Big Logic: Mapping Your Email Logic

My last post explained email logic: The first step in driving the success of any email program is to identify and truly understand the purpose of your program for both your prospective and existing customers. Once you’ve documented the purpose of your program, it’s time to start mapping your objectives against your program content.

When email marketers think about logic, they typically jump right to dynamic business rules and how data can drive unique experiences inside their email communications – which is exactly what we are talking about in this post. But the conversation here is less about getting your hands on a large volume of data and more about applying the proper logic to the data you already have.

The following steps can help guide email program logic, determining content and contact strategies as well as identifying areas of focus for your analysis. This is an insightful exercise that can be used to develop big logic for your email programs.



Step 1: List your goals and objectives. If you have completed the exercise that was outlined in the last post, you should have a comprehensive list of all of your email programs as well as the goals and objectives for each one – both defined from the point of view of your organization and your recipients. If you drop the information that you’ve gathered into a table formatted with columns, you can begin to see where your goals and objectives align – and vary – with those of your customers. In some cases, you will see complementary yet different goals. For example:

  • Organization Goal: Drive increased conversion.
  • Recipient Goal: Get the best deal or discount available.

In other situations, you may see a complete disconnect:

  • Organization Goal: Drive increased conversion.
  • Recipient Goal: Obtain information from an expert. 

Step 2: Map the logic. Once you have completed the exercise above, your next step is to align the goals and objectives and then map the logic associated with meeting your organizations’ and customers’ expectations. Where the goals align, the task is much easier. Where friction exists, you may need to get a little creative. But how do you map that logic?

Let’s work through one example. If the organizational goal is to drive increased conversion, and the customer goal is to obtain information from an expert, how can you apply the proper rules and dynamic content inside email communication to achieve both? Work backwards from your goal – which is the ultimate driver – then incorporate elements that address the customer expectations. So in this example, the organization expects us to serve content that is relevant to the customer and will encourage them to buy or convert, while recipients expect us to serve content that they perceive as expert advice or recommendations.

Now ask yourself what data and content you need to make that happen. In some instances you may be able to send the same message to all subscribers: the big logic could be driving the content strategy, positioning and approach. In other situations you may want to identify a few key targets. If you are a retailer of aftermarket snowmobile parts, for example, you may want to leverage your data to segment your audience based on the brand of snowmobile they own, then deliver a “how-to” message (expert advice). For example, it could be an email communication about “how to safely store your snowmobile for the summer,” and all the parts that customers need are featured and available on your site. This is how to serve both masters.

Step 3: Define success. It’s difficult to know if you have succeeded when you haven’t defined success. Be sure to establish your growth and success metrics before the program has launched. Align the growth goals accordingly. For example, you may want to increase conversion by 25% or increase customers’ time on website by seven minutes per session. Or maybe you are trying to drive a repeat purchase. The successes you define should support program goals and objectives, while being measurable at the same time.

In the last contribution to this series, we will look at some tips and tricks for building successful yet manageable logic inside your email programs. In the meantime, break out a white board and a marker and start mapping your logic.

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