2. Today’s leading marketers
know how to balance
campaign strategy and
execution to prove ROI from
their email marketing
2 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
BEYOND BATCH AND BLAST
For too long marketers have taken the easy way out: emailing every campaign to their
entire database. While simple to execute, a “batch and blast” approach no longer works
in a world where each email competes with thousands of digital, mobile, and social
messages. Against this backdrop of marketing noise it can be nearly impossible for your
email to stand out and get noticed.
But there’s good news: You can cut through the clutter by creating email campaigns that
are relevant—even irresistible—to the people you are trying to reach. In this guide, you
will learn how to adopt new strategies and techniques that allow you to “convert from
broadcast to personal,” completely transforming the way you look at email marketing.
HOW TO GET THERE
Personalizing your email marketing can be game changing for your business and revenue
expectations. Research shows that relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than
broadcast emails. And according to the Aberdeen group, personalized emails improve
click-through rates by 14%, and sales-conversion rates by 10%.
So where do you start? In this guide, we’ll describe three crucial steps to take before
launching your next email campaign.
This guide will help to maximize the
effectiveness of your marketing by
creating personalized and relevant email
campaigns using these three steps:
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DATA
SEGMENT YOUR AUDIENCE
DEFINE CAMPAIGN SUCCESS
of marketers said email was their primary
channel for lead generation According to Forrester Research
3 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
WHY DATA IS IMPORTANT
Although data is hardly a sexy topic, the truth is data is the backbone of your company’s
growth strategy. Data is essential to maximizing sales effectiveness, amplifying your
marketing messages, and driving increased customer engagement.
In Bluewolf’s annual report, we found that the second biggest business challenge—“what
keep executives awake at night”—was data (see page five). There is too much data out
there, it’s untrustworthy and quickly becomes outdated, and produces redundancy across
siloed systems. The longer you wait to take control of your data, the more inaccuracies
you’ll encounter, and the more costly it will be to your organization.
4 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
5. QWhat keeps you awake at night?
Responses fell into one of four groups.
Hiring the right people
•Reducing bad data
5 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
6. Get a Handle on Your Data
Start by taking an inventory of what data and content you can actually access and
measure. Your marketing, sales, and customer service departments may maintain different
lists which pull from different applications and databases including CRM systems, manual
sales entry forms, and list buys and imports. To be an effective marketer, you need to
know how data comes into your organization.
Remember that different kinds of data are important for different parts of your
organization. For your sales teams, customer phone numbers and addresses drive their
outreach efforts. Customer service cares more about the number and types of cases and
complaints submitted. If you’re a marketer, you worry less about phone numbers and
more about what channel they used to find their way into your database.
The most efficient and effective organizations have full visibility across their marketing
automation and CRM systems. In addition to this integration, they also consider their
social data: where it’s being tracked and how they are responding to it. When all of your
tools and systems are consolidated into a single view, it fosters a natural alignment and
better communications between sales, marketing, and customer services—leading to
greater customer satisfaction.
three Ways to Clean
Research shows that companies that employ consistent data hygiene generate seven
times the number of inquiries and four times the number of leads. Here are three ways
that you can clean up your database, normalizing unruly contact lists, and creating a solid
foundation for effective email marketing.
6 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
7. HERE ARE FEW WAYS TO
TACKLE DUPLICATE DATA:
These can be used to pre-populate the
data you already have of that person,
thus avoiding duplicate entries and
You can also add a checkbox option on
your forms that asks, “Has your email
address changed?” This alerts your
marketing team to check duplicates for
that record and update accordingly.
Also consider third-party software, such
as RINGLEAD or NETPROSPEX,
which detect when duplicate records
are being entered into the system.
Use these tools on a regular basis to
reduce duplicates and to run spot
checks whenever you update
OF B2B CUSTOMER DATA BECOMES
INACCURATE WITHIN A YEAR
think data is
use their data
STANDARDIZE FIELDS & VALUES
For marketer, successfully tackling data can seem like an uphill battle. Teradata’s reports
that nearly 50% of marketers agree that data is the most underutilized asset in their
organization, with less than 10% saying they currently use what data they have in a
systematic way. One way to simplify things is to normalize data into clearly defined buckets.
For example, if your database has multiple titles for the same person, it can make figuring
out who you want to talk to an onerous task. Consider standardizing the data using the
fields of “Function” and “Role” rather than highly variable fields like “Job Title.” Doing this
brings consistency to the contact list by normalizing around single-defined values.
DE-DUPLICATE YOUR DATA
Research shows that up to 25 PERCENT of B2B customer data becomes inaccurate
within a year. Duplicate information is a big part of this, undermining effective customer
7 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
8. Syncing Marketing and
Drive alignment in the data your sales team wants versus what data your marketing team
uses. Be aware of all the ways data is coming into your system. Drive home consistency and
agreed-upon dropdown menus, data entry, and fields captured.
Do you use the same required
fields in your customer landing
page forms as you do when a
salesperson creates a contact
in the CRM system?
The answer should be YESif
you want consistent, accurate
data across different channels.
8 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
Once you’ve cleaned up your database, be sure to standardize and normalize your data
on an ongoing basis. For example, make sure that your white paper downloads and trade
show registration forms share the same database fields. If you have a CRM system, ensure
that data from your marketing and sales groups are flowing in both directions. Both sets
of data need to sync to provide an accurate and current view of the customer.
Ultimately, database maintenance should be the responsibility of your entire organization.
That means enforcing a consistent data governance program across your business and
making it a regular part of staff onboarding and training. You’ll want to meet regularly
with your sales, service, and IT teams to make sure that you continue to capture the most
important data for each department. Learn how your sales teams are organized. Do they
sort leads by region, by company size, or by revenue? The type of information that you
capture will need to match these priorities. Bear in mind that these priorities will change
over time as your business evolves, so consider holding quarterly meetings with your
department heads to stay current with the latest vision.
The bot tom line
MARKETERS need to engage every line of business to find out how and where they’re
getting new data. ALL EXECUTIVE STAKEHOLDERS need to agree on a consistent,
company-wide process for uploading and updating customer data.
A CLEAN DATABASE
MediaMath offers technologies and
services enabling online, digital
marketing and media to help their
global customer-base execute
effective data and metric driven
digital marketing decisions.
By integrating Netprospex into
their marketing automation tool and
CRM, MediaMath saw great results in
both sales and marketing.
Increased SAL (sales accepted leads)
to 30% from just 5% previously.
Decreased duplicate records from
20% to zero duplicate records.
Gained ability to proactively manage
data cleanliness including hard
bouncebacks and duplicates.
EMBED DATA QUALITY IN YOUR PROCESSES
Database maintenance should be the
responsibility of your ENTIRE organization
9 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
10. KELE CLEANS UP ITS CONTACTS
Kele, a leading provider of building automation products, was hampered by
overlapping and mismatched customer data, specifically around job function and titles.
Originally, the company was dealing with more than 30 different job function values –
many that were redundant, irrelevant, or not being used.
Bluewolf helped Kele create a consolidated Function field containing 11 well-defined
values that mapped to all possible versions of a job title. With this normalized mapping
of fields in place, Kele reduced the number of blank Function fields by 10%. By putting
the data through this “washing machine,” Kele could create 11 clearly defined customer
personas and establish clarity around how to market to these groups.
HOW DATA NORMALIZATION CAN WORK
Data normalization promotes simplicity and consistency in contact lists. Here’s an
example of how it works.
New “Function” fieldJob Title field contains
Demand Gen Content Marketing Social
Media CMO Product Marketing Lead
Generation Advertising Brand Database
Manager Editorial Digital, Automation
Sales Manager Sales Ops Product Manager
Account Manager Account Executive
Regional Manager VP Sales VP Of Sales
Tech Help Desk Cloud Systems Develop
CRM VP IT VP Information Technology
Technology Innovation Technical
Administrator Director Of IT
REACHING MORE PEOPLE
After revamping its email marketing, Kele
increased its reach by more than 50%,
increasing its touch from 40% of its
customer database to more than 60%
10 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
11. Implement a Data
Align your marketing with sales and customer service to understand why data
inconsistencies are happening. Find the root of data issues before changing processes.
THE RISK OF BAD DATA
Studies show that if your database
contains more than 10% duplicate
information, or if your data is less than
70% complete, your campaigns are
at risk of underperforming.
11 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
12. QWhat Data Fields Will You Collect?
Remember the best way to increase the health of your database is to start at the
point of data collection.
CONTACT FIELD COMPLETENESS%
12 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
THE KEY TO PERSONALIZATION
Segmenting data enables you to group people with similar characteristics such as job
function, buying habits or geography. This allows organizations to craft unique messages
and offerings that speak to the specific interests and concerns of each customer group.
Driving personalized, relevant marketing will help you improve customer response rates,
boost customer loyalty and trust, and ultimately capture more revenue.
13 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
14. Segmentation Reaps Rewards
Email marketers that practice list segmentation see...
better open rates lower opt-out &
better email deliverability,
increased sales leads,
& greater revenue
14 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
15. Slicing and Dicing
There are hundreds of ways to segment your audience, corresponding to business
objectives, specific products or services, B2B or B2C, global or regional markets—the list
goes on. See right sidebar for just a few of the most popular and effective grouping
Another useful way to segment your database is by buying cycle, which looks at your
customers’ purchasing habits across the three variables below.
Remember, there’s no single right way of segmenting that fits every customer base. The
best method will depend on your particular business, your unique sales cycles, and your
10 examples of
Here are just a few of the most
popular and effective groupings:
IN-STORE VS. WEB VISITORS
RECENT WEBSITE ACTIVITY
When was their last purchase? Is this a
new or repeat purchase?
How often did they purchase over a
defined period of time?
How much are they buying, and what is
their ultimate lifetime value?
VARIABLES IN CUSTOMERS’ BUYING CYCLE
15 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
16. Get to Know Your
Segmenting is all about targeting a specific type of customer. It’s important to understand
the various personas that make up your customer base. Flesh out effective personas
by getting in the mind of that customer type. Do a hypothetical “ride along” with your
customers as they interact with your brand during a typical day and encounter the pain
points and promises that go with it.
Carve out audience segments that match the different personas you’ve created. For instance,
you can map buying cycles to each persona and create content that’s relevant during
specific cycles. You may want to consider “cross-segmentation” by combining existing data
categories, such as job function and geography or buying frequency and gender.
HOW KELE SEGMENTS
Kele chose to sort its customers according
to their purchasing habits, placing them
into distinct buying cycle segments. By
tailoring messages to each group, Kele
increases email relevance, marketing
effectiveness, and revenue.
EXAMPLES OF KELE’S
BUYING CYCLE SEGMENTS
NEWBIES Purchased for the first time
CATCH-ONS Purchased 3-5 times in
the last 3 months
PROMOTERS Purchased 6 or more
times in the last 3 months
WIN-BACKS Suddenly have gone at
least 3 months without buying
ONE-AND-DONES Purchased 1-2
times, but have not bought since
DROP-OFFS Have not purchased in
over a year
WHITE-SPACE Have never bought
before but are in database
16 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
Once you’ve cleaned up your data and decided on persona segmentation, review your
past email-marketing campaigns and set benchmarks to help you define what a successful
email campaign will look like.
17 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
18. Identify which past campaigns have generated good results, which have fallen short, and note
any trends you see with different types of buyers. Look at your key email metrics, such as:
How many unique people “viewed” or “opened” your email. A healthy open rate should be
in the neighborhood of 25%.
How many recipients took the additional step of clicking on CTA links in your email. High
click-through rates are a good sign that your audience finds your offer interesting.
How many recipients “raised their hand” by taking action on your email, such as a filling
out a form or signing up for a sales meeting or webinar.
A few of these are expected and good for database hygiene, but watch out if you see a
jump in unsubscribes or email opt-outs. Generally, unsubscribe rates should average about
half a percent and rarely exceed 1%.
DEFINE WHAT METRICS
Decide what metrics to track and be
consistent on measuring these each time
you execute a marketing campaign. Track
trends and identify ways to increase
metrics and engagement.
is a healthy email open rate
maximum unsubscription rate
Here are just a few of the metrics
that you should be tracking:
TOTAL FORM SUBMISSIONS
FORM CONVERSION RATE
FORM ABANDONMENT RATE
18 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
19. Define Success
Ask yourself who you want to target and what you want to accomplish with your emails.
Your objectives might include things like nurturing promising leads, encouraging new
customers to buy more, reinforcing the loyalty of your best customers, or all of the above.
Then make sure you’re targeting these groups with the right message. Certain audiences
respond better to particular types of content, such as webcasts, thought-leadership
pieces, event invites, or a basic discount offering.
Remember that it will take time to reach your goals, so set reasonable expectations based
on past performance. Even after you’ve cleaned up and segmented your database, don’t
expect your open rate or other stats to improve 10% overnight. That will happen as you
continue to clean your data, refine your segments and personas, and deliver trustworthy
and relevant content over time.
To know if you’re hitting your goals, you should have a good system for tracking campaigns
over time. The best marketing automation solutions come with built-in reports that give
you a holistic view of your campaign, including performance measures like revenue and
profitability. You can also create customized dashboards that let CMOs and other executives
track marketing effectiveness at a glance and make fast course corrections.
Leading marketers measure campaign
engagement, analyze the results and then
iterate on both the positive and negative
trends that are identified.
Overall activity from IP
19 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
20. Define Disengagement
At a certain point, if people aren’t opening your emails you need to re-evaluate your
approach—before your emails turn into spam. As part of your email strategy, define what
you consider a disengaged contact. Typically this could be after six months or a year
of not opening your emails. Review your previous campaigns for clues to why certain
people (or personas) lost interest and consider launching a relevant and educational (non-
sales) re-engagement campaign, possibly including special coupons or offers designed
specifically for this group.
Exercise caution when you do these re-engagement campaigns: Be sure to define your
segment properly, include truly relevant content, and expect more than the usual number
of bounce-backs. The goal is to generate “opens” and pull these people back into your
regular campaigns. But if this effort fails to spark a response, it may be time to remove
them permanently from your email strategy.
The goal is
“opens” and pull
people back into
IS IT WORKING? TRY AN A/B TEST
What types of emails do your contacts
like? Are they more responsive to
product-focused emails? Would they
prefer case studies, or are they drawn to
coupons and discounts?
Find out by conducting an A/B test:
Compare the response rates between
emails with coupons against coupon-
less emails, or against an email with
lots of helpful product information.
It’s a time-tested technique that yields
measurable results and builds greater
insight into what your customers want
to hear from you.
20 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
21. Measure Database Engagement
When your marketing efforts are relevant and effective, your database engagement
should rise steadily over time. Measure engagement and define disengagement as you
build new trust with your database.
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Active contact engagement increased over time
21 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
22. Are You Ready?
Before Launching Your Next Email Campaign, Here is a Checklist:
Email Personalization Checklist
SEGMENT FOR SUCCESS
Identify the business objectives of your
Implement the right segmentation
strategy to meet your business goals
Establish a process to capture
segmentation white spaces, continually
improving your segmentation strategy
Set a baseline by benchmarking past
Create a set of ramped targets for
Communicate program results to
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DATA
Create a 360 degree view of all
customer data sources
Standardize data fields and values to
ensure data consistency
Establish data de-duplication best
practices across departments/systems
Implement data normalization best
practices to deliver accurate and
22 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING
23. LEARN MORE
Bluewolf is a global business consulting firm. Companies across the world choose
Bluewolf to help them engage their customers and drive more sales. As the first
global business consulting firm born in the cloud, Bluewolf’s strategic consulting,
implementation, training, and cloud management services drive business outcomes in
weeks, not years.
ABOUT ORACLE ELOQUA MARKETING CLOUD SERVICE
Eloqua’s innovative solutions power the success of award-winning marketing teams
worldwide. They target prospects, easily execute campaigns, send leads to sales in real time,
convert more deals, and demonstrate measurable ROI. Transform the way you market in the
digital age while delivering an integrated and highly personalized customer experience.
Bluewolf, The State of Salesforce, 2013-2014
Salesforce, 5 ways to Improve Sales Leads with Marketing Automation, 2013
HubSpot, All The Marketing Statistics You Need
IBM, From Stretched to Strengthened, Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study
Teradata, Data-Driven Marketing Survey, 2013
SilverPop, Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, 2013
Lyris, Annual Email Optimizer Report
Let Bluewolf assist with the discovery
and prioritization of your marketing
initiatives. Walk away with a strategy
to start reducing your backlog and
aligning applications to company goals.
23 | 3 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE EMAIL MARKETING