Data Driven Email Marketing

Data Driven Email Marketing

Data Driven Email Marketing


Reading Time: 5 minutes

What is Data Driven Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a popular marketing channel because it provides marketers with a wealth of benefits.  Email has the highest return on investment of any marketing channel but it is important to consider how campaigns are performing on an individual basis.  To improve performance and make intelligent decisions, marketers need to take a data driven approach.  Data driven email marketing is a strategy whereby customer data is used to create fully optimised email marketing campaigns.

The Importance of the Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)

To implement an effective data driven email marketing strategy, companies need to store all customer data in a CRM.  A CRM is a system which allows you to manage and amend your customer data in one central location.  This improves data accuracy and consistency meaning that any resulting decisions are likely to be well-informed and based on real insights.

You can use the system to view historical data on your customers, viewing past interactions and purchases they have made with the company.  This includes every interaction that a customer has made and comprises of phone calls, emails, surveys, meetings, purchases and all other possible communication types.

Storing all of your data in one, centralised data storage system gives you an overview of how customers interact with your brand collectively.  You can use the CRM to analyse who your ideal customers are and what makes them more valuable to your company.  This data can then be used to make intelligent decisions based on your previous performance.

Integrating your CRM with marketing automation platform gives you the opportunity to set up triggered email campaigns.  This means that you can respond to customer’s actions in real time, capturing the user’s intent.

There are two main types of CRM available to companies looking to centralise their data:  On-premise CRMs and cloud-based CRMs.  Each has it’s own benefits and drawbacks meaning that companies need to carefully consider their needs when choosing their preferred system.  On-premise options offer the company:

  • More control and responsibility over the security of their data
  • Responsibility for updates to the system
  • Control over how their data is accessed and managed

Cloud based options offer companies:

  • More flexible system access
  • Storage on a remote server
  • Easy installation and updating controlled by the service provider
  • Lower cost and increased convenience

Whether a company chooses to use an on-premise or cloud-based solution is likely to depend on how much data they need to store and how secure they need their data to be.  Once a company has chosen their solution, they still need to ensure the accuracy and maintenance of the data.

The Benefits of Data Driven Email Marketing Approaches

Data driven email marketing strategies have a number of key benefits for both marketers and email recipients.  Sending data driven email marketing messages means:

Increased Opportunities for Personalisation:
By interpreting the data that companies hold about their contacts they are able to send personalised email campaigns.  Sending more personalised email marketing campaigns increases the potential for campaign engagement.

According to the 2017 Email Marketing Census, a mere 15% of marketers felt that they can send personalised emails at scale.  This statistic demonstrates that there is much room for improvement in this area.

Increased ROI:
Intelligently using data to create your email campaigns allows you to improve return on investment.  As you begin to invest more in your email campaigns, you can expect your return on investment to increase accordingly if you have designed your campaigns well.

Wired Plus ROI Insights

Predict Future Interactions:
By analysing data about your campaign history, you can begin to predict how future customers will interact.  The more data you have about your customers, the more you will be able to plan.

Optimise the whole customer journey:
The customer journey does not stop when they leave the email; arguably, it begins. Using a data driven approach, you can analyse how people interact with your company as a whole.  You can use this data to ensure the whole customer journey is fully optimised to convert.

Attribute Conversions:
A data driven email marketing approach gives you the opportunity to attribute conversions to the correct channel and even the right email campaign. Being able to identify which campaign has brought in the conversion means that you can invest in the most profitable channels and campaigns.

Campaign Performance and Split Testing

A data driven approach allows you to identify how and where you have created successful campaigns.  Perhaps more importantly, putting data at the centre of your marketing approach gives you the opportunity to rectify campaigns which are not performing.

When you make changes to a campaign, it is important to be able to identify whether your changes are having the desired effect.  As a result, we recommend split testing your campaigns, whereby a single element of the email campaign is changed at one time.  This gives you the opportunity to send an email campaign to a small segment of your email list to see whether your changes have worked before sending your alternative campaign to the whole email list.

How to Use A Data Driven Email Marketing Approach

After you have created or purchased a CRM to store your data, you need to capture every customer interaction.  To do this, you need to integrate your marketing channels to view and analyse the data in one location.  Analysing your customer interactions from one channel at a time gives you only a small percentage of the information that you need to know.

When using a data driven email marketing approach you need to go beyond simply collecting data.  Many marketers don’t go beyond data collection when using their marketing channels.  However, to build campaigns based on your customer data, you need to know how to interpret campaign performance.

It is not enough to simply collect and store data based on the way that customers interact with the company.  You need to learn how to process and make decisions based on your data.  This requires marketers to think like their clients.  You can use buyer personas to build up target customer profiles to target your ideal customer base.


Using data in your email marketing strategy can give your campaigns the edge.  You can begin to guide rather than follow your contacts, making intelligent decisions to improve performance.

If you have enjoyed reading this post on data driven email marketing techniques you have learned about some of the approaches required for email marketing success.  To gain a comprehensive understanding of email, why not download your copy of The Complete Email Marketing Guide.

Complete Email Marketing Guide

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