Is multi-persona messaging a quick win for data-poor marketers?

Dynamic content is all the rage in the email marketing space. Brands are finally admitting that it’s not possible to gain traction from emails or drive ROI from “batch and blast”, or rather – my favorite saying – “spray and pray”.

It all comes down to the data, as always. The more data you capture and store, the more you get to know your customers and the more you can tailor the message so it’s relevant to them. dotmailer is an advocate of dynamic content and most retailers start by segmenting based on their data fields (i.e. gender, location, ages) etc., specifically changing the image and copy of a campaign so it suits a specific demographic. Equally, it’s important to send different messages based on an individual’s behavior – i.e. their engagement statistics. A retailer may want to send a more offer-based message to individuals with a low click-to-open-rate (CTOR), as opposed to individuals with a very high click rate.

Nevertheless, e-tailers are going that extra mile and are segmenting based on the RFM model (recency, frequency, monetary). This requires having your customers’ ecommerce data to hand, in near real time, and then targeting them based on how recently they purchase, how frequently within a given period and their lifetime value (LTV). For example, you may want to send a highly personalized message with specific luxury products to a VIP customer whose LTV is more than $1,000 or £1,000. Similarly, you might want to target customers who have purchased three times in the past six months, perhaps with purchase recommendations based on similar/complementary products.

But, what if the data isn’t all there?

Multi-persona messaging is a clever way to induce a subscriber to convert. Remember, conversion isn’t necessarily a purchase, but rather an objective of the email campaign. We can measure conversions in event registrations, filling out a survey, etc. It’s performing a specific action that will enrich a brand’s relationship with their customer.

Multi-persona messaging is a great way to increase the likelihood of a subscriber clicking through. According to Econsultancy, easyJet has got this spot on. Rather than sending a generic message to all of your database, it’s much more strategic to send them an email with several different messages. easyJet, for example, highlights four or five target audiences and then matches them with an appropriate destination. A young couple with a backdrop of Paris, or a family on a Sardinian beach – for instance – are images that many people would identify with. This means that, instinctively, the subscriber will wholly focus on the message that relates most to them. This avoids distraction and drop-off, providing the perfect conditions for a click.

This is where content is key: both the image and copy need to reflect the persona of the individual. In the most recent DMA Consumer Email Tracker report, 68% agreed with the statement that most of the marketing emails they received included no content or offers of interest to them, and 84% now find less than half of their emails ‘interesting or relevant’.

Obviously, it’s best practice to build up preferences of your customers, segment them on this basis and then target them with specific messages. However, it can take a business years to conquer the marketing sophistication curve. In the interim, multi-persona messaging can be a quick win to deliver conversions.

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