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How Google Analytics Can Help Sending Personalized Emails

Tags: email-marketing,google-analytics

Email Marketing is one of the core marketing methods used by pretty much every business. However what differentiates a good email marketing campaign from a bad one is the level of personalization and thought put in the email content. Let's see how Google Analytics can help us achieve that.

User's actions and behaviors on your website give you a lot of information about their interests and intents. While most marketers are experts at understanding this and then are able to optimize the website content and layout based on what works and what doesn't, pretty much all marketers fail to use all this knowledge in their email marketing campaigns. The result is that often you have a great website but a poor email marketing campaign. An email that is not personalized leads to loss of trust and eventually loss of business.

Start with Segmentation
As good marketers, we have clear understanding of our products and customer segments. Google Analytics comes with twenty five segments and you can create your own to match with what makes sense for your business. Start by reviewing Google Analytics Segments and create new segments if you need to. Do the same in your Email Marketing Tool. Just like Google Analytics, pretty much all Email Marketing Tools provide the capability of creating segments and personalized content for each segment. Now you have a common set of segments in both your platforms. More importantly these segments are the ones that make sense for your business.

Analyze User Behavior on Website Based on Segments
Instead of analyzing overall user behavior on the website go one step deep. Break down that analysis based on each segment so that you have a clear picture of how each of your customer segment is behaving on your website, what pages they are spending more time on, what pages they are navigating to, and so on.

Create Personalized Email Content for Each Segment
The information from website behavior analysis per segment will help you create personalized email content for each segment. To scale this process look at as much automation you can do as possible. For example, you might have a section in your email that mentions 'top five articles you might like' to your email recipient; you can easily feed that into the email by programmatically pulling the information from Google Analytics report.

Analyze User Actions on Emails to Close the Feedback Loop
It is important to see how your email recipients react to the personalized content. Are they driving more website clicks to the intended pages? Are they taking the actions that you imagined they would after receiving that personalized email? What changes you need in your strategy to improve the results? All these are important questions that can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.

A Sporting Goods Chain Example
Let's take an example of a Sporting Goods Chain that wants to implement this strategy. People's interest in sporting activities change with their age. So, it'd be useful to send email marketing content based on which age group the recipient falls under. Let's say they create three age groups – 20 somethings, 40 somethings, and 60 somethings.

They set up these segments in Google Analytics, analyze how each of these segments are behaving on the website, what kind of product pages they are spending more time on, etc. Then use this information to create personalized email content for each of the segment. The emails in their email marketing tool are also segmented based on the age groups so they are able to send personalized email content to each of the segment.

Later they analyze the website behavior for each segment that's triggering from the email marketing campaign. This gives the store enormous information about how well they did in creating the personalized content and what changes they should make in order to improve their results. For instance they might realize that within the 40 somethings the user behavior is different based on male v/s female. Henceforth a natural progression would be to create further break down that segment and create personalized content for each.

Conclusion
Email Marketing produces great results if it's tied with powerful and personalized content. That personalization can't happen if you don’t really understand what your customers like and what they don't. Fortunately website analytics can give you a peak into that information and turn your email marketing into a powerful money making machine; more importantly it can build trust because your email recipients start liking the fact that you truly are trying to understand and fulfill their needs.

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Gautam Tandon
Apr/03/2016

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