These two retailers have created a symbiotic partnership that enables both to acquire new customers. This is a grand example. Brands that find high concentrations of Starbucks customers among their email subscribers can start small by offering free coffee as promotional gifts.
3. Winning the Undecided Vote
The same overlap analysis that uncovers great media and partnership opportunities will inevitably reveal not all of your customers are loyalists. Some have a foot in both camps, receiving and reading messages from your direct competitors. Just as you tailor content to subscriber segments based on the preferences they selected when they signed up, you should segment your loyal customers from your "undecideds."
Further analysis of overlapping segments can show you which marketer wins more attention, which offers get subscribers to cross party lines, and what content (yours or theirs) resonates with your shared audience. Winning the hearts, minds and ultimately, orders from these subscribers is more than a competitive exercise—crafting an email program that earns their loyalty strengthens customer relationships and boosts your email marketing performance overall.
Tom Sather is Return Path’s senior director of email research. Tom uses his knowledge of ISPs, spam filters and deliverability rules to advise marketers on how to get their email delivered to the inbox. He began his Return Path career as an email deliverability consultant working with top-brand clients like eBay, MySpace, IBM and Twitter. Tom’s previous experience includes roles with email service provider Experian and on the abuse desks for AOL, Bellsouth, AT&T and GTE.