How To Leverage Customer Behavioral Data to Improve Email Marketing

Posted by Prospero Team | September 2, 2021 | email marketing, proposals

An average person receives over 200 emails a day but responds to only 25% of them. This clearly shows that the majority of the emails sent are irrelevant, and therefore, they end up getting ignored, or worse, in the spam box. 

The biggest cause of email irrelevancy is the lack of audience understanding. Email marketers need to gain in-depth customer insights and use them to improve their email strategy. Even seasoned marketers sometimes forget the role data can play in enhancing the performance of their email marketing campaigns. 

Here is a comprehensive guide to leveling up your email marketing strategy with the help of customer behavioral insights. 

Role of Data in Effective Email Marketing

As a marketer, you might think email marketing requires minimal customer data. All you need to know is the name and email address of the user. You can then put those details in your email marketing software and send a blast of emails to all your recipients. Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t produce results. 

Each customer is unique and has different expectations. Marketers need to realize what their consumers need and design their communications accordingly. 

What Data Do You Need?

We live in a data-rich world. With so much data available, you can analyze which people respond to your campaigns, when are they the most responsive, and how they interact with your emails. 

However, an enormous amount of data can give rise to noise. It could be challenging to figure out which data is helpful. Therefore, marketers need to understand their business goals and identify the information they need to fulfill the campaign proposal requirements. 

For example, if you are a SaaS marketer, you might want to know the age, gender, location, business type, total employees, and annual revenue of your prospects. If you’re an eCommerce marketer, your focus areas could be age, location, gender, occupation, income, etc. 

However, you are only scratching the surface with this data. By conducting a behavioral analysis of your consumers, you can delve much deeper into your audience’s behavior and preferences. 

Behavioral analysis helps you get the following insights:

  • Email open rate
  • Total clicks on links
  • Link with most clicks
  • Time of opening email
  • The average number of unsubscribes per email sent

This data helps you run more informed email marketing campaigns. You can determine the best time to send your emails and what type of links get the most clicks. 

However, behavior analysis isn’t enough. You need to combine it with two other elements of data analysis: outcome analysis and experience analysis. 

Outcome analysis focuses on results, such as the number of purchases, average revenue per campaign, average revenue per subscriber, conversion rate, and return-on-investment (ROI) for each campaign. 

Experience analysis focuses on interests and preferences. Do certain segments have a higher email open rate than others? Are emails with discounts having a higher conversion rate

By combining behavior, outcome, and experience analysis, you’ll be able to develop a laser-targeted email marketing strategy that drives greater engagement and ROI.

Essential Email Marketing KPIs to Track

Tracking metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you determine the success and failure of your email marketing campaigns, along with the scope for improvement. 

Marketers should track two types of metrics. These include:

Email Metrics:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Return on investment
  • Unsubscribe rate

Marketing Metrics

Marketing KPIs will depend on your business type and goals. For example, if you’re a SaaS business, you might want to track the following metrics: 

  • Conversion rate
  • Free-trial to paid conversion
  • Annual contract value
  • Total active trials
  • Total activations
  • Churn rate
  • Total revenue

If you’re an eCommerce business, the important metrics would be total conversions, average order value, cart abandonment rate, net promoter score, customer lifetime value, and others

How to Leverage Customer Data to Enhance Your Email Marketing Strategy?

Once you have the necessary data, you can devise your email marketing strategy. Here is a step-by-step process to using customer data to make your outreach emails more effective and result-oriented. 

Identify and Segment Your Subscribers

Let’s return to the earlier example of irrelevant emails. If you receive a lot of irrelevant emails, it means the sender didn’t segment their email list and ended up sending the same offer to everyone. This results in higher marketing costs, lower conversions, and a higher unsubscribe rate. In contrast, Well-targeted and segmented emails generate around 60% of all revenue

There are three effective ways to segment your email subscribers:

  • Geographic: Based on the location, i.e., state, region, city, etc.
  • Demographic: Based on demographics like age, gender, occupation, income, etc.
  • Behavioral: Based on interests and preferences, including loyalty status and buyer readiness

QR codes are a great way to build your email list and collect geographic data. You can use a QR code generator to create a QR code and include it on your offline advertising materials like print ads and billboards. Link the QR code to your email signup form. When users scan the code from their mobile device and sign up for your email list, you’ll be able to track their location and the device used. 

You can even combine geographic, demographic, and behavioral segments to make your email marketing more targeted, and thus, more effective. 

Personalize Your Emails

Emails with personalized email lines have a 26% higher open rate. Personalization has become the holy grail of modern-day marketing in all industries. Whether you’re an eCommerce seller, agency business, or SaaS provider, your emails should speak directly to your prospects and address their pain points. 

However, personalization doesn’t mean you need to send an individual message to each recipient. Merely tweaking your email subject line can get the job done. 

Source: Martech

Include the first name of the recipient in the email subject line. Instead of using “Dear Customer” or “Dear User,” use “Dear John.” The same goes for the email body text. Instead of starting the email with a generic greeting, address the recipient by their first name. 

Make Your Emails Mobile-Friendly

Over 80% of emails are opened on a mobile device, and with mobile usage skyrocketing, this number will only increase in the future. Checking emails on the phone is the first thing most people do in the morning. Thus, if your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, over 80% of your receivers won’t be able to consume its content. And if you keep sending mobile-unfriendly emails, the subscribers will unsubscribe. 

Back in the day, when a few people used mobile phones, you could’ve segmented your mobile audience and sent mobile-friendly emails to them. It isn’t a feasible option now, as almost all people check emails on the phone. It’s essential to make all your emails mobile-responsive. 

Send Your Messages at the Right Time

Imagine creating an irresistible email marketing campaign that received no engagement because you sent it at the wrong time. Sending emails at the right time is a pivotal aspect of a winning email marketing strategy. 

Email marketing benchmarks show that email open rates oscillate between 20% and 22% on weekdays and drop to 17-18% on the weekend. Furthermore, email open rates are at the peak at 3 pm (7%), 12 pm (5%), 6 pm (5%), and 12 am (4%).

Source: GetResponse

While you can use these benchmarks as a reference point, it’s better to test what works for you. Send emails on different days and at different times to evaluate when you receive the most engagement. 

Assess the Results and Test Different Versions

The next step is to test, measure, and compare different email versions to determine which combinations work the best. A/B testing your emails helps you find the best-performing version of your emails. 

Some email components you can play around with are:

  • Subject lines
  • Email body copy
  • Images and visuals
  • Design and layout
  • Offer and discounts
  • Call to action

It’s essential to measure the effectiveness of your emails using the right metrics. As mentioned previously, track the marketing metrics and email KPIs relevant to your business goals. For instance, you might see a higher open rate for a particular subject line or a higher conversion rate for a certain call to action (CTA). 

Send Occasion-Based and Action-Based Emails

Birthday wishes can make someone’s day, and therefore, they perform better than any other email type. In fact, birthday emails have:

  • 481% higher transaction rate
  • 342% higher revenue per email
  • 179% unique click rates

Sending birthday emails is a great way to create personalized experiences for your customers. You can send birthday wishes accompanied by a time-limited offer or discount as a birthday gift. 

Sending emails based on user actions is another effective way to create personalized email experiences. You can send emails when a customer:

  • Signs up for your email list
  • Post-purchase email
  • Cart abandonment email
  • Feedback email

Automate Wherever Possible

The final step is to automate your email marketing campaigns. Several email marketing tools allow you to set up triggers for action-based emails, like welcome emails, post-purchase emails, and cart abandonment emails. 

If you think automation will eliminate the human element and reduce engagement, trigger-based emails are 18 times more profitable. Importantly, automation makes your life easier. You don’t need to send emails to recipients manually. This way, you can save time and avoid potential human errors, like entering the wrong email address or addressing a recipient with the wrong name. 

Wrap Up

 Email marketing has been out there for years, and it’s here to stay. However, unlike earlier days when brands would get sales by sending the same emails to everyone, email marketing has become more data-driven. Marketers need to segment their consumers based on geographic, demographic, and behavioral data to make their email communications more personalized and effective. 

Author’s Bio

Jyesht is a QR Codes enthusiast and content marketer at MobStac. He is an ardent follower of marketing tech and tools that make everyday marketing fun and intriguing. He fervidly follows sports and is very passionate about basketball. He has a curious interest to explore new places, meet new people and try new food.


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