[Ed. note: This post is first in a series of guest-post exchanges between Fathom and Right On Interactive, a marketing automation company that emphasizes lifecycle marketing "that helps organizations win, keep and grow business." Lauren Littlefield is Right On Interactive's director of marketing.]
A lot has certainly changed since we all registered for our first Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN or AOL account! Do you remember the first piece of email marketing you received? Chances are, you received the same email as everyone else in that organization’s database. What about the first time you opened an email from a brand who “knew your name” or even personalized the subject line?
The history of email is a blog post in and of itself; however, there are few critical milestones worth noting of its 42 years of existence.
- Raymond Tomlinson sent the first email in 1971.
- ISPs allowed widespread Internet access and Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web in 1991.
- “Spam” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary after its growth in the mid-90s.
- By 2012 there were more than 3 billion email accounts worldwide and approximately 294 billion emails sent each day… roughly 78% of them are spam.
Personalized communications are in
Typically defined as irrelevant or inappropriate email messages sent to a large group of people, spam changed the email marketing game. Brands can no longer ‘batch and blast’ emails to everyone in their database. What may resonate with one consumer will be seen as irrelevant or potentially offensive to another.
To avoid junk mail folders and spam filters, organizations found personalizing email marketing to prospects and customers improved open and click-thru rates.
Enter Big Data
“The more you know …” the better decisions you can make, right? That’s a portion of the theory regarding Big Data and marketing.
Thanks to all of the data collected on consumers and businesses alike, marketers are able to execute highly personalized and targeted campaigns to segments of the database that meet specific criteria such as location, age group, gender, buying behavior, and more.
Just because a prospect fits the mold or profile of another prospect, doesn’t mean they will both respond to the same message. Through segmentation, marketers can offer a personalized touch that previously could only have been done either by sheer luck or in one-off emails sent by account managers, sales representatives or the marketers themselves. Segmentation streamlines the delivery of targeted communication and increases the odds for marketing success.
Photo courtesy of Richard North via Flickr.