Brands Need Zero-Party Data To Achieve Personalization: Opinion

Email continues to be an effective marketing tool. Of consumers surveyed by CM Group last year, 45% made a purchase based on email engagement, versus 33% who acted on a banner advertisement and 22% who acted on an SMS message, writes Tim Glomb, vice president of content at CM Group. 

Based on the campaigns conducted on its platform, CM Group saw a 62% increase in open rates in the first quarter. Unique opens grew by 92%, while total clicks rose by 5% and unique clicks increased by 9%. 

But brands need zero-party data from individual consumers to achieve such results. And data-driven personalization involves more than addressing consumers by their first name. 

“For instance, rather than a generic “happy birthday” email sent once a year, trigger an email suggesting the top three products based on which section of your site or app they visited most in the last month,” Glomb writes. “Then dynamically insert those details into the subject line.”

What’s next? “Following up with hyper-relevant content and offers that meet their needs is the essence of the email body,” Glomb writes. "Combining those two elements is how to drive meaningful action, which also goes far beyond measuring open rates alone in a post-iOS 14.5 world."

In addition, he says, "messages should contain dynamic content that uses keywords that will elicit engagement."

But Glomb notes that this type of information "can only be collected through zero-party data, that is data declared directly from the consumer to brand, which empowers hyper-personalized, data-driven email and maximizes ROI."

Unfortunately, this level of personalization is rarely seen. And that poses a risk. 

CM Group’s survey found that 49% of consumers are annoyed by irrelevant content or offers, and 41% find emails that do not reflect their wants and needs to be distasteful.

Glomb concludes: "The days of marketers casting and blasting one single message to their entire database are behind us. Collecting knowledge about an individual is step one, and AI or machine learning can determine who gets that next message and when."



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