NEWS: Say Hello to New Customers: 4 Steps to Get the Most Out of Acquisition Campaigns Schedule a Call

Thumb of the Blog

Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2016-03-09

The latest data from the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Email Tracker Report shows that email remains the “bedrock on which the majority of marketing campaigns operate.”

And while email has cemented its role as an essential marketing tool, organizations often struggle with automating the email process to achieve optimum results. One reason for the struggle is data – and data fuels automation. From the need to marry email data and campaigns with data from other company departments (e.g. sales, IT), to then use that information as the basis for personalized, targeted content, the challenges for email marketers are complex.

The concept of “programmatic” email – leveraging data collected by user behavior to drive email content and initiatives -- is rapidly evolving to not only address these issues, but to automate the email process itself.

For example, programmatic technology can be employed to create personalized, relevant email content based on the pages a prospect visits, and the content he or she engages with (e.g. videos viewed, whitepapers downloaded) on a company website. Programmatic technologies vendor Criteo claims that such personalized emails increase open rates as much as fourfold, and click-through rates fivefold.

Another example would be if a shopper selects some items to purchase online, but for whatever reason abandons the purchase process. Programmatic systems can create and send an automated email reminding the prospect of the items after a couple days, and perhaps include an incentive (e.g. a coupon) to complete the purchase.

While such automation may sound futuristic or too advanced for many email marketers, the hype surrounding programmatic marketing continues to grow. The adoption of programmatic technologies has started, perhaps not surprisingly, in the online advertising world, where ads are often delivered based on previous browsing history.

Indeed, according to AdExchanger Research’s “The State of Programmatic Selling, 2015,” ad publishers continue to adopt programmatic technologies, with nearly one-in-four (24.8%) saying that programmatic ads account for at least 40% of their total ad revenue today.

Despite the burgeoning use in the online advertising realm, programmatic technology applied to email is still in its early stages of use and acceptance. The DMA survey confirms that the adoption of programmatic email automation remains low despite the promise of improved targeting, superior personalization, reduced waste and improved overall ROI.

The DMA report also suggests that many marketers lack the “competence and data” to run such campaigns, and have difficulty calculating ROI on what can be a high initial investment. “Marketers are struggling with email automation. Automation is often described as a panacea for email, but marketers still have to make the systems work,” says the report.

We at Outward Media have long advised our clients to leverage email to support and nurture the sales process, and foster deeper relationships with customers and prospects. Using today’s emerging email automation tools, combined with powerful email data, may allow organizations to take these concepts to a whole new level.  

We’re excited about the potential and promise that programmatic technologies can have in making email even more important and relevant for the recipients, and improving the results and achievements for email marketers themselves.


Refuel and refresh your email campaign initiatives for acquiring new customers. Consider giving OMI marketing data a try. OMI allows you to reach targeted contacts with precision and accuracy. Click here for more information and contact us to get started. And don’t forget to download your copy of “140 Reasons Email Marketing is Not Dead: Building Success around Email Marketing,” now available on Amazon or via complimentary access on the Aha Amplifier website.

Image credit: Copyright: convisum / 123RF Stock Photo

Download your FREE Ebook

At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

Five Best Practices for Using Email Marketing to Target SMBs

Get it Now

The Executive's 15-Minute Guide to Building a Successful Email Marketing Database

Get it Now

A 15-Minute Guide to Fortune 2,000 Businesses and Executives

Get it Now

Contact us today

Our team will be happy to answer any of your questions.

Chris Lelles

30 Minute Consultation with Chris Lelles

30 min

A member of our team will demonstrate how our solutions can support!

Select a Date & Time