How Customizing Your ESP Will Make It More Powerful
Your email service provider works hard for you, enabling your email sends and reporting, and making it possible for you to manage a large amount of data and maybe even do some deep email analysis. Yet it is possible to get even more out of that ESP by customizing it.
What can you gain by customizing your ESP? More of what you’re already striving for: more data, more relevance, more results, more ROI.
What you gain by customizing your ESP
Whether you think your ESP is a good fit or a great fit, you can make it an even better email service provider for your business. Without customization, you’re working with a generic platform that—although it gets the job done—fails to enable the kind of targeted and relevant marketing you’d prefer to be doing.
When you customize your ESP according to your business needs and objectives, you can collect—and implement—the kind of data that will enable you to do email analysis to discover your various audience segments, then deliver automated and customized (and therefore relevant) messaging to those various audiences.
A customized email service provider platform can enable you to:
- Integrate your ESP with other systems being used within your organization for better business intelligence.
- Accurately segment your audiences based on significant data points.
- Efficiently customize the content delivered to those segments.
- Keep your data up-to-date.
- Keep your content up-to-date (and therefore relevant).
- Use automated and triggered email to send emails at the right time.
- Access detailed reports for the email analysis and insight that will continually improve your email marketing campaigns.
When you know more information about your audience you’re able to personalize your email marketing in several ways. You’re able to tailor the message, offer and even time of delivery to be as appealing as possible to each different segment.
Consider the possibilities of this kind of data collecting and segmenting:
- You can segment your audiences into smaller groups based on buying behavior and/or how they have responded to earlier email offers, then send new messages based on what you’ve learned. Say you’re an online bookseller. If you have one group of customers regularly buying mysteries and another buying romance novels, imagine how receptive the mystery-loving buyers will be when the emails they receive are primarily (if not solely) about mysteries. And vice versa is true for the romance novel aficionados.
- You can send automated yet targeted content to these segments. You can target your subgroups without adding to your workload by determining who they are, developing a drip campaign, and launching it. Keeping with the bookseller analogy, perhaps the person who buys a few mysteries gets a drip campaign promoting lesser-known (but highly rated) mystery writers, or perhaps it’s seasonal, with spooky books promoted in October, but holiday-themed mysteries promoted in December. (The romance readers, obviously, would get a different drip campaign, one targeted to their favorite type of book.)
- You can learn from insightful and actionable email reporting. Some third-party email analysis tools enable you to dig deeper and even plug that knowledge right back into your ESP for immediate reactions to trends (either up or down). For example, you can use your email analysis to spot opportunities so you can up sell and cross sell based on browsing or buying behavior. Perhaps the bookseller sees an uptick in sales among certain customers in November that indicates holiday gift buying. The bookseller could launch a campaign to this audience suggesting certain books as gifts. On the downside, perhaps another campaign has triggered a rash of unsubscribes. Spotting that kind of downward trend right away can prevent a small snafu from turning into a big bust as you take action to fix whatever caused the unhappiness of your subscribers.
Customizing your ESP = better email marketing. Period.
Being able to modify your email service provider’s platform enables an increase in the relevance of—and therefore the effectiveness of—your email marketing. And what’s effective email? Email that drives engagement, click throughs, conversions…and ROI.
It’s not an exaggeration to say if you don’t optimize your ESP, you’re leaving money on the table. You’re missing out on opportunities to speak directly to prospects and customers, plus you’re risking a decreased email deliverability rate by failing to engage your audience.
For more information
If you want to dig deeper, here are two resources for more information about customizing your ESP:
- Some important considerations if you plan to need customization and you’re evaluating ESPs.
- Why email integration matters: Fodder for talking to the C suite.