There has never been a more exciting time to be an email marketer. Email continues to prove itself as a critical component of every content marketing strategy, and email revenue is up once again YoY.
There is a big opportunity for email marketers to elevate the inbox experience in 2018 to meet the growing expectation of their audience by delivering a unique, personalized experience specifically designed for each individual reader. But how?
Watch this recorded webinar from OneSpot and Campaign Monitor to learn how to:
Jason: Good morning. I’m Jason Dan, the Director of Marketing here at Campaign Monitor. And I wanna thank you for joining Campaign Monitor and One Spot today for our webinar on elevating your email engagement with Advanced Segmentation and Individualization. We’re excited to have Damien Borichevsky, SVP of Customer Success at One Spot with us this morning. And we’re looking forward to sharing our tips on how Segmentation and Individualization can help you create personalized email content and improve your overall email efforts.
Before we get started, there is a few housekeeping items I’d like to cover right now. We are recording this session and the recorded version will be sent out within the next 24 hours. So if you can’t stay for the entire presentation, you’ll have access to the recording to watch at your convenience. Also, we will be saving some time for questions at the end, so please use the live chat window in the bottom right-hand corner to submit your questions as they come up, and we’ll do our best to get to all of them at the end of the presentation.
So as everyone on here probably realizes, email continues to prove itself as a critical component of almost every marketing strategy, regardless of your industry or business model. But it’s also the reality that the inbox is getting incredibly crowded. One reporter by the Radicati group estimates that 225 billion emails were sent daily in 2017. And next year, that number will grow to 235 billion. So email success is also somewhat its greatest threat. With an ROI of $44 for every dollar invested, it means that everyone is using email. But you have to do it well, or you simply won’t stand out in the inbox. So today, we’re here to focus our discussion on two major ways that you can stand out by delivering the most relevant content and well-rounded inbox experiences for your consumers through Advanced Segmentation and Individualization techniques. So let’s get started.
First off, what is Segmentation? Basically, it’s grouping and arranging your email lists based on set criteria. This can be data that you collect in your subscription forums or from other systems of records like your e-commerce platform, reservation system, CRM, etc. But Segmentation helps you target your email content, your offers, and your messaging to smaller groups of people based on shared characteristics. And the goal of Segmentation is to give you a way to leverage dynamic content and messaging that is more personal to each segment and increases the likelihood that they will open and take action on your email.
Now, there are several benefits of Segmentation, one of which is we’ve seen a 760% increase in revenue from segmented campaigns versus mass email marketing. So by segmenting, people are increasing engagement through content that is more relevant to specific interest or demographics. Seventy-four percent of online customers say they’re frustrated if they hit content that isn’t relevant to their interests. And again, we’ve seen 7% of ROI actually comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered email campaigns. So there’s a great benefit to be had.
Now, let’s look at some of the traditional Segmentation techniques. First one we’re looking at is geolocation. So by incorporating the location of the reader, you can do several things that make your email to better resonate with them. One of those might be promoting storage-specific information for physical retail locations that your company has. But you can also use imagery and language that speak to their location and show that you realize where they are. You can also create offers that are more relevant to that specific reader and we feed it and other forms of marketing to. According to Vurb mobile, geo-targeted mobile campaigns performed over 50% better than non-targeted campaigns. It’s just human nature. The same holds true for the in the email space. Relevancy of your email makes a difference on open and click-through rates.
Here’s a specific example from Campaign Monitor itself. We ran an internal test on our own email that was going out to our audience. And when we use dynamic image content based on the location of the reader, we actually saw a 29% increase in click-through rate as compared to the version that had a generic static image. So beyond geolocation, there are several different data points that you can gather from both the demographic and a backend systems point of view. And you can use these two segments in different ways based on gender roler industry, specific interest, subscription status, or product group, purchase history, VIP status. These are all just different examples of ways that you can segment your list based upon data that you’re gathering within your subscription forms or through your backend systems.
Again, by breaking down your audience using this kind of data or a combination of data points, you create a more personalized email experience for each segment, which again increases the relevancy and therefore allows you to stand out in the inbox. Now, Segmentation does take some work and initiative to gather that data and make sure it is in your DSP and in your email strategy. But it’s shown to increase open rates by up to 14% and clicks by up to 54%. Here’s a quick example just from a DS. As you can see, they’ve segmented their new original offer based on demographic info they’ve collected. So when they built the email, they use dynamic content that spoke to different parts of their audience that increases the likelihood of them to click and make a purchase.
So now that we’ve covered those more traditional ways to segment, we’re gonna up-level the conversation to talk about Behavioral Segmentation. So what is Behavioral Segmentation? Well, basically, it’s just pretty much what it sounds like. While traditional Segmentation involves more static data points that you’ve collected, this involves breaking down your audience based on behaviors they have taken, either on your website or with an email and this allows you to create an even more personalized experience than static data. One way to think about this is that Behavioral Segmentation is a combination of creating buckets based on time, frequency, and spend or interaction. So this allows you to really hone in on who your target audience is that is most likely to convert or take action and then create email content specifically for them.
So let’s take a look at what’s involved in Behavioral Segmentation. First off, you’re capturing website activity. And you’re able to segment based on the type of content they visited, the frequency of those visits, what they viewed on your website, what device they were using, whether it was mobile or laptop, the data, the activity, all kinds of data that you can pull into your email Segmentation strategy based upon how these people are interacting with your web properties. So for example, if you know that people who’ve been at your pricing page are five times more likely to convert, you can create a segment that targets all your visitors that came within the last week who hit your pricing page five times but didn’t buy. And you can send them specific email messaging that encourages them to convert and meet their specific needs or interests.
Secondly, another thing you can segment by through behavioral is transactional data. So this includes things like recent purchase history and activity or how much the person has spent over their lifetime or on average when they shop with you or use your services. Things like the category of the products that they purchased or what their subscription level might be if you’re a SaaS company or a tech company. But you’re able, again, to use this transactional historical data that’s also based on time to create extremely impactful segments that you can send these emails to that speak to your audience in a very specific way.
So another example, it’s like a VIP shopper who spent $500 in the last six months on your site, visits your sales page, you can put them in a segment that sends them special VIP discounts to encourage them to make a purchase. There are multiple different avenues you can explore and how to set this up. But again, all of this allows you to create very specific segments based on the behaviors of your readers and your website visitors that allows you to be very personal. And all this have an impact. According to Monity, marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when they offered each personalized experiences.
Finally, you can capitalize on this attempt by triggering automated email nurtures based upon actions they take as well. So rather than just creating a segment based on their activity and their behavior, you can actually trigger specific-automated journeys to fire based upon how somebody interacts with your web property or certain actions that they have taken. So if user did X, Y, Z on your website, for example, you can automatically send them an email nurture that influences them to take the type of action you want. This is a great channel for cross-promotional opportunities that are encouraging people to take that final step towards a purchase. But again, it’s a way to send relevant email content that actually have can increase the lifetime value of a customer because it’s based on specific actions that they’ve taken that show you that they’re interested.
We’re gonna take a look at one example of a company that’s leveraging behavioral email marketing and this is Canadian travel company Flight Center. So they compile data from their email, their social properties, their website, and their backend systems and they pull it all into Campaign Monitor. And with that data, they’re able to create highly targeted segments for their newsletter which is called the Club Read. And based on the customers’ interests and behavior and engagement with their marketing properties, they’re able to segment and trigger automated journeys with personalized vacation offers that insent higher bookings.
By combining all these behavioral data points, they segment their lives in several different ways. So one segment is for a Club Read cruise. So this will contain their subscribers who indicated they’re more cruise enthusiast and flight enthusiast. Another is their luxury lines of Club Read luxury which contains subscribers whose behavior and previous spend indicates an interest in luxury travel. They even segment out there millennial subscribers who engage…they engage them with travel tips and ideas that point to Flight Center social channels. But each of these are segments that they have a combined demographic data and behavioral data so that each recipient gets an offer that is personalized and more likely to encourage a conversion in a purchase of a trip.
Since implementing this Segmentation strategy, they’ve seen a 57% increase in click-through rate so it’s been highly effective for them and now their Club Read newsletter contributes approximately 20% of Flight Center total sales. So this is powerful and shows the effectiveness that actually really focusing on a personalized approach through Segmentation can have on your email program.
So now that we’ve talked through the ways that you can elevate Segmentation through incorporating behavioral email marketing with Campaign Monitor, I’d like to hand it over to Damien at One Spot. And he’s gonna discuss how you can take it up a notch and execute one-to-one Individualization by leveraging machine learning and natural language processing technology that delivers insight from all of your behavioral data. So over to you.
Damien: Yeah, thanks, Jason. Thanks for having me today. Looking forward to discussing this with you guys. As Jason mentioned, Segmentation is definitely a valuable tool in email marketing. It’s really the fundamental part of a lot of email programs. And what we’re doing at One Spot, we’re happy to talk about today is introducing Individualization into email as really taking Segmentation down to the next level.
So what is email Individualization? Email Individualization is achieved by using machine learning to automatically select content for each subscriber based on their behavioral characteristics. So thinking back to the examples that Jason was using around Segmentation, segments are built based on behavior. People have certain attributes. They’re putting the certain segments. Individualization is looking at that taking you down to literally a segment of one and saying that this person has certain traits and certain behavioral history that is predictive of what they would be interested in.
So let’s look at what the difference between Individualization and Segmentation is. As I mentioned before, Segmentation is based on somebody attributes, somebody’s behaviors and grouping them together based on similarities between those behaviors. Whereas Individualization requires machine learning to analyze somebody’s past behavior, the context they’re currently in and look alike analysis to determine the best set of content for that individual. Now, these two are not mutually exclusive. They can be combined for very effective campaigns. Going back to the Flight Center example that Jason used, if we were gonna put together segments based on somebody’s preference for vacation type, let’s say, beach versus snow, we could then individualized within those segments to give you a really refined experience.
So how does Individualization work? Content for each email is gonna be selected based on a combination of editorial control and then the individuals experience and behavior that they’ve demonstrated with the brand. So there’s nil if they’re logic or dynamic content modules required to execute this and that’s really a key distinction. Individualization is truly one-to-one an algorithmic based, whereas Segmentation is based on a set of decision trees or business rules. And that’s a core difference between the two. When applied correctly, Individualization takes very little work and upkeep since the machine is making a large part of the decisioning.
The result of this is that we send one campaign out the traditional batch and blast approach, which has been shunned an email community for years. We’ve actually changed that to really be badging and personalizing or batch me and individualized now. So you send out one email, and we might deliver hundreds of thousands of different versions that email because each person is gonna be treated individually.
Now, there’s a trap to get into where you think that content, you know, articles, recipes, blog posts, videos, belonging newsletters, and that’s really something that I think we need to get past in the email space. Content can be applied across any different type of email communication, whether it’s transactional, work confirmations, cart abandonment, emails, promotional emails talking about sales, and also the traditional content newsletter. So we see clients using content across all different types of email very effectively.
The benefits of Individualization are numerous. First, it just improves the overall experience for your subscribers. You’ll have a better email program when you’re delivering more relevant content to each individual. We see performance increases across the board. We typically measure this in terms of click to open rate. So once we get someone to open a message, what’s the likelihood that we can get them to click? And what we see is when the machine learning is used to curate the content, it outperforms individuals and editors curated content. It’s just a numbers game. The machine has billions and billions of data points to refer back to make a decision and humans are limited in what they can use to make that decision. So we always see the machine outperform humans.
There’s also huge benefit on the operational efficiency side. It takes a lot of time. With every additional segment you set up, that’s one other group of content you have to put together for that segment. So the more granular you’re getting Segmentation, the more time it can take to set up and maintain those segments. So we do see our clients that are using Individualization save a lot of time in generating their content newsletters and using content and other types of mailings. And finally, Individualization and machine learning lets you take advantage of your content longer. You know, we surface content that’s been otherwise dormant for months or years of some of our clients. Finding that right piece of content that’s evergreen, that’s sitting there in your content library that’s right for this person can really extend the life of each content asset you create.
So let’s look at an example. This is a client of ours who used Individualization and machine learning to add recipe content into their newsletters that was personalized for each subscriber. Before we started working with them, they did very light Segmentation. They had one list for vegans and one list for everyone else in their newsletter list. And it took them a lot of time to put these newsletters together. They were spending multiple days of effort getting a newsletter ready in these two different versions. Once we went in and started working with them, we changed the process. Instead of selecting 7 pieces of content for each segment of our newsletter, so a total of 14 pieces of content, they selected 1 piece of content to lead for the vegan list, and 1 piece of content to lead for the non-vegan list. And then our machine learning tool picked the rest of the content to complement that lead article for each of their segments.
So they created two segments and then within those segments we individualized. And as a result, we were sending out hundreds of thousands of different combinations of content to a list of several million people. What we saw was that once we started using machine learning in a strict A/B test against their hand curation, we increase the click to open rate by an average of 25% over about a three-month test. And we also saw that the time it took them to create this mailing went from multiple days down to about 30 minutes. So we pretty much limited their curation time and also increased their effectiveness and their engagement at the same time. So it’s really a win on two fronts.
Another thing that we’ve seen, and this is across the board, all of our clients, all over industries is that people that consume more content, we call them active content consumers, these are people who read at least three articles over a 30-day period. And these type of people are significantly more likely to take action. And we saw that in this case study as well. People that read three or more articles were three times more likely to take action, like finding a store or signing up for newsletters or visiting promotional materials. So this is more of a benefit of content engagement in general. But we find that there’s a strong correlation between people that consume content and people that take action.
So that begs the question, why isn’t everybody doing this? One study that we conducted recently with the Relevancy group showed that 44% of marketers cited lack of internal buy-in is the reason that they’re not doing more Individualization. And I actually just got back from, you know, insider summit in Deer Valley. And there’s a lot of talk about using machine learning, using artificial intelligence and email. And there’s actually a lot of fear out there. There’s a lot of fear that this is an overwhelming process that’s gonna take months, if not years, to implement and to implement effectively. And I think that a lot of marketers are just afraid of taking that on. And I think that that is really a mistake.
And we set out to work with our clients to make it really easy to implement this great technology. We’re launching our clients in weeks, not months. And there’s a really, really short ramp to getting this going. On day one, the machine gets so much data in a short period of time that it’s able to make really good decisions really quickly. So we’re hoping that we can help our clients get over this hurdle and get the buy-in internally and realize that it’s not a multi-year process to implement a great technology like this.
Jason: Awesome. Well, thanks, Damien. That was great. We hope everyone here understands the power of Advanced Segmentation and of Individualization. I really encourage all of you guys to take a look. Clearly, the numbers speak for themselves. And it’s a powerful way to really create those personalized email experiences. And like we said, moving forward, that’s gonna have to be the new norm in the email space or you’re just gonna get drowned out by all the other email. So thanks again. But before we end, we do have time for some Q&A. And so I’ll go through the ones that we have here. First one, “How can you collect the website data you need to set up for Behavioral Segmentation?” Great question.
But also you have like third-party application data that you’re trying to leverage. So maybe you have a product like software product or mobile app or a booking system or actually anything that’s in like a data warehouse and your backend systems. You can use an API to pull that data in directly and start leveraging within your Behavioral Segmentation.
All right. Second question, “Implementing yet another tool into our stack to elevate from Advanced Segmentation to Individualization seems like a daunting task. What does implementation consist of? Damien, I think this is for you.
From there we’re working with existing API with our or ESP partners like Campaign Monitor to actually deploy the content and get that content into the email messages. So like I mentioned before, we typically have our clients up and running anywhere from three weeks to six weeks from the time we signed a contract and there’s really not much of an ask on the technical side from the client aside from putting that tag in place. We work with existing templates to build the actual modules and they get dropped into your emails and working with the existing functionality inside the ESP to deliver.
Jason: Great. So second question, “Is the email Segmentation available to all Campaign Monitor users?” Unfortunately, no. This actually is part of the advanced plan only at this time. So currently, if you’re not on the advanced plan, you just have access to traditional Segmentation. But if you are interested in just learning more about that, I just recommend you go to are the feature space of our site and you can read about the all the things you can do with Behavioral Segmentation. But unfortunately, it is just for advanced. Okay, final question, “With holiday being a high email volume time for us, can you give us some examples of how I could use Individualization in transactional emails?”
Damien: Yeah, absolutely. And we’ve got a couple of great used cases for this. Let’s say that you are selling, you know, baking and kitchen products, and somebody abandons a waffle maker in their shopping cart, the traditional method is, you know, 30 minutes later, maybe you send a cart abandonment email out that has that waffle maker in it along with maybe one or two other products. So what were we able to do with Individualization is to include inspirational content with that product in that abandonment email. So if somebody abandons the waffle maker, now 30 minutes later, they get an email with that waffle maker, but also with three waffle recipes that have been individually selected for them based on their browsing behavior on that site.
Likewise, let’s say they purchased a waffle maker, instead of sending them just a traditional confirmation email or ship confirmation, we now can include individualized content within those transactional messages, improving the overall customer experience, and just getting them started the right way with your brand. So we’re looking at lifetime value of these customers. You know, a lot of our clients are really trying to create a lifestyle around their brand and adding inspirational content into these transactional promotional messages really helps tie somebody to that brand.
Jason: Thank you. That was all the question we had time for today. Any other questions, we’ll be sure to get back to you on those. Again, Damien, I wanna thank you for attending. We hope you guys learned some valuable insight. And if you have any questions around One Spot or Individualization, please feel free to reach out to Damien. He’d love to talk with you guys. And feel free to contact me as well if you have any further questions around Behavioral Segmentation. Thanks again, and we look forward to having you at the next webinar.
With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.Try it for free