The Contextual Inbox: Moment-of-Open Email Marketing

Are you one of the 40% of email marketers who don’t segment their email campaigns? Since all ESP’s have data collection functionality, customer data is abundantly available, and triggered emails are based on a basic level of segmentation already—that statistic seems out of place in 2016. There aren’t many reasons still available for sending an entire database the same email.

Not segmenting an email campaign isn’t marketing heresy, but the rewards of list segmentation outweigh not doing so. Personalized messages in the inbox drive 14% higher open rates and 63% better click performance. Even simple segmentation strategies can improve list performance, reducing inbox fatigue and unsubscribes.

Basic List Segmentation Strategies

Historically, list segmentation has been a manual process. Given the rate of adoption for email segmentation, it may still be predominantly manual. However, it is much easier these days to segment recipients directly in an ESP or related CRM. Basic recipient grouping approaches used to look like:

  • Recipient time zone-based deployment schedule
  • Active vs. inactive subscriber filtering
  • Open vs. click campaign activity
  • Subscription preference at sign-up
  • Sign-up date-based trigger

Moving Beyond Static Messages

Email is evolving past one-time deployments and monthly newsletters. Traditional marketing approaches have become less effective in highly competitive industries. Inboxes are filling up with more interactive messaging during the customer life cycle, and personalization is a key differentiator. Contextual email is replacing traditionally static templates with dynamically chosen content.

What is Contextual Email Marketing?

Contextual email marketing is data-driven personalization delivered at the moment-of-open. Meaning, as the recipient opens the email, the template populates with the most relevant content based on real-time variables. Content is pulled from custom feeds, social networks, and websites; or delivered using methods like timers, custom image display, and video.

Now, email can stay up-to-date with peripheral marketing efforts and customer journey data in the inbox. Long-term campaigns can be fitted with moment-of-open technology, extending content life and engagement. Both, marketing and transactional email campaigns can benefit from real-time email technology.

How does Moment-of-Open Technology Work?

Recipient details dictate what displays in the email at the time of open. Real-time technology can detect that information instantly from the recipient device. Location, time, weather, device type, operating system, as well as predefined data are used to construct hyper-personalized emails as they render. Every email deployed showcases different content, based on the recipient’s unique information.

Advanced applications automatically use moment-of-open data to decide what type of media to deliver to each email provider. Ensuring the inbox experience for the recipient renders properly to deliver the message. An example of this could be the detection of an email client for video in email delivery. Depending on the client at the moment-of-open, different types of static, animated, or embedded video options can be displayed on the fly according to the inbox functionality requirements.

Segmentation Automation with Real Time Data

Automated segmentation improves email diversity without creating the need for additional templates, deployment schedules, or peripheral data selections. The use of behavioral data, moment-of-open data, and CRM data allow for segmentation after the send versus before-the-send list groupings. Essentially, a batch and blast email marketer could scale email personalization across their entire list with one real-time email template.

Real-time email technology enables rapid personalization, at scale, with minimal development resources. Smaller email departments can reach large audiences effectively without extra templates, lists, deployment scheduling bogging them down. Larger email departments can utilize real-time email technology across all campaigns for better content engagement, lowering department overhead, and strengthening email revenue.

If you have yet to segment your email campaigns you should definitely download Email Deliverability Modern Marketing Guide now. You'll gain proven strategies, best practices, and help to improve your email campaigns.

Email Deliverability Modern Marketing Guide