Facilitating Micro-Moments In Email

Google recently coined the term “micro-moments” to express how people experience their lives and interact with brands. According to Google: “Mobile has forever changed the way we live, and it’s forever changed what we expect from brands. It’s fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments.  Each one is a critical opportunity for brands to shape our decisions and preferences.”  

An example could be a single parent needing supplies for a sick child and a pharmacy delivering those items to the home to create a “didn’t-plan-for-this” micro-moment. These moments can happen at any time on any device, and brands need to be ready to help solve customers’ problems as they occur.  

I’d like to explore how to get started in leveraging email, the workhorse of digital, to build a micro-moments-optimized program.

Outline possible micro-moments. Your customers are experiencing many micro-moments in a given day.  Further dissect your customer journey and identify where there might be gaps that you can fill.



Do you have an expensive item that doesn’t sell well online because it’s hard for the customer to understand specific product details?  Offer a sign-up on that product page to send an email stream to consumers with video, reviews and photos of that product being used by other customers.  If you have the ability to leverage browse activity as a trigger, you wouldn’t even need a sign-up on the page to kick off the program.  Essentially, during this point in planning, you are simply identifying customer problems and beginning to outline potential programs or additions to existing communications.

Let data and technology drive experience. Once you’ve outlined a list of possible micro-moments, figure out what data and technological capabilities are needed to make these programs work.  You may be able to implement some without an investment.

Look at the data you have available to drive programs.  Some of the programs may require the use of personalized experience management technology that analyzes behaviors across channels and can optimize based on recent activity.  Open-time personalization technology can address many moments based on information on the consumer’s state at the time of open.

The point here is that you need to know what technology and data you have in place today to begin facilitating micro-moments in email right away and then advance from there.  Start thinking about budget for next year and include anything new that you need from a technology perspective.  

Analyze, rinse, repeat. Once you have a set of programs running that address micro-moments, you will want to analyze performance.  If you can do a simple regression analysis based on different variables, even better.  The more you can learn about what's working and what isn’t will help you optimize and prioritize what you move forward with next.  

As digital marketers, we are just scratching the surface of what is possible from a technology and capabilities standpoint. Brands that can win the race on meeting the demands of micro-moments as they occur will certainly enjoy a competitive advantage and build a loyal customer base.  I’d love to hear about any great brand experiences you’ve had, or any experiences you are currently building for your own customers in the comments below.

2 comments about "Facilitating Micro-Moments In Email".
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  1. Jen Beever from New Incite, June 19, 2015 at 1:12 p.m.

    This is a great opportunity for complex transactions in which there is a certain predictable sequence to buyer behavior. The fact that you can track behavior online and serve email that meets the need of buyers is pretty amazing. But a mismatched email or message tied to a moment will be a huge negative in the eyes of the buyer.

  2. April Mullen from SparkPost, July 16, 2015 at 12:04 p.m.

    Hi Jen--I couldn't agree more!

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