Improve email response rates with timing and relevancy

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Stephanie Miller, VP, member relations, DMA
Stephanie Miller, VP, member relations, DMA

While consumers today are bombarded with digital information that streams in 24/7 from work, family, friends and brands, is it any surprise customers and prospects seem to have less patience than ever?

Email marketers who want to cut through all this noise are facing a thicket of questions. How can you improve conversions from your campaigns in this increasingly congested digital environment? Is it possible to pursue targets without further overloading and offending them?

For me, the answers are straightforward. If you want to improve your email response rates, you need to focus on timing and relevancy.

  • Timing. The fundamental goal of every email campaign is to reach customers when they want to hear from you with information that recognizes where they are in the buying cycle. Improve your timing by integrating data across channels and then making that data accessible in real-time.

Savvy marketers are learning to interpret behavior data from numerous online sources, including websites, social networks and evolving platforms such as location-based check-in services. In addition, they're using automated segmentation including welcome message and post-purchase upsell, as well as custom-triggered messaging such as post-download, event marketing, product key notifications and customer service alerts, to fine-tune email delivery timing.

  • Relevancy. Customers should never have to wonder why they receive emails from you. Instead, capture their attention with subject lines that appeal to their immediate needs, and only send messages that are personalized and relevant. Technology is the enabler here.

Use automated segmentation, targeting and multichannel dialog messaging (multiple messages to move prospects and customers through a sales cycle which automatically adjust to database attributes like recent behavior, demographics, firmographics and seasonal adjustments). Consumers expect individualized, informative messages that empower them to make the best choices.

Many consumers may be interested in what your company has to offer, but don't forget that each one, as an individual, is different. Consumers today want customized messages that are both timely and relevant. After all, when done right, email campaigns provide a powerful and direct connection to your customers and can create the foundation for long-lasting customer loyalty.

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