Customer data is one of a company’s greatest assets. Yet, this data is often underutilized. Learning about your customers and using that behavioral and transactional data to create more relevant and meaningful customer communications is the key to building and maintaining strong customer relationships.

Email marketing lends itself to tracking so marketers can gain a real-time sense of how well a campaign is performing, and pinpoint problems or areas that need improvement. The challenge a lot of marketers face is how to make sense of all the data and use it effectively. Organizing the data you accumulate from your email campaigns—and making sense if it all—can be daunting. However, developing a better understanding of customer behaviors, attitudes, and preferences enables more effective and relevant messaging.

Email intelligence tactics can help you take your marketing to the next level. For example:

• Identify and segment newly married from empty nesters (these consumers are at distinct phases in their lives)

• Segment by geography (don’t advertise Red Sox baseball caps to New York residents)

• Profile the characteristics of your most profitable customers (buys frequently, high-volume)

• Focus your sales efforts on the leads that meet qualifying criteria (demographics, firmographics)

Email marketing works best when you use insight gleaned from email data to effectively segment your email lists, target future mailings more accurately, and use customer intelligence to drive multi-touch, trigger-based campaigns to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.

Let’s look at this hypothetical home furnishings industry example:

Company: Furniture Store

Segment: Residential consumer; values high-end products, especially fine wood furniture

Attitudes: Online research very important for comparison shopping, importance of online reviews in buying decision, likes to buy during semi-annual furniture sale

Behavior: Purchases frequently, high-value purchases, wants to touch and feel furniture before purchase, especially at the higher end

Demographics: Female, ages 45-55, within 30 miles of a retail location, average household income $100K

The furniture store in this example, could look at past email campaigns sent to this segment (female customers that share similar characteristics) to discover the behavioral, geographic and demographic attributes that drive purchases at a local store through email response. Next, they would develop an email campaign to this segment that highlights new solid wood products being offered during their semi-annual sale that “she” needs to see in person to drive “her” into the store. Given the attitudes of this segment, they would be smart to include a link to online reviews of these products. They would not send this promotion to males on their email list, or females who don’t match the characteristics. Knowing their customers allows them to avoid sending irrelevant content.

As Karen Frasca pointed out in her blog post, 10 Email Marketing Tips For 2014 And Beyond, “Personalization is an important trend that is only going to get more important as we move into 2014. Smart marketers are already using behavioral data and the latest technology to personalize their emails based on the interests of their customers and prospects.”

Net Atlantic offers Email Campaign Intelligence & Data Services to help you understand and improve your campaign’s performance by providing on-demand data analysis and reporting. We capture the data you need and can provide it to the people who can use it the most. With on-demand reporting, aggregated and detailed data can be used to engage your target audience at just the right time with just the right message. Once you understand key insights, you can begin to define business rules (shopping cart abandonment, welcome, follow-up, re-order, cross-sell, etc.) that optimize engagement.