Relevance is the key! The more relevant an advertising message is for the recipient, the more likely this person will accept the invitation to consume. Behavioral Email is the concept of maximum relevance in email marketing, ensured by the seamless integration of email marketing and web analytics.

Advertisers can communicate not only with their customers, but can precisely track their website behavior, find out what they are interested in and send automatically generated emails with a higher content relevance. The results are well above the average opening, click and conversion rates.

The new tool Behavioral Email is based on an old insight: not all customers are equally valuable to a company. The traditional direct marketing, therefore, developed the proven and reliable segmentation method RFM: Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value.

Offline direct marketing is basically still segmented by RFM to separate dedicated consumers from inactive members. The former are addressed effectively, the latter removed from the distributors, so that the segmentation saves money compared to any uniform mass distribution.

With the help of these three factors, customers can be distinguished in their importance for the turnover, if the assumption applies that their future purchasing activities can be derived and predicted from data of their past, such as: who ordered recently, comes back faster (recency); who ordered more frequently, buys more again (frequency); who is spending more money, does this continuously (monetary value). Not to mention the Pareto Principle that has been valid and is still today: 20 percent of all customers bring 80 percent of total sales.

Compared to snail mail, the more convenient and less expensive email marketing has pushed aside the merits of segmentation for years. Spray and pray has been the motto and is still often today. The advert cost per thousand views (CPMs) for outgoing emails are on the decline. Suppliers from around the world are pushing lists by dumping prices into markets and thus increasing the incentive for un-targeted mass mailings.

Sadly this path leads to a dead end. Not only for email service providers (ESPs) that groan under price pressures, but also for advertisers, the concept of uniform mass mailings without significant opening rates has no future either.

It all comes down to the central point that there is generally a lack of individual relevance of content. Google, GMX, Yahoo! and Co. keenly record if users look at their emails. Senders whose emails are often deleted unread end up more and more often on blacklists. Sooner or later, these low-interest-mails are pushed into extra folders or simply blocked.

If you want to find out more on Behavioral Email techniques and best practices, look out for an in depth article on it in the next issue of Asian e-Marketing!

By Daniela La Marca