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Discover Your Sweet Spot for Email Marketing with Automation

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by: Todd McCormick (@TMcCormick2011)
21 March 2013

Whether you’re marketing in a B2B or a B2C context, to successfully target today’s customer, a new style of email communication is required, one that incorporates messages triggered by customer actions and behaviors, and speaks to the specific interests of each unique buyer when he’s most receptive. Using the right automated tools to capture online behaviors and deliver timely behavior-based communications that are designed for the platform on which the recipient is viewing your content will save you time and provide great results.

Here are three ways automation will help you achieve outstanding results:

1) Track and trigger to target individuals quickly.
There’s much critical insight to be gained when you know what actions buyers are taking online and what Web pages they visit after opening your emails. With this data, you can zero in on their wants and deliver more relevant content.

For example, you might create email campaigns that incorporate content and messaging triggered by your customers’ behaviors— post-purchase viewing, cart abandonment, browse abandonment, purchase anniversaries, etc.  Since the content is driven by the recipient’s previous actions, relevance is certain and engagement skyrockets.

One Silverpop client, horse equipment provider SmartPak Equine, has implemented a variety of triggered messages to impressive effect. Results include:

  • 18%+ conversion rate on autoship reminders
  • $4.80 revenue per email on abandoned cart messages
  • 27% open rate on post-purchase review requests

See more examples of SmartPak’s successes in Loren McDonald’s recent posts on browse abandonment and technology integrations.

2) Automatically schedule send times with the data you glean.
Digital marketing features like Send Time Optimization (STO) automatically analyze recipient behaviors to predict the ideal message delivery time for each customer. The system delivers the messages to recipients across all time zones, on the precise day and at the exact time they’re most likely to open emails.

Understanding the unique usage patterns, needs and expectations of each individual in your database is a powerful way to supercharge your results. Just ask Little Tikes. When this multinational manufacturer of high-quality, innovative children’s products used STO to send emails in response to its customers’ critical buying behaviors, the company enjoyed the following results:

  • 20% increased open rate
  • 30% increased click-through rate
  • 75% increase in total revenue generated
  • 35% increase in the average order size

3) Design for the device.
Today, many people check their email messages on more than one device. They might skim messages on their smartphones, deleting some and leaving the rest for viewing later on a home tablet or office desktop. Knowing what your customers are actually doing (or not doing) with your email messages is critical, so your email strategy must include gleaning this data and accommodating for various devices.

For example, you may want to take advantage of responsive design (or a similar tactic) to automatically determine the platform on which your recipient is viewing your content, and then serve up a visual experience that’s optimized for the device that recipient is using.

Embracing a broader concept of email viewing on all platforms means also embracing all the environments through which customers read their emails. Acknowledging both the pain and the benefits that come with reading on a smartphone or tablet, while also recognizing that the desktop remains the most significant driver of email conversions for most companies, will put you ahead of the game.

Bottom line? If you pay hard and close attention, you can use automation to help discover your email marketing sweet spot — the most relevant content served up when and how your customers will be most responsive to it, ready to click or buy.

Related Resources:
1) Slideshare: “How SmartPak Equine Uses Lifecycle Message to Engage Its Customers Every Step of the Way
2) Blog: “STO Revisited: What We’ve Learned About the Best Time to Send Email
3) White Paper: “Multiscreen Maturation: Email Design Strategies and Tips for Connecting Across Devices


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