Epsilon launches email tools powered by a collective database

Marketing services firm Epsilon launched its Email Response Network (ERN) on September 4, a combination of three email products powered by database intelligence. The ERN is designed to help brands enhance their win-back campaigns and drive conversions through email personalization. 

Epsilon chose to deploy the ERN because of three factors, according to Quinn Jalli, SVP of Epsilon’s Strategic Initiatives Group: the economic downturn, which reduced the size of marketing budgets and staff; enhanced spam filters, which make it more difficult for email marketers to ensure that their messages land in customer inboxes; and the ubiquity of smartphones, creating the need for technologies to support mobile email.

Epsilon’s three solutions within the ERN include a reactivation tool, designed to allow brands use introduce phased win-back programs for customers who have not responded to past offers.

“After 12 months of disengagement, 75% of clients stop peddling [to consumers],” says Jalli, noting that this is a missed opportunity for marketers. The reactivation tool helps brands target customers after certain intervals during which marketing emails have been ignored, pushing different offers based on the duration of inactivity.

“[After] three months without an activity, we hit them with a win-back campaign,” Jalli explains. “At six months the offer is stacked up. Our tool lets [brands] watch that consumer and possibly give them another offer.”

The reactivation tool can also be used to remind customers of abandoned shopping carts on e-commerce sites. “You fire that [reminder email] four days later, the conversion rate is phenomenal,” Jalli says.

The ERN also includes a tool called Scheduling Intelligence, through which brands can strategically schedule messages based on when an individual customer is most actively monitoring her email. Jalli claims that this tool enables, on average, a 3.5% increase in email opens and a revenue lift between 4.5% to 8%.

The final tool gives marketers intelligence around customer mobile email use. “We can ID the times when [customers are] on the devices,” Jalli says.

The mobile marketing component of the ERN is designed to reconcile the best time to target an individual on her computer with the best time to reach her via mobile. Sending emails to a consumer’s desktop when she primarily opens emails via mobile, Jalli says, can cause clients to lose up to 60% of their conversions.

The intelligence powering the ERN is provided by Epsilon’s database collective, in which participating brands can pool information about their customers’ email activity. “When consumers get to 12 months of disengagements, we run that up against the databases to see if those guys clicked [other offers] over the last twelve months, and then we retarget,” Jalli explains.

For instance, if a customer opens morning emails from Company A more frequently than afternoon emails from Company B, the latter will be privy to that information and can alter its send-out time to mornings in order to enhance its chances of reaching that particular customer.

Jalli acknowledges that overcoming consumer privacy concerns is the tallest hurdle for Epsilon, yet he insists “there’s not a database out there that offers greater consumer protection.” Jalli emphasizes that two companies participating in the database collective won’t be able to share their email lists; however, if both companies have a common customer, then they can access email data about that individual. “We’re not trying to help [brands] get email addresses,” Jalli says.  

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