Email marketing requires a combination of hard and soft skills. Depending on the size and scope of your email marketing list, you have to know how to process large amounts of data about who your recipients are and how they're interacting with your messages. At the same time, it's essential to have the sales and writing savvy to craft email content that will appeal to your customers based on what your statistics tell you.
Email list segmentation based on contacts' basic information – geographic location, age, gender and other factors – and their purchasing behaviors is a well-known strategy. Other data points have more to do with your emails themselves, tracking their performance and how customers respond to them.
Software firm ConnectWise recently announced that it would be extending its platform, which was previously geared toward IT and other service providers, to email marketers by integrating it with a new cloud-powered analytics tool, Nex.to. The solution generates real-time analytics with every email send, telling marketers which of their contacts are opening the message, as well as which external links are creating the highest click-through rates, the firm said.
Data can also be analyzed from another point of view: how emails benefit the company. In a post for ClickZ, online marketing strategist Jeanne Jennings noted that she had used revenue per email (RPE) as a key indicator of success for many of her clients' email marketing campaigns. In the case of one client, Jennings was able to use increases in this figure to prove the effectiveness of sending fewer, higher quality emails.
"The key to success here isn't sending more email; it's being smarter about the email you send," Jennings wrote.
Content is key
Knowing how to deliver content that communicates your brand and draws new business is a kind of intelligence equally as essential to email success as data analysis.
In a column for Econsultancy, Tink Taylor recently pointed out that many email marketers aren't branding enough. She suggested that confirmation emails sent after a customer makes a purchase are just as opportune a time to reinforce and articulate your brand as the email that may have initially led to the sale, and that failing to do so can leave a negative impression.
"To a customer, this can feel a bit like you're saying, 'Right, we've got your money, now we don't care.' It's important to remember that this is your customer, and the purchase confirmation is a fantastic opportunity to drive loyalty while they're feeling good about your brand," Taylor wrote.