As email specialists we spend a lot of time analysing what we can do to improve our clients’ email campaigns. Whether that’s analysing the performance of creative messages, file aging or inbox deliverability.

It’s all about progression, evolution and adaptability. After all, we all know that analysing behavioural traits and adopting a segmentation strategy enables us to identify specific members within our customer lists.Consequently we can then deliver more targeted, relevant content to them. But how do you take that one stage further?

With competition for reader’s attention intensifying – Google’s new email categorisation aside – everyone is looking at new ways to enhance the effectiveness of their entire marketing campaign output. With email, that task is in some ways a little easier, and instantly more measurable. But can you really double your performance overnight?

However you’re optimising your customer data and creative output, it is absolutely crucial to understand your email content in the context of the overall customer journey. Whilst we know that a consumers’ engagement with marketing messages will be heavily influenced by their position in the buying cycle, every customer is different. Each will possess different motivations to buy and reasons for purchasing goods and interacting with you, irrespective of their position in the buying cycle.

So responding to their needs and understanding what stage they are at in the process is crucial, especially if you are going to convert them into a buying customer.

Marketers need to understand the email channel holistically in view of how influential it can be across other channels.

Tracking technology can provide you with the information you need to deliver lifecycle messaging that is dynamically personalised to reflect your consumers’ decision to buy. But collecting the data is simply not enough. You have to use the insight it provides you, apply it and deploy it in the right context.

Brands and retailers therefore need to seize the opportunity to deliver carefully designed emails, which positively influence a potential buyer’s purchase consideration.

One of the most effective tactics to achieve this is email-to-display retargeting. As customers engage with your email program, they’ll leave a footprint of data outlining how they have behaved on your website and the level to which they interacted with your newsletter programme.

This information, coupled with customer profile history, allows you to ascertain a customer’s affinity towards particular products, message types and their likely position in the buying cycle. Using this data enables you to deliver much more targeted and personalised display banners, than normal site retargeting or standard display retargeting can achieve.

Typically, these types of campaigns can double the email click-through rates and potential return on investment by up to 60% over a three month purchase cycle. Furthermore, if you’re able to improve the relevance of your messaging, you’re also likely to see your sales cycle reduce.

What these types of campaigns demonstrate is that when synchronised with other channels, email can be incredibly effective at influencing a customer’s buying decision at multiple points throughout the buying cycle. Increasing a brand’s influence frequency can massively increase the conversion rate of a campaign and demonstrate that marketing activity should never be evaluated on the basis of a ‘last click’ or single ad exposure.

Marketers need to understand the email channel holistically in view of how influential it can be across other channels. In one attribution study, we were able to identify that email exposure assisted 10x the number of directly attributed sales. Over 50% of comparison engine sales were assisted by email exposure.

Obviously the level of assistance by email will vary depending upon how much of the plan is dedicated to email acquisition, however it does reflect the underlying influence that email can bring to bear on sales activity, even if this is not reflected across click-stream attribution.

Mark Ash

Mark Ash


Mark Ash is Managing Director Teradata Interactive International.