Big Data Means Big Opportunities For Email Marketers

by , Dec 11, 2012, 4:25 PM
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OMD-Email-Summit-APARK CITY, Utah -- Big Data opens huge opportunities for email marketers to better target consumers. Do consumers mind?  In some businesses at least, customers may even be enthusiastic if the personalized information collected gives them some value in return.

At CheapAir.com, Greg Samson, the vice president of marketing, says: “We've found that the most data-driven, potentially scary messages that result from following people are the messages our customers and our subscribers react the most positively to.”

Speaking at the MediaPost Email Insider Summit on Tuesday, Samson added that travel is a very personal activity, and that messages are “driven by data … but they seem to be coming from a person who has just reached out to this customer to help them.” (CheapAir competes in the online travel booking space.)

Erin Levzow, director of e-commerce and interactive marketing at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, said customers appreciate staff knowing their preferences and making them a spa appointment or directing them to a favored slot machine.

While she said it is important not to get “too weird and creepy for people, they really like that -- they feel welcome.”
 
Levzow joined Samson on a Big Data panel and mentioned that the casino industry has mounds of data from online hotel bookings to loyalty cards, which offers opportunities if it can be harnessed.
 
“If we don’t connect all that data and all those touchpoints, I’m not doing the best job I can [in] targeting that customer,” she said.
 
Big Data has gotten ample media play recently, noting the opportunities it offers. According to Rapleaf CEO Phil Davis, the potential is there to find the “the holy grail of one-to-one marketing, getting the right message to the right person at the right time in the right way … at a cost that doesn’t cost more than the actual conversion.”

Davis believes Big Data will yield more automated analytic engines to help process the data coming with volume, velocity and variety as never seen before. Effective engines need to isolate “the data fields that moves the needle the most,” he said.
 
He added that third-party data can be immensely effective. Rapleaf clients tend to spend between $3 and $20 to acquire an email address. Though they generally don’t know how to take advantage swiftly, Davis said data “will allow you to create much better first impressions.”

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