Digital Marketing

Data-Driven Email Marketing for Your Business

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Natasha Waldron

Reading time: 4 minutes

Email marketing is a powerhouse when it comes to marketing your business. It’s easy to do, it keeps your brand in front of customers, and it drives conversions. It’s so successful in fact that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the ROI is $44 and with more technology available, marketers are using data to back email marketing programs, helping to keep that number high and customers interested.

Using your data to convert customers is definitely a more modern approach to business, but for many email marketers, getting to this point can be tricky. You’ve probably used data to some extent, like adding a first name to a subject line or creating lists based on purchase history. Having data about customers and knowing that it can be used for marketing is one thing, however, implementing a plan that really works for you is another. 81% of marketers find implementing data-driven email strategies to be very complicated.

Fortunately, Campaign Monitor has created the infographic The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing to help give you some insight into the objectives and challenges of using data for email marketing.

Here are some ways to start using data for your email marketing, beginning with assessing what you already have and moving on to collecting new data and how to use it for your marketing goals.

Start with what you already have

While it may seem daunting to change your email marketing to include more data-based decisions, it doesn’t have to be. You already have some data about your email subscribers, probably a first name, email address and maybe a general idea where they live. If you spent a little time looking at your email marketing data you’ll know who is reading your emails on a regular basis, clicking links and making purchases. You can also take a more in-depth look at this information and figure out where in the customer journey each person is. They may have just joined your list, been a long time customer or gone dormant. Most email service providers have this kind of data readily available and can make it easy to use it in emails or lists.

Knowing what you have is a good start for this strategy, the next step is to think about what you want to do with it. Consider what you would like to do with your emails based on your goals and ideas, don’t get hung up on what you don’t have, that can be tackled later. Data can be used to create list segments such as new leads or customers, products or services purchased in the past, or geographic location. This same kind of data can also be used to personalize an email with text (like the name of a person or a product), content or images.

Adidas has a great example of using gender data to send images specific to the email reader. Once again, a right email service provider can make this easier to implement.


All of this is data about your email subscribers that you can use to create emails that are tailored to the interests and needs of your customers. Making your email and business more important to them. But if you’re missing some critical pieces of information, there are ways to collect it.

Collect new information

So now you’ve assessed what you have and what you want to do with your email marketing, now you need to collect some new data. An excellent place to start is with your email marketing service and the tools they provide. Sending an email and asking for the information you’re missing is a simple way to get what you need.

Cotopaxi asks for a birthdate to send out exclusive email deals in the example below. Giving out a complete birthdate may make your readers pause, instead, ask just for a month. You’ll still be able to send out birthday greetings each month. Or ask for age and use it to create lists for products specific to age groups.

Patagonia is right up front about what they plan to do with the data they’re asking for, to make emails that matter.

Of course, there are plenty of other channels to collect data, pick the places you know your customers are likely to be. The infographic goes into the most popular areas to get data – Social channels and websites being the top. Asking through social media is an easy way to collect more information. Use a survey to help gather the information all in one spot if you need to. And be upfront about what you plan to do with the data, the more your readers understand, the more likely they are to give it to you.

Putting it together

Once you have data about your subscribers, it’s time to use it in your email marketing. As mentioned before, you can use anything to personalize an email, a first name is pretty standard, but the more you know about your email readers, the more you can personalize their emails. Here are a couple of ideas on how data can impact your email:

Think about how you can apply these ideas to your business and what you know about your customers. You’ll also be able to come up with some great ideas that are specific to what your business is all about. You can then use this to personalize an email with text or images or use it to create list segments to send out individual emails.

Wrap up

Using data to create and send emails that are important to your subscribers means they’ll be more likely to open and read what you post to them. Which in turn can mean higher conversions and sales for your business.

Of course, this can’t happen overnight. You’ll need to do a little work and probably collect some new data too. But having the tools and information you need to create the right email for each subscriber will pay off for your business.
For more information on implementing a data-driven email strategy, take a look at the infographic below.

The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing - Infographic by Campaign Monitor


Source: The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing by Campaign Monitor

blubolt would like to thank Campaign Monitor for this guest blog post.

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