Jupiter: Personal, Targeted E-Mails Get Better Results

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Marketers recognize that personalized e-mails targeting their customers throughout the buying and follow-up process produce better results than blast e-mails, yet most don't use these types of campaigns, according to a report released by JupiterResearch yesterday.

Instead, most marketers use broadcast and basic personalization tactics that do little to make their messages highly relevant. The "ROI of Email Relevance: Improving Campaign Results Through Targeting" study found that many e-mail marketers miss the boat on personalizing e-mails and building a relationship with customers.

Only one-third of e-mail marketers that rely on promotional offers focus on relevance, the study found. In a survey of executives at companies of $50 million or more in revenue, 33 percent said they take personalization beyond the e-mail's salutation by tailoring more than one content element. Only 11 percent use contextually relevant messages driven by segmentation, triggering and targeting of content.

Targeting customers at the right time and with a relevant offer is vital, because 60 percent of consumers who made immediate purchase decisions from e-mail did so because the e-mail contained products they were already considering, the report said.

Executives at these large firms acknowledged the problem. Forty-eight percent cited lack of integrated customer data as their top challenge.

Still, the companies using more personalization and relevance techniques are profiting. Nearly twice as many marketers using targeted life cycle campaigns, which include birthday and product replenishment messages, achieve conversion rates of 5 percent or more compared with marketers that push simple "limited time" offers.

"Adopting a life cycle approach requires additional work, but these repeatable campaigns can be set up once and then largely leveraged with little or no impact on staffing," the report said.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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