8 Best Practices for Integrating Data Into an E-mail Program
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. of Marysville, Ohio, knows for a fact that there are people who enjoy watching grass grow. The company's even weeded out the ones who enjoy it so much that they want as much information as they can get about how to make it grow taller, thicker and greener.
But first, the lawn and garden care company follows best practices to add data into the e-newsletters it sends out. That way, the 355 variations the company creates each week on its primary monthly e-newsletter, the Lawn Care Update, are more likely to be personal and relevant to each recipient, says Stephanie Miller, vice president of global market development at New York-based Return Path, an e-mail performance management company. (She adds that a content management system aids in the personalization.)
Those in the field provide marketers with advice on how they can best integrate data into their e-mail programs. In addition to Miller, those weighing in include: Jordan Cohen, vice president of business development of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Pontiflex, a cost-per-lead marketplace; and Mark Smith, executive vice president of global sales for U.K.-based integrated marketing solutions provider Portrait Software.
1. Track the correlation between relevance and response, then adjust the e-mail strategy accordingly. "A deeper look into [response rate] actually analyzes what types of campaigns different customers actually respond to; whether the look or the content of the e-mail or the type of offer actually changes with the customer data that you've got on each of your customers," Smith says. "So it's a little bit like the relevance ... but it's the other way around. Relevance is all about you as the organization figuring out from the customer data what you think is relevant. Responsiveness is all about listening to the customers and actually monitoring what they do respond to and then using that next time around."