Incredible Insights

Incredible Insights: How to Use Data in Your Email Marketing Campaigns


Wondering how to use data in your email marketing?

Email marketing is one of the most valuable tools a business can have. The average ROI for an email campaign is 4400%. That’s $44 returned for every $1 spent. However, results like that don’t happen by themselves. You need to enhance and optimize your campaigns to suit the needs of your audience.

The only way to generate outstanding results from your marketing is to find out what works, and what doesn’t. That’s where email marketing data analysis comes into play.

The good news? Data isn’t hard to find in the email world. Most email marketing software solutions come with an analytics dashboard. The challenge is figuring out what data you need, and how you can use it to ensure significant results.

Here, we’re going to explore the basics of data-driven email marketing, and how information can enhance your campaigns.

Email Marketing & Data Science: The Basics

80% of retail professionals say that email marketing is their greatest driver of consumer retention.

Many qualities make email a valuable solution for brands. With email, you can’t connect with your audience at any time of the day, wherever they are. Permission-based lists also ensure that you’re using your budget on the people who want to hear from you.

One of the biggest advantages of email is that in the digital world, you can measure practically anything. All you need to do is choose your metrics and track your results.

Many modern strategies for email marketing data science are based on a concept called “The Trinity.” This is an email marketing framework designed by a man called Avinash Kaushik. The Trinity suggests that data-driven email marketing comes down to three key elements:

  1. Behavior analysis: These are the metrics that indicate what people do when they’re presented with your campaigns. You measure behavior through open rates, click-through patterns, which links get the most attention, and what time people open your emails.
  2. Outcome analysis: These are the metrics that highlight the results of your campaigns. You track these results by seeing how many people purchase your products as a result of your emails. You can also look at the average revenue by subscriber or campaign, and your overall conversion rate.
  3. Experience analysis: These are the metrics that explain “why” people interact with your emails. Why do some segments provide higher open rates than others? Why do you see a higher unsubscribe rate at certain times during the year? To track these numbers, you’ll need surveys, testimonials, and qualitative insights.

How to Collect Data for Email Marketing Purposes

Over the years, data-driven email marketing has emerged as the best way to drive ROI through inbox-based campaigns. Without analytics, we wouldn’t know that 56% of brands that use emojis in their subject lines get higher open rates. Nor would we know that Tuesday is the best day of the week for sending emails according to 10 studies.

However, there are many different metrics in the email marketing world, and not all of them will be essential to each of your campaigns. The best way to make sure that you’re collecting the right data for your company is to think about what you want to accomplish.

Thinking about your needs on a deeper level will mean that you don’t get distracted by basic email marketing metrics like open rate and click-throughs just because they’re popular. For instance, if you aim to grow your subscriber rate so that you have more people in your email lists, you’d need to track the growth rate of your list. You might also need to track subscriber engagement through click-throughs, and conversions to ensure that the people you’re adding to your list are valuable.

Ask yourself what matters to your campaign, and then work from there. Common metrics include:

  • Bounce rate (How many emails don’t get delivered)
  • Click-through rate
  • Action rate over time
  • Complaint/ unsubscribe rate
  • Conversion rate
  • List growth rate
  • Open rate

Email open rate table example

Once you know which data really matters to your business, you can start effectively using email marketing data science to improve your campaigns. Here are just some of the ways that you can take advantage of data-driven email marketing.

1.     Use Data to Define and Segment your Audience

Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that’s 14.32% greater than non-segmented emails. If your goal is to use email marketing data analysis to improve click-through, open, and conversion rates, then segmentation is a good way to get started.

The more information you have about your subscribers, the more segmented your strategy can become. Depending on the data you collect from people during their subscription, you can start by separating your audience according to:

  • Behavior: Use everything from the number of transactions a person engages in, to the amount of time they spend on your website to drive your email choices. Knowing how your people interact with you will help you to understand how you should connect with them. For example, highly active subscribers who check their email every day will need more correspondence than people who only get online once a week.
  • Location: This kind of segmentation is one of the simplest for data-driven email marketing. Organizing your audience according to where you live means that you can send more appropriate messages. You can even attract locals to brick-and-mortar stores this way.
  • Demographics: Often the core of segmented campaigns, demographic information includes everything from age to gender, marital status, occupation, and income level. Segmenting by demographic will allow you to send highly tailored messages to each person in your audience. For instance, BarkBox asks about the size of a customer’s dog to ensure they’re sending the right kind of offers.

A Barkbox email asking about customer dog size

2.     Use Data to Tailor your Brand Messaging/ Tone of Voice

There’s a reason why targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.

Today’s customers want more in-depth relationships with the brands they interact with. In an age where consumers have more control over how they spend their money than ever before, everyone is looking for the best experience. One of the easiest ways to give your audience the experience they’re looking for is to use your email marketing data science. With analytics by your side, you can adjust your tone of voice and message to ensure that you’re speaking your audience’s language.

This leads to not only greater resonance in your email marketing campaigns, but stronger affinity too. If your customers think you’re just like them, they’re more likely to feel loyal to your brand. Remember, 80% of customers think that companies providing custom content are more interested in building positive relationships with them.

Using your data analytics, you can determine what kind of language or content your audience will respond best to. For instance, if you know you have a younger audience, you might try more emojis and slang in your content. Chairish uses words like “Faves” and “Crushing” to make their message more playful:

Chairish "Play Favorites" advertising email

With data on your subscribers, you can even create dynamic content for your emails. This is an advanced kind of email that changes according to the specific needs of a recipient. For example, Adidas uses gender data to create dynamic content that varies according to the needs of its audience:

Male version of Adidas dynamic gender email

3.     Use Data to Perfect Your Timing

Around 57% of email subscribers spend between 10- and 60-minutes browsing marketing content throughout the week. So, how do you make sure that your emails arrive during those crucial times? The easy answer is to use data-driven email marketing.

There are few things worse than spending time and money on an email campaign you know your audience will love, just to discover that they ignore you because of bad timing. Fortunately, you can use email marketing analytics to determine when your audience is most likely to be online, by tracking the times associated with your highest click-through and engagement rates.

Once you know when your customers are engaging with your email, you can automate your campaigns to go out at the right times. This improves your chances of appearing in front of your audience when they’re ready to connect with you.

There’s another way that you can use email marketing data analysis to enhance your timing strategy too. By asking customers to enter their date of birth during subscriptions, you can develop deeper relationships through birthday messages and celebration emails. These little touches make all the difference when it comes to building brand loyalty. According to Experian data, birthday emails lead to 481% higher conversion rates, and 342% higher revenue per message.

Something as simple as a customized message and a small offer like $5 off could transform average subscribers into brand advocates.

DSW $5 birthday email offer

4.     Automate Based on Email Activity

According to the DMA, over 75% of all email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns. Automated email accounts for about 21% of that revenue. In other words, rather than sending one-size-fits-all emails, it’s a good idea to post content based on how your customers behave. Tracking the activity of your email audience can help you to decide what you need to do next to improve engagement and drive action.

For example, most businesses send an automated welcome email when someone subscribes to their service. You can also trigger emails based on things like inactivity, people leaving products in their basket, and so on. Personal Creations, a company specializing in personal gifts, sends VIP offers to its audience. They then use data about each customer’s open and click-through rate to determine whether to send a secondary email.

Personal Creations 30% off email

Through triggered automation, the company sets up a natural journey for its subscribers that adapts according to their behavior and needs.

5.     Define What’s Missing in your Campaigns

Finally, one of the best reasons to learn how to collect data for email marketing is that it allows you to see what’s missing in your campaigns. The more information you have, the easier it will be to understand that third part of the “Trinity” – experience.

Try setting up an automated “sorry you’re leaving” email when people choose to unsubscribe from your list, with a questionnaire that finds out why they don’t want to hear from you anymore. When you’re looking at the campaigns that deliver the most revenue, make a note of the various things that may be moving the needle, such as personalization or dynamic content. Then, you can A/B test each element to find out which strategies are most valuable to your organization.

Email marketing data analysis has the power to help you predict the future outcomes of your campaigns. The most effective elements of email marketing are different for every company. The only way to find out what works for you is to test. For instance, Armed Forces Bank didn’t send welcome emails to 10% of their audience, just so they could determine for sure that their welcome series improved account balance, and lifted engagement.

Armed Forces Bank welcome email

Using Data-Driven Email Marketing

Using email marketing data analysis to create and send valuable emails to your subscribers means that you’re more likely to generate a high ROI from your campaigns. Of course, the best results rarely happen overnight. You’ll need to figure out which metrics you want to track and spend some time gathering useful data so that you can drive better sales for your business.

The good news? The faster you start figuring out how to use data in your email marketing campaigns, the quicker your database will grow. Start gathering crucial information from your subscribers today, and you’ll see an impact on your bottom line in no time.


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