Use Purchase Behavior to Create Relevant and Personalized E-Mail

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Marketers today are being told that the days of the batch-and-blast e-mail are over.  Instead, the goal is to create relevant, customized e-mails that speak directly to the recipient, creating a one-to-one relationship with each individual consumer on your e-mail file. 
The benefits of sending relevant communications to consumers are many.  Marketers who have employed the techniques that will be discussed below have seen conversion rates double, seeing increases of more than 100 percent in average order size and increases of 70 percent to 150 percent in revenue per e-mail. 
In addition to double- or even triple-digit increases in revenue per e-mail and conversion rates, other benefits can include better customer relations and lower opt-out rates.  Most marketers will agree that they want to send more relevant campaigns, but the question is how.
The foundation for creating more relevant communications is data.   Understanding the overall behavior of your customers across retailers and channels is the basis of an effective communications strategy. 
Examples of purchase behavior data and how it can be used include:

RFM. When was the last time you heard from your customer?  Are your consumers actively purchasing in the market? A consumer who buys from you multiple times a year will be motivated to purchase differently from someone who has not bought from you in the last 13 months. 
By using RFM (recency, frequency, monetary value) in segmentation strategy you can develop campaigns that acknowledge the loyalty of your most frequent shoppers. You also can develop separate campaigns designed to re-engage a consumer who is actively purchasing in the market but who has not bought from you.

Past product purchases. If you have a broad product offering, you may have customers who consistently only purchase from one or two of your product categories. Tailoring your messages based on the types of products that consumers have a demonstrated interest is one of the most powerful ways to create relevance.
Putting the right set of products in front of a consumer in the body of the e-mail message can have a dramatic effect on conversion and revenue.

Behavioral. Multichannel consumers have a variety of options when making a purchase. They may see an item that they like in a catalog and then go online to purchase. They may see an item in an e-mail that they like but then go to a store to purchase. 
When analyzing purchase data to create a segmentation strategy, looking at behavior in a single channel may only give you a piece of the overall picture for a specific consumer. 
Marketers can achieve the segmentation discussed above by using both housefile and outside data. 
For example, catalogers who are members of a cooperative database can get an overall picture of a consumer's behavior among other participating members.  This insight is invaluable in creating a segmentation strategy.
Using all of the data that is available to you to segment buyers and send the most relevant offers increases both customer satisfaction in the communication they receive from you as well as your revenue. 
Not every e-mail will appeal to every consumer every time.  However, by looking at the purchase behavior of your consumers' patterns it will appear that can help guide your overall communication strategy and ensure that your messages are relevant to the recipient.

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