Yesmail: Personalization Sends E-Mail Response Soaring

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Targeting and personalization strategies for e-mail campaigns can triple results in some cases, according to research by online relationship marketing company Yesmail Inc.


Analyzing more than 90 million messages delivered in the first quarter of 2002, Yesmail's Data and Analytics Group found customer response rates almost double when three to six data elements are leveraged to personalize e-mail communications and triple when seven or more data elements are used.


According to Chicago-based Yesmail, data elements such as name, interests, gender, age, purchase history and message frequency preference generate a response rate of 14.8 percent compared with 4.7 percent without those elements.


For example, Yesmail said a consumer electronics company consistently garners double-digit click-through rates by using a combination of eight data elements, including product owned, model, content preference and product use, to target and personalize its e-mail. Previous campaigns incorporating only two data elements for personalization achieved half the response rate.


In addition to increasing response rates, targeting and personalization can increase the desire for customers to remain subscribed to a company's opt-in database. According to the study, messages that are not personalized receive a 0.7 percent unsubscribe rate while the highest level of personalization decreases unsubscribe rates to 0.2 percent, less than one-third of the untargeted rate.


"Yesmail believes data drives relevance and relevance drives results," said Ed Henrich, vice president, client services at Yesmail. "The Data and Analytics Group's research demonstrates the power of sophisticated personalization on e-mail marketing."


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