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Delivering relevant content in context: How RS Components optimised its email marketing newsletters

In this hyper-connected world, consumers are demanding more and more from retailers. Not only do we expect brands to remember our product interests and shopping preferences, consumers are increasingly looking for retailers to extend their customer service into the realms of publishing as retailers like ASOS and Net-a-porter launch high end glossy magazines.

When retailers think about their customers in terms of a society, sending newsletters is a logical way to keep your members engaged. However, when the individual consumer simultaneously demands personalised interactions with brands, a batch-and-blast approach to email newsletters won’t work in today’s customer and content centric age. Retailers simply cannot have the same newsletter content going out to a mass audience, or risk irrelevant content being sent to subscribers on their lists.

RS Components, the leading distributor of electronic, electrical and industrial components was forced to acknowledge this fact with its own static email newsletter, which was being sent out to 1.6 million subscribers but achieved poor email engagement. With customers spanning 80 countries and speaking 19 languages, the company understood that it had to reach each demographic individually with the offers it was sending in newsletters to interact with these customers across time zones, languages, and industries.

Faced with low engagement rates but an understanding of the importance of personalisation, it was clear that RS Components needed to re-think its content strategy in order to boost email engagement rates and retain customer loyalty.

Tasked with devising an email marketing campaign to drive higher click-through rates, we worked with RS Components to harness customer data and deliver relevant content in context. Having learnt from previous behavioural programmes that the right content drives engagement, it was important to devise a strategy to help RS Components draw from the large amount of customer data it had available to make their newsletters more compelling.

[caption id="attachment_12650" align="alignright" width="423"]Source: smartinsights.com Source: smartinsights.com[/caption]

Embarking on a dynamic content campaign

RS Components began to use customer, behavioural, and transactional data to tailor content for newsletter recipients by amending various aspects of the newsletter such as the hero banner and product modules.

Testing formed an important part of this campaign strategy to deliver insights into how the different aspects of the email were engaged with by subscribers. With the dynamic newsletter rolled out globally to over one million subscribers in 19 languages, RS Components could gather a holistic view of which pieces of data would deliver the best results in each market. By splitting newsletter recipients into separate customer types using dynamic content rules, such as behavioural or transactional data, RS Components ensured the newsletter was even more relevant for the specific recipient.

Don’t just accept the results, test them

The results of the dynamic content campaign were impressive; the primary effect being a 133% increase in click-through rates from the newsletter to the website, from 1.2% for the benchmark to 2.8% for the new email newsletter. This showed that the use of customer data to send relevant and targeted content in context had a positive effect on recipient engagement rates.

In addition to this, RS Components and Oracle Marketing Cloud analysed the performance of the newsletter against the benchmark version in terms of the responder-to-open rates. Historically, the responder-to-open rates for the newsletter were 12% and this rose to 15% for the recipients of the dynamic content newsletter – an indicator of the value that customers derived when email newlsetters appeared personalised to them.

However, testing didn’t stop here. RS Components looked at the impact of different elements of its email newlsetter from subject line and imagery through to promotions and contact lists in order to better understand the content  that was ultimately engaging. By conducting a series of tests, RS Components could – and will continue to – review how data informs which content drives higher engagement when delivered by dynamic content rules.

This pilot provided RS Components with the opportunity to learn valuable lessons about what their customers want to receive in newsletters. An analysis of the click-through rates revealed that the key to driving engagement with customers was not by sending a mass email encompassing as many products as possible. Instead, RS Components drove engagement by combining different data sets and using this to deliver information in the most targeted form possible. For retailers like RS Components, the learning is clear – in order to deliver the right message, to the right people, at the right time, data should be at the heart of your email strategy.

For the detailed story of how RS Components engages subscribers using data-driven dynamic content, check out the full case study here.

Main image source: followwhiterabbit.com

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