The Co-operative Travel Find Unexpected Benefits to Email Marketing Automation

There are lots of benefits to email marketing automation.

Many of our customers see high open rates, click through rates and conversions from the campaigns they’ve chosen to set up. There are also some key differences in the level of sophistication between automated campaigns. Some campaigns focus on sending a different message to each recipient; others will send the same generic message to all.

Michael Barber presented Delivering results through email marketing automation. Case study: Trinity Mirror at this year’s TFM&A exhibition.


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Results, methods and technology all differ across the range, but I feel there’s one thing that email automation provides all organisations that choose to utilise the technology for campaigns.

Benefits to email marketing automation in surprising places

Email marketing automation provides marketers with the opportunity to do ‘real’ marketing.

What do I mean by this? Well I realise the above could sound a little or a lot like I’m being condescending but bear with me and you’ll realise I’m not.

The DMA state that 75% of all email revenue now comes from more targeted approaches. Automating campaigns presents marketers with the opportunity to focus on understanding their customers to allow this targeting to take place. Looking at the results of campaigns and the data that sits alongside the results helps marketers and ultimately organisations make decisions to drive their business forward.

The Co-operative Travel case study

Here is an example. In 2013, our customer The Co-operative Travel approached us to create an automated campaign for their summer departures. The campaign sent a holiday maker 5 pre-departure emails and one post-holiday. The campaign had everything; dynamic content per recipient dependent on destination – images, upsell and cross-sell products, the lot! The obligatory social media integration and a really cool (yes cool) offline integration – £5 off food voucher for that empty fridge when you get home.

So here’s the thing. The unique open rate for the campaign was 26% higher than industry average (Communicator Benchmarking H1 2013). Some individual emails had higher than 100% open rates by volume showing the value of the information within. But it’s not these results that held my interest or the Group’s. It was the cross-sell results.

The Co-operative Travel had always worked on the basis that selling holiday insurance was most effective close to the customer’s departure date. In the retail stores and via direct mail, that was how it had always worked. However, the data in the results of the email campaign demonstrated that more customers actually purchase holiday insurance closer to the booking date of their holiday.

Finding the real insight through automation

Email in Fire. Computer Graphics.That’s the ‘real’ marketing I’m talking about. Insight. Knowledge that helps their business move forward. Another retailer I worked with automated emails for customers who abandoned their basket. When analysing the results they realised customers from one territory regularly abandoned the shopping process. Why? Well the majority of customers from that particular territory used a payment method that wasn’t accepted in their shopping cart. Similarly one retail customer created specific language landing pages following analysis of their automated campaign results.

So if marketing is selling to the right person the right product at the right time, then why waste time handcrafting HTML emails, requesting data from IT teams or using email marketing platforms? Automate the campaigns and start looking at the results and underlying data. That data will help your organisation move forward. Oh and you’ll still experience the great results – increased revenue, reduced costs, increased productivity etc.

It’s win-win.

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Michael Barber

Michael Barber

Head of Product Marketing, Communicator

Michael Barber has been sending email campaigns for around nine years, including for one of the world’s largest business software firms. At Communicator he’s responsible for all aspects of marketing, specialising in developing new software and services to meet the needs of Communicator’s customers.

February 20, 2014

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