2 minute read

Designing for Customer Intelligence-Infused Email

The era of customer intelligence data is here and you’ve embraced it. Your team has outlined their strategy, the campaign roadmap is drawn up for the next three quarters and you can already imagine the revenue streams that will look great on a slide when you’re reviewing the quarter.

Yet, you trigger your campaigns and things just fall flat. With all of the insight into the audience you’ve targeted, how could this have happened? Because too often campaigns launched using customer intelligence data are built around the data that’s been gathered, losing focus on the information that provides insight into the content of the campaign. Segmentation is only one part of the campaign decision making process, it’s how we speak to that group that makes an impact. The selection of the campaign creative elements must fall under the same scrutiny as the segment.

Just as it’s no longer about mass sends and seeing what sticks, it’s also about ensuring that the message you send is populated with content that is appealing to the group you’ve segmented. It can’t be the same for everyone.

But, thinking about email design isn’t as sexy as the work going on behind the scenes to identify who the audience is. The stuff that gets CMOs excitedly talking is the customer experience designed around segmentation, data models, strategy and planning. Capturing MORE revenue with less sends.

Let’s face it, while Barry White never sang about designing an email for a cart abandonment campaign with this kind of customer data, imagine just taking a moment to …

Slow down…
first we’re gonna look at your likelihood to purchase…
are you a high value disengaging customer..
let’s identify your needs…
let’s personalize that content…

Ok, maybe it doesn’t set the mood quite the same way.

While not as intimate as the bass register of Barry White, email is a highly personal form of communication. As mobile device opens overtake email client market share, it is more personal than ever—we tangibly interact with the emails we receive but touching to open or swiping to delete. Is your campaign an intrusion? Does your audience get so far as to open and find nothing they care about from your brand despite all that you know about them?

It’s great that it’s possible to identify how your audience interacts with your brand and then segment messaging in ways that tailored to their individual interests, but the design should match the intention you are trying to capture with the segment. Your audience expects it.

It’s still email. Good design principles should come first and foremost. The difference between click through and deletion is still a compelling subject line and pre-header, and then well thought-out and relevant content in the design. Use the data to personalize the experience, utilizing the information you’ve captured about this visitor to appeal to them uniquely, but understand too much is sometimes too much.

Don’t throw all the data you’ve collected into the design, use what’s most important to provoke action based on the type of campaign you are running. If user ratings matter to your segmented audience, and they have a legitimate place in the campaign, include them in your design. But don’t overdo it by including, price, sale price, rating, review, description, inventory level and so forth. Just because you have a massive feed of information for your list, doesn’t mean that you have to show everything. Keep it simple and keep it relevant.