The term “behavioral email marketing” appeared at the beginning of this century (i.e. more than 20 years ago) and refers to the management of sending e-mails in relation to the specific behavior of user groups on a website/service.
The simplest form of behavioral email marketing comes down to creating various mailing lists that allow the site user to subscribe to special mailing lists in relation to their specific needs.
This practically means that instead of creating content for one mailing list, a larger amount of content is formed for several mailing lists that are created in the context of different user needs.
In the last five or more years, intensive use of large amounts of data that generate web analytics systems has enabled better automation of activities in the field of email marketing, which are tailored to specific target groups of the website and specific phases in which the user is using the website/service. These techniques of promotion by sending personalized emails have the best effect on different types of sales, i.e. e-commerce websites.
There are three basic stages in the process of creating and placing emails in relation to the stage of purchase in which the user is:
1. Pre-purchase phase: The user hasn’t yet decided to make a purchase and it’s necessary to create content that determines their purchase. These are classic email newsletters that are created to attract the attention of potential customers and platforms like VerticalResponse can be used for that.
2. Purchase phase: The user should simply go through the purchase process and be aware of what they’re buying and what else they could possibly buy in the purchase process itself. Emails during the purchase practically refer to the contents sent by e-mail in support of the purchase process itself (ensure the completion of the purchase process) and which may contain various additional offers that allow additional purchase with the purchase of the basic product/service.
3. Post-purchase phase: If the business model allows, email marketing is the most powerful promotional weapon for re-purchasing by a customer, or for retaining them to become a re-customer. There are a number of incentives that allow users to re-purchase.
When you use email marketing based on creating your own lists of users who have volunteered on your website to receive emails from you, you’ve probably noticed after a while that not all users who have signed up for the mailing list are active. In order to understand the process of creating and managing mailing lists, and in that context creating adequate content for specific segments of users of these mailing lists in relation to the phase of using that email list, it’s necessary to understand how one user works from signing up to leaving the mailing list.
This process describes the five stages of using a mailing list – e-mail lifecycle:
1. Potential buyer (same as previously described phase before purchase).
2. A registered user is a person who has accepted the opportunity to be a customer, but that doesn’t mean that person will decide to buy. Email marketing can help a registered user become a customer, but this isn’t mandatory.
3. A customer who has bought a product/service only once is a person who can easily give up further purchases if you’re too ‘pushy’ to such people by sending a large number of emails – because it’s logical that if someone once bought something, they’ll do it again. The large amounts of data generated today by web analytics systems can possibly help in choosing content for this type of customer, to repeat the purchase, but this isn’t a guaranteed process.
4. A customer who repeats purchases. This is the most important category of users and you need to manage this type of user very carefully in order to keep it as a loyal user. Data on previous purchases and adequate email communication can help a lot.
5. Inactive mailing list user. This is the most sensitive category of potential users because some of these users are actively reading emails but there’s no response from them, while on the other hand there are users who no longer view these messages (or messages in some spam folders), so it’s likely a lost customer. There are serious strategies for reactivating inactive email users, but to implement any of the strategies, it’s important to accept the following fact: You certainly won’t return all email list users and try to delete those users from your email list. It’s not terrible to have a smaller number of users on the email list because with such members of the list you can only lose over time (a lot of undelivered emails can damage the reputation of the mailing list related to increasingly advanced spam filters).
Over the years, e-mail marketing has been declared dead on a global scale on several occasions due to the extreme amount of spam that’s increasing every day. One of the last attempts to declare the death of email marketing about 10 years ago came from Facebook, given the fact that the youngest population uses more e.g. Facebook mail than classic email. Of course, if you just look at what has been asked of you recently if you want to sign up for any service, there’s also logging in through one of the social networks, but you’re usually asked for your e-mail immediately afterward.
E-mail marketing is in first place in both segments of Internet promotion – B2B and B2C – and with the increase in investment in this type of promotion, it shares second place with investments in online content. When you look at the list of the most used tactics in the B2C segment, social media is mostly used, but in the B2B segment, e-mail marketing is in the first place. Under effective e-mail marketing strategies and tactics, since 10 years ago, the only strategy is to create your own mailing lists that aren’t based on the purchase of spam email addresses, but solely on the basis of voluntary provision of e-mail addresses of users on the sites of the creators of such an email list.
E-mail marketing is the most important promotion technique in a large number of industries, and if this is the case in your field of business, try to apply more advanced mailing list systems as soon as possible because, as time passes, only personalization of commercial emails according to real wishes will have better and better effects.
For this reason, the adjustment of email content and the number of mailing lists in relation to the specific behavior of individual users is an important segment of improving the effects of promotion in the coming years.