5 tips to fuse email creativity with data and technology

As digital marketers, we’re often focused on the technology platforms and applications that enable our programs. And we should be because technology is essential and is the fuel to our success.

But understanding the other components that contribute to marketing wins that help us to communicate on a 1:You level is also important.

All modern marketers need to leverage data-driven insights to fuel creativity and  connect emotionally with customers. It’s the insights on consumers’ behaviors, such as motivations, likes, dislikes and so on, that helps to drive these ideas and create meaningful experiences for consumers. 

Consider these best practices as you consider how to add creativity to your email marketing efforts:

1. Design a dynamic email template

Dynamic email templates allow for personalization of messaging across a variety of data points. Think of the template as a flexible journey where you can change the creative and messaging based on the individual and their previous brand interactions.

This means your email template should be built on a modular framework which in turn will create flexibility for your marketing needs. Building this modular system takes time but there are efficiencies that come into play for developing automation capabilities.

Once your template is developed, your focus can shift to strategic content development, storytelling and visual design. 

2. Capitalize on the preview pane

Being able to capture the attention of the consumer without requiring them to scroll down through the email can boost engagement.

Think about the preview pane of the email and make sure your branding and call-to-actions are visible within the preview pane. You may also do A/B testing with different types of content to see what your audience responds to.

3. Be strategic with member dashboards

If you have a member component to your brand, creating a dashboard is an effective way to display a variety of information and data points is an easy to read and visual format. The dashboard can be enhanced with brand iconography and visual elements showing progress towards the next tier.

Leverage the transactional and behavioral data available including recent spend, recent purchases, point totals, reward redemptions and near tier messaging to publish real-time content within the flexible and dynamic template. 

4. Acknowledge prior engagement

Understanding how your users are engaging and interacting with the email campaigns they’ve opened is critical to success.

We encourage brands to leverage the modular template by including a banner that speaks to the subscribers’ engagement level. For example, feature gratitude messages with a reward component for your highly engaged customers and a ‘we miss you message’ for those you are trying to reengage on a path to purchase.

5. Make personalization a reality

Lastly, never lose sight of the importance of personalization within your template. 74% of marketers have stated that targeted personalization within emails increases their overall customer engagement rates.

In addition, research shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences. But that same research showed that what consumers think personalization means varies widely. 

Take the email personalization maturity quiz

Putting it all together

To put it in a brand’s perspective, we recently worked with the NFL to develop a modular template with the ability to bring in dynamic content allowing the fan activity level to determine the badge.

The template includes a very personalized experience based on the fan’s profile, behavior and affinity. Leveraging the data the NFL had on engagement, they were able to seamlessly create a unique email, including subject line and all content for each individual fan, and as a result, they increased online store revenue by over 15%.

When data is used to fuel creative thinking, the results are unstoppable. In fact, MediaPost recognized the NFL’s work and awarded them the 2019 Member’s Choice Award for email marketing creativity.

So as you’re fine tuning your digital marketing and planning for next year, remember that innovation and creativity are intersecting, which is sparking a new level of creative possibilities for digital marketers.

And remember, creative refreshes come in all sizes, both big and small.