Use Behavioral Data To Supercharge Your Email Marketing

Mike Canarelli

While most people understand the power of email marketing when it comes to growing a business, few companies actually do it right. One way to supercharge your email marketing is to do what the bigger companies do and let customer behavior habits drive your campaigns.

Despite research demonstrating that well-executed email marketing can bring investment returns of up to 4,400% (that’s $44 for every $1 spent, in case you’re wondering), smaller companies are still reluctant to spend the money. They believe that because they don’t have the financial resources of Amazon.com or OkCupid or Twitter, they can’t afford to target customers and prospects properly.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

While it’s true that the bigger companies have much more sophisticated and proprietary methods of collecting and deploying behavioral data, there are simpler and less expensive ways to reach similar results.

Believe it or not, you probably use behavioral data all the time. If you’ve ever reached out to a customer or client you haven’t seen in awhile to get them back to your store or office, you’ve engaged in behavioral marketing. Identifying inactive customers and targeting them based on their lack of activity is one of the most important components of behavioral marketing.

Collecting behavioral data doesn’t have to be complex. Simply coming up with a list of former customers or clients is one way to do it. Installing a tracking plugin on your website is another. Tracking software isn’t expensive, and it usually pays for itself before very long.

Once you’ve collected and analyzed the data, you can start segmenting it and targeting those areas of your market individually.

For example, if someone created an account on your site but never bought anything, your email to them will revolve around new products or services. If they put something in their cart, but abandoned it, you can send them a reminder email with that product and others.

For those who purchased products a year or two years ago, you can increase repeat purchases by cross-selling and upselling. If a customer purchased a coffee maker last year, you may want to email them images and prices of newer versions of the product. Or you can send them discount codes for ancillary items such as paper cups, swizzle sticks or different blends of coffee.

To start using behavior data to jump start your email conversions, you’ll need the right tools. The basics include:

  • Online tracking tools
  • Landing pages
  • Product recommendation engines
  • An email marketing platform

Given the ROI, investing in these tools is not costly.

When it comes to putting everything together, no other company in the world uses behavioral data in its email campaigns quite as effectively as Amazon.com. Not only has the e-commerce giant changed the way most people shop online, it has also forever changed the way marketers look at email campaigns. Here’s how they do it:

1. Tracking

It’s easy to see how tuned in to your buying patterns Amazon is simply by navigating to your Amazon.com homepage. Comparing it to that of another online seller will reveal vastly different content, but you’ll get an idea of how other online retailers incorporate buying patterns into their marketing. While it may not be possible to duplicate Amazon’s efforts precisely, the lesson here is to gauge some semblance of your user’s behavior and target your emails accordingly.

2. Urgency

Each year around Christmas, Amazon creates urgency in their emails by sending you reminder emails alerting you to expiring promotions, dwindling stock, or purchasing delivery deadlines. Amazon knows that consumers tend to respond to urgency. This type of dedication to data is what will drive sales if you incorporate these same devices into your email marketing initiatives.

3. Personalization and segmentation

Amazon is the master at personalization and segmentation. Emails from Amazon always address consumers by name, and are so ingeniously segmented that one often feels that Amazon is reading your mind. Amazon, like your business, should be constantly using A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t so you can fine tune your offerings to existing and potential customers.

4. Mobile optimization

The importance of being optimized for mobile cannot be underestimated. Making your e-commerce site mobile friendly can increase your email conversions by up to 53%! If you send out an interest-generating email and your consumers have to tweak and resize your site on their phone, you will lose sales due to the inconvenience.

Using behavioral data to jump start your email marketing efforts doesn’t have to be expensive. Using the right tools the right way can help you mitigate your investment and maximize your returns.

Get more insight on optimizing your mobile site, and other ways to drive online and in-store sales, in Our Digital Planet: See It, Click It, Touch It, Buy It.


About Mike Canarelli

Mike Canarelli is the CEO and Co-Founder of Web Talent Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As the force behind Web Talent, Mike lays the foundation for his clients’ success by applying his experience, expertise, and passion for excellence to every account. His mission, and the mission of the agency, is to partner with clients to deliver exceptional results. Mike’s leadership and resolve has driven Web Talent to the upper echelons of the Internet marketing industry. His commitment to fair and honest principles has ensured Web Talent remains focused on scalable long-term solutions for its clients, rather than quick fixes and short-lived remedies. Mike holds a B.S. from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management where he studied Entrepreneurship and Management Information Systems. After six years as a freelance designer/developer he founded Axis Creative Group in 2006 and later merged with Web Talent SEO in late 2010. Although the business occupies much of his time and energy, Mike still finds time to enjoy an active lifestyle with his wife, Natalya, and their dog, Chester.