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How Context Fuels Email Engagement


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Guest blogger, Jenna Tiffany from Communicator, explains how emails can stand out from the noise and succeed with the use of context!
Email is very much alive and kicking and if you’re top of your game, then context should be fuelling your email marketing strategy. It’ll help you to take that step closer to providing quality, relevant customer experiences, all with a particular focus on the holy grail; the single customer view.
Technology development over the past 50 years has turned the consumer path to purchase on its head. Gone are the days when your local store owner knew your name, your order and your life story.
Smartphones and mobile devices have revolutionized the purchase process and with 50% of all email now opened on a mobile, it’s important to bridge the gap from personalized one to one in-store experiences of the past, to deliver this level of personalization and relevancy with email.
With over 89 billion business emails sent every day, only 5% of companies are personalizing their emails ‘extensively’. That’s a lot of email noise, a lot of which is generic and adds zero value to the consumer.
Nick Besbeas, the previous LinkedIn VP of marketing stated ‘Today to cut through the noise it’s important to be present, be relevant and add value. One place to start is to question if the email you send every Monday, adds any value to your recipients. If the answer is no, then why send it?

Real-Time Context

[one_half]To provide a timely personalized experience, the use of real-time contextual data is key. Contextual marketing technology will urge you to approach customer journeys and experiences with a strategic mindset.
With the right technology, email can become a contextual marketing machine that unifies all digital channels and offers relevant messages across all devices.[/one_half]
By adopting a contextual strategy, you’ll also need to think differently about how your content is born and nurtured. Potentially, in the future, content could be streamed from your digital TV into your email campaigns, for example.
To incorporate context into your email marketing strategy I have three key steps:


[five_sixth]First up, it’s all about putting the customer first with customer-centricity. Place them at the heart.[/five_sixth][/full_width]


[five_sixth]You can’t be relevant if you don’t know the customer’s journey and the stages that they are at. Make sure to hone in on this.[/five_sixth][/full_width]


[five_sixth]Don’t be put off by big data; there is technology available to help you harness its insights for your email strategy.[/five_sixth][/full_width]

Content can be personalized based on:


  • Location
  • Device
  • Time
  • Weather


  • Gender
  • Age
  • Address
  • Favourite stores & brands


  • Website visited
  • Emails opened
  • Links clicked


The World is Your Oyster

Our client, The Co-operative Electrical, used context as part of their Black Friday campaign to create a personalized re-email campaign where urgency was the key driver for action.
This approach resulted in one of the top performing campaigns ever for The Co-operative Electrical. Unique opens across the two emails was 42% – just shy of double our industry benchmark.
The clicks to open were also higher than the benchmark at 17%. The key success to note here, considering how many emails were sent during Black Friday in 2014, was the very low unsubscribe rate. Demonstrating that, if the content is relevant and of interest to your subscribers, you will improve your engagement rates.


Jenna Tiffany Digital Strategist – Communicator

Jenna Tiffany is Digital Marketing Strategist at Communicator, helping clients optimize marketing strategies and tactics. Jenna brings a wide variety of digital marketing experience in a number of disciplines including Email, E-Commerce/Website development, Social Media and Search (PPC & SEO).


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