Open rates, click through rates… there’s loads of data and guidance for those looking to benchmark their email marketing results. But there’s one thing that doesn’t quite get spelled out in those articles about email marketing. And it is pretty important to know about.

You know those great results you read about marketers getting with their email campaigns, those stories that inspire us all to believe that we are close to cracking the code for our own marketing? Well, those results are not being achieved with a stand alone email marketing platform.

So, here’s the truth: great email marketing results are gained when using an integrated marketing platform.

Which is your email marketing platform? What else does it do for you besides enable scheduled eblasts, responsive design, and report the data about your sends? Can it tell you what people go on to read next on your site after they click over from one of your emails? Are you able to incorporate automated emails as part of any marketing workflows on your website?

Key to Email Marketing Success #1: Segmenting Your Audience

Great results are not had by sending the same emails to your entire list. All members are not created equal. All subscribers are not created equal. Whatever your list is comprised of, you need to determine how to segment your list in an automated, dynamic way. Meaning people’s behavior can automatically move them to a new list; allowing a low-engagement individual to be redefined as a higher engaged person or a more specifically engaged person.

Segmented emails are the way to achieve better results. And it must be noted here, by results I do not mean more opens or more clicks. Those are just a means to an end. By results I mean, more applications, more registrants, more buyers.

Integrated marketing platforms are tools that offer email as well as website marketing and the data is integrated. Your website is the hub of your marketing, and you likely have many, many offers and workflows for them that allow your audience to identify themselves and their interests. And the data on any individual’s actions and behaviors is how their name gets dynamically added to lists of specific criteria. In this way you can segment your list. And another way of saying that is you can deliver an email that is more customized to what they care about at that time. Sounds good right?

Your automated website marketing will get better results if emails are incorporated into your workflows. And to do that you need your email integrated with your website marketing.

Key to Email Marketing Success #2: Integrate Your Marketing

Let’s say your organization has a report that you are selling. You’ll sell it to anyone and you want the maximum amount of sales, more than what you could gain by only selling to your known audience. So, first you need to expand your reach. And selling to strangers doesn’t work so well any longer, so you need another way to attract a wider audience.

So, you’ll take some of the key takeaways from the executive summary, a few of the data points, perhaps a graph or two, an article by someone who is knowledgeable on the subject and compile those into a free offer, like an ebook.

This free offer can shared in social circles, substantially expanding your reach. Not all will choose to buy the full report, but you might double or triple your audience by offering something of value for free. If you expect to sell the report to 20% of your audience, perhaps you can expect to sell it to 8% of the new audience, or 16% – not a bad increase.

When people click on your links in the social channels or in article that you author offsite with a link to the ebook, they’ll click over to your website marketing workflow. It will involve calls to action, landing pages, forms and  if your marketing is integrated – emails. So anyone who downloads the ebook will automatically be added to a list to receive a certain series of emails.

One email will offer a discount on the full report, if they don’t open that one, it will get sent to them again a couple of times. Once they do open an email, or if they do but do not buy, they will be given another related free offer. If they take that offer, they will again be sent emails to buy the report. You can see how this workflow requires your website and your email to be integrated. That integration allows all of this marketing to be automated.

Key to Email Marketing Success #3: Personalize Your Marketing

By integrating your marketing so that you can segment your audiences then you can… personalize your marketing. Now there is a fine line between being creepy and it being uncanny at what a good fit your messaging is for the recipient, so be clear, if there is even any question if what you’re doing is creepy then that is not what we are discussing here.

2015 is going to be the Year of Personalization. In August, a Forbes article headline said it all: Personalized Marketing Is No Longer a Luxury. I am not the first person to make this pronouncement, many are seeing opportunities.

And that’s how marketers are getting great results, by segmenting and integrating and personalizing. Email marketing is powerful and it works. But it takes more than a stand alone email platform. Now you know the truth.

By Monica Bussolati

Content Marketing tools are plentiful. And plenty confusing. So many, so much techspeak. So, to help keep our team and clients in the know we created this listing of tools grouped by category. We are finding it really helpful, you might too.

Epic List of Content Marketing Tools eBook