It's not a secret that the phrase "big data" didn't actually bring anything new. Single customer view, data mining, etc. have been around for a long time. But the ability to attain, store and use that data tends to require a customer build in-house or a very expensive, all-encompassing suite.
Anyone who has ever heard me speak knows that I'm a huge fan of focusing on the objective, whether it's focusing on an email programme, a newsletter or an individual email. That's what will set you on the path to conversion. I'm going to take this one step further now and propose that for every email programme we set up, we focus on the objective of this programme and name it accordingly.
Much of the recent talk about email marketing focuses on personalisation -- and for good reason. However, that's only one part of the story. Yes, emails are better if they have some degree of personalisation, but the other (and arguably more critical) element is relevance. The big problem with email is that its relevance is dictated by the point in time at which it is opened. The greater the gap between sending and opening, the less relevant the message is likely to be.