Email marketers know the difficulty of putting together the right segmentation strategy. It starts with an idea, and then quickly becomes a whole lot of work to make it happen. The stress required to manage a sophisticated email campaign is tremendous and just gets bigger with the scale of customization. Systematic automation helps alleviate unnecessary work – but does not typically add deep layers of personalization for the end-user.
Lately, contextual marketing is more of a must-do in the digital world, especially with email. Layering relevant information into an email at the time of open reaches customers with a personal one-to-one dialogue. Consumers opening these emails notice increased amounts of interactive elements, contextually relevant content, and real-time cross-channel involvement. The net result is a closer relationship as communication shifts toward a customer-centric focus.
Creating Contextual Resonance in Email
Extending the email lifecycle is essentially creating a resonance with email content. Traditional static emails don’t allow content lifecycle extension after deployment, leaving up to 50% of openers with older content. Hubspot has documented that some opens are as far out as 12-days after distribution. Contextual emails keep content up-to-date for the entire duration of the campaign.
Real-Time Data at Work
Segmentation at scale
Segmentation with contextual email technology happens at the moment-of-open. Each email recipient experiences a different message based on real-time variables triggering as the email renders. An entire database could receive a unique email based on contextual information, without list segmentation.
Labor cost reduction
Previous segmentation methods required heavy lifting around list sorting, template creation, and email calendar management. Contextual email technology reduces the need for additional lists, templates, and scheduling. Individual email personalization across an entire campaign can happen with a line of code and a few minutes of targeting configuration.
Extensive standard targeting variables
Moment-of-open personalization is not restricted to customer profile data only. Many standard targeting variables are available without a database of customer information and preferences. Device, email client, mobile carrier, location, weather, time of day, language and email interaction are examples of what data can be used before profile data is included for more personal segmentation.
Example of Contextual Email Marketing
Comprehensive Moment-of-Open Personalization
Customer profile integration
Beyond standard variables like time of day and device type, customer profile data can be integrated to incorporate user-specific content. An example of customer profile data in a real-time email could be targeting previous purchase history for product suggestions, with up-to-the-minute item availability and membership discounts. No list segmentation necessary.
Peripheral channel inclusion
With real-time technology, enhanced media delivery and augmented email experiences bring cross-channel campaigns to life. Content is captured live from social media channels, websites, or custom feeds and displayed in the inbox uniquely for every opener. Email can contain the same content relevance as social media and website properties.
Contextual Segmentation logic
Personalizing email content without a customer profile can still be done effectively with standard targeting variables. But, combining customer profile information with standard real-time variables is the highest form of contextual email, reaching into both behavioral and targeted segmentation. Either way, email can carry much deeper relevance contextually with interactive properties versus static content.
The Future of Email
As email continues to evolve, inbox marketing will become more intelligent. Systems capable of utilizing customer information and moment-of-open technology will stand out from competitors. Email will feel far more customer-centric moving forward as content evolves with the client’s journey and becomes much more service oriented.
Explore more benefits of contextual email with our white paper.