test visual elements or to automatically personalize the content for each user at the moment when the e-mail is actually opened.

A/B Testing Visual Elements

Like on-site A/B testing, A/B testing within e-mail is a straightforward way to understand how an audience is influenced by specific pieces of content. Rather than manage multiple splits for a campaign, marketers have the ability to set specific traffic percentages for each creative alternative or to automatically allocate higher percentages of traffic, based upon the KPI of the campaign (conversion rate or revenue per visitor). Essentially, “automatic A/B” will remove poorly converting variations so that when the next user opens the e-mail, a higher performing variation will be delivered.

Personalizing through Behavioral Targeting

Using behavioral targeting on visual elements within e-mail allows marketers to personalize the content “on the fly,” essentially serving the right visual element to each user as he or she opens the e-mail. Powerful predictive algorithms can determine the content with which a user will most likely interact, and learn quickly to maximize effectiveness. This set-it-and-forget-it approach provides automation and ongoing improvement in a flexible, marketer-controlled environment.

Extending the spectrum

Pairing the relevant content of an e-mail with relevant content on the company's landing page or site is essentially the full spectrum approach of user experience optimization. Personalizing site content with targeted A/B tests or automatically delivered behaviorally targeted messages will yield improvements in user experience, engagement conversion rates and revenue.

Consumers quickly determine the value of an e-mail almost immediately upon opening it. Is it spam, or is it valuable information about a product or service relevant to the recipient? The determination lies in the e-mail's content. Marketers have an opportunity to ensure the value of their communications with consumers by testing, optimizing and adjusting e-mail campaigns, just as they would do with their website landing pages or any other valuable marketing vehicle. Through informed, direct e-mail marketing, companies can bridge the gap between themselves and their prospects and provide an engaging and consistent user experience.

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