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Behavioural insights: the last frontier for email marketing?

Just one in five marketers make use of behavioural insights when implementing email marketing campaigns, Econsultancy’s latest Email Marketing Census of over 1,000 marketing professionals has revealed.

While the figure is still relatively low, it actually represents a 43 per cent annual increase from 2014’s survey. Promisingly, a further 39 per cent expressed their intention to take advantage of behavioural technology in the future.

The remaining 41 per cent admitted having no plans to use behavioural insights – an approach Econsultancy thought leader and CRM strategist Andrew Campbell has cautioned against.

Calling for marketers to adopt a "more ambitious approach", especially given the advances made by technology providers in standardising features such as behavioural retargeting, CRM integration and social integration, Campbell commented: "marketers must look to leverage these to deliver enhanced customer experiences and ultimately greater ROI."

He went on to describe the effectiveness of two recent email initiatives involving behavioural retargeting based on web activity – one based on following up where user searches are abandoned, the other on providing users with options for redeeming loyalty points.

"In both cases a timely, triggered email follow up with relevant content saw a step change in open and click-through rates versus standard campaign metrics," Campbell commented. "I believe that this tactic will increasingly become mainstream over the next year or two."

Econsultancy’s census also investigated which types of behavioural triggers marketers are currently using to activate automated emails.

Unsurprisingly, signing up or subscribing to a website was the most commonly employed trigger, with 65 per cent of respondents sending emails when either action occurred – up from 59 per cent in 2014 and 33 per cent in 2013.

Well over a third, meanwhile, send automated emails when baskets are abandoned – a significant increase from 20 per cent in 2013 and last year’s figure of 27 per cent.

Among the triggers deemed less important in 2015 are up-for-renewal subscriptions. Just 19 per cent of marketers send automated emails in such instances – an eight per cent decline from last year.