Smarter Email: What It Is and Why Enterprise Email Marketing Requires It

smarter email brainiac kidLast year, we went through a complete re-branding here at ClickMail. We took a good, hard look at what we’re really good at, the capabilities that make our clients happy and keep us on Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest-growing companies year after year. And we realized all of our expertise and experience could be summed up in just two words: smarter email.

What is smarter email?
Now to us, smarter email is obvious. It’s enterprise email marketing that does more with less, that generates higher ROI while making your job easier. Smarter email means an email marketing program that’s as effective as can be for meeting your organization’s specific goals. For most businesses, goals boil down to ROI in the end, but the way to get to that ROI varies from organization to organization, and the available resources (both financial and human), technological capabilities and even corporate culture can affect how ROI is achieved. Smarter email takes all of these variables into account for an email marketing program that’s customized and effective.

What does smarter email look like?
Smarter email is what enterprise email marketing should strive to be. It is timely segmented, targeted, automated, relevant and effective. But that’s just a string of adjectives, so let’s paint a picture of what it looks like instead:

Smarter email arrives in a customer’s (or prospect’s) inbox when that person is likely to be most receptive to getting it. It delivers a targeted, relevant message that’s based on data collected about that recipient, including personal information as well as past clicking, browsing and buying behavior. Because it arrives at the right time with the right message, that email is much more likely to generate a click through and a conversion. The person on the receiving end doesn’t recognize it as “smarter” email. They only know that they received a communication that interested them, whether a news story, a promotion or some other kind of message.

Describing smarter email is one thing. Knowing how to pull it off is quite another. In our world at ClickMail, where we help make enterprise email marketing happen, there are three key components of smarter email that are interconnected and necessary to each other: the right technology tailored to your needs and easily analyzed.

1. The right technology
By technology, we really mean the right digital marketing platform. You as a customer have over a hundred solutions to choose from, and an ever-increasing choice of third-party vendors developing enhancements for these platforms. But there’s a reason the market offers so many choices: not every platform is right for every business.

This plethora of choices is actually what got ClickMail started over a decade ago. We saw companies getting lost in the trees, trying to find their way through the ESP forest to the platform right for them. So we became that guide, always vendor agnostic, always striving to help organizations find the best email service provider for their particular needs. In our experience, the right technology is fundamental to smarter email. That’s why we built a business model around helping companies find that right technology.

2. Technology tailored to your needs
Technology tailored to your needs is the second component required for smarter email. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been approached by businesses telling us they want to switch email service providers because the platform is not working for them, only to discover the platform is fine. It just requires tailoring to fit their particular needs. It might really be the best email service provider for that client, once it gets tweaked to work just right for them. At ClickMail, we’ve spent the past 10 years developing the expertise and building the team so we’re able to tailor technology, which usually means customizing the way an ESP works for a particular client.

I predict this need for tailored technology is going to be an even bigger challenge as platforms get ever more sophisticated and powerful. Picture the pilot who is used to flying a Cessna and then she is placed in the cockpit of a 777. Sure, she’ll have a lot of functionality at her fingertips that she didn’t have before, but will she know what to do with it? That’s what it looks like for email marketers too, as ESPs and marketing automation solutions grow in complexity.

3. In-depth email analytics
The third piece necessary for smarter email is email analytics. You have to know what’s working as well as what’s not working so you can optimize over time, making that smarter email ever smarter by seeing and reacting to information, trends and insights.

We believe so ardently in the need for powerful email analytics that we developed a proprietary email analytics tool for ExactTarget* users: eMVision. Using Tableau Software’s visualization and integrating it with ExactTarget’s email reporting, we made email analytics easier to read and understand. Someone might stare at a bunch of numbers and not immediately see connections. But present those numbers in a visual way, and all of a sudden trends and results become obvious. That’s what eMVision offers, and that’s the third piece required for smarter email.

This obviously is the world according to us at ClickMail, as we proclaim the right technology tailored to your needs and easily analyzed to be the path to smarter email. We know effective enterprise email marketing requires other pieces too, such as quality lists, savvy segmenting, great content and appropriate email design. But for the niche we fill in the industry–helping clients find the right platform and optimizing it just for them—smarter email is what we do and this is how we do it.

To learn more about smarter email, call on ClickMail.