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Getting started with data-driven email marketing

via TD: To be successful in email marketing you need to have an understanding of your customers and subscribers and you need to send the right information about your business.

Does that sound tricky? Fortunately, with the right technology and information about your customers you can create emails that keep a reader’s attention and drive sales. Data can be used to target the right marketing messages to the right group of people on your lists, and in turn, it can inform your decisions.

It can seem overwhelming to get started: 81% of marketers say it can be complicated to implement a data strategy. To understand more about using data to drive your email marketing, Campaign Monitor has created the inforgraphic The Eye-Opening Truth About Data-Driven Marketing:

Collecting the data you need
Before you do anything, take a look at what you’re currently sending out in terms of emails, and what you’re looking to change. Data, and the right email marketing service, can be used to personalise emails such as adding a first name to the subject line or content of the email or sending emails with content or images based on gender or location for each person on the list.

You can also use it to set up list segments that allow you to create emails with content specific to each segment, targeting your customer’s needs or interests.

You may have a list of people interested in cruises, or those who want flight deals. Once you’ve sent out emails you can use the data collected from each one to understand what your customers like in your emails, in your products, and in your business.


To have a successful data-driven email marketing strategy in the first place, you need to have, or collect, information about your customers and subscribers. By understanding a little bit about who they are, what they like, and how they behave, you can send email messages that will get results. Fortunately, collecting data on your customers is fairly easy, and you probably already have some information so you won’t be starting from scratch.

Assess what data you currently have in your lists, most likely you have at least email addresses and names, and what additional data you need to collect to achieve your marketing goals.

Then figure out how to collect the data you need for your marketing, the infographic has ideas and stats on some of the typical channels used. Social channels, website tracking, and emails are some of the top methods, but there could be some unique ones based on your specific business. It could be as simple as a sign-up sheet at a trade show or a question asked at check out.

Cotopaxi sent an email to ask for birthday information from their email subscribers. They’ll be able to send birthday greetings to their customers, which can go a long way to keeping them around. You don’t need to ask for a specific birth date, people can be skeptical about giving out that data, but you can ask just for a month and send an email on the first day each month. You can use this method to collect other data too, of course.

Patagonia goes in another direction and asks for gender, location, and email frequency to ensure that the messages they send are relevant and personal to each subscriber. The easiest way to make this work is to use an email marketing service that allows you to collect information. The data will automatically be kept in one spot and you won’t have to do any kind of coding.

There are other methods to collect information, of course, use what works best for your customers and makes the most sense for your business.



Once you’ve collected the data you need for your email strategy you’ll need to start using it. An email service provider will have the tools that will help you create lists of customers for your needs.

Maybe you want to send emails related to weather or events in certain parts of the country. You can make lists based on location, state, or zip code using their tools create the segments you need and then personalise emails with names, images or content.

Getting started might take a bit of work, but once you’ve embraced data-driven marketing, you’ll see results in how your customers respond to your emails and your business.

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