The Marketer’s Guide to Behavioral Email


Let’s get to the point. Email marketing is neither dead nor dying. In fact, according to Techcrunch, it’s just getting started:

“Email is still an integral part of the way we communicate today… it remains the infrastructure foundation for collaboration that all new communications tools eventually tie back to. Email is not dead or dying; in fact, it’s still very much alive.”

So alive, in fact, that email lives within the top 5 revenue-driving channels for most businesses. According to eMarketer’s 2016 survey, email has an average ROI of 122%, which is 4X higher than alternative marketing channels.

Bar Graph depicting Email as the strongest ROI channel according to US Marketers from June 2016

So yeah, email’s a big deal. It represents a major piece of the business growth pie.

The problem? There’s a few. We’ll get to them.

The consequence of those problems? It’s imminent: increased unsubscribes and the subsequent ruin of a top revenue channel.

But, there’s hope – hope that arrives in the form of simply better emails for your best traffic.

This guide has been designed to ensure that, as Marketers, you not only understand the crucial role email contributes to your business growth but also unlock the full potential of email with a behavioral, people-based approach to your marketing strategy. By the end of this guide, not only will your faith in email be fully restored but you’ll finish with a new and improved vision for your email marketing strategy that has the potential to put your business growth in overdrive.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Email is important. End of story.

Before you heed the chatter of a forthcoming email-pocolypse, stop and consider the way email is really used today.

Part 2: Email today. You’re destroying it.

The Batch and Blast approach might be a reliable source of revenue for you today or tomorrow, but what’s it doing for you a year from now? Hint: the truth is painful.

Part 3: Email. The Behavioral, People-Based Approach.

It’s the doorbell to one’s digital universe. Treat it that way.


*Please note, this is a complimentary excerpt. To unlock the full guide, click here.*



Part 1: Email is important. End of story.

In spite of the ever-evolving technology available to us today, email has remained a relevant piece of our digital lives.

Let’s walk through the evidence in favor of email’s continued existence:

  • The significance of email
  • The business impact of email
  • The email, itself

The significance of email

In today’s universe, an email address represents more than a means for communication. Just think about everything you use your email address for: Graphic listing the company logos of the places you enter your email address online, including Facebook, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Linkedin, etc.

The list is endless.

An email address is your digital ID. It’s essentially the digital equivalent of a social security number. It’s what breathes digital existence into a physical human being. Without an email address, you can’t have Amazon Prime deliver the groceries you need for dinner tonight; you can’t pay that bill online at the last minute; you can’t download games on your phone or binge on the latest season of Game of Thrones.

That said, there exists some truth within those whispers of an email-pocolypse. While email as a channel is not dying anytime soon, email as a means for personal communication is withering. Today, around 80% of emails in an individual’s inbox are not from a person – the majority of emails are Uber receipts, marketing newsletters, news updates, etc. Inboxes have transformed into organization tools for life as opposed to a vehicles for person-to-person conversation.

Just look at the various filtration services email provides today: Gmail Tabs, auto-sorting out spam messages, priority inbox, content filters, email lists. All of these have been created for the purpose of extending email’s efficiency outside the personal communication channel.

In other words, email is actually more important than ever.

Why? Because today, people are using their inbox to organize their lives: shopping – there’s a tab for that, subscriptions – there’s a tab for that, news – there’s a tab for that.

“The truth is our use of email is only increasing, because the way we use it is evolving to help us better manage the everyday to-do lists in our work and personal lives.”

When SuzieQ is ready to look for her new winter wardrobe, she simply clicks over to the shopping tab and scans the subject lines until she finds one that piques her fancy. When she sees an email from her sister in the priority inbox, on the other hand, she knows it’s important and requires more time and attention – otherwise her sister would’ve texted her.

Most importantly, however, is the simple fact that people want your emails. According to a study by MarketingSherpa, when asked, “ In which of the following ways, if any, would you prefer companies to communicate with you?,” a whopping 72% of customers said they prefer email.

By providing you with their email addresses, your website visitors are welcoming you into their digital homes. It’s up to your business to create an engaging dialogue that transforms email into a productive relationship with your customers.

The business impact of email

It really begins and ends with the simple fact that an email address represents the crux of People-Based Marketing. With the collection of a single email address, businesses establish a connection to the human behind the mouse, the swipe, the tap. That connection becomes the skeleton key to unlocking untapped revenue doors for your business.

People-Based Marketing is the approach to marketing whereby a business identifies and targets single individuals as they engage across every device, every browser, and every channel both on and off the website. The real power of People-Based Marketing stems from the fact that it gives businesses the ability to own their audiences.

Here’s a stat for you: Of the traffic that lands on a website, only about 5% of that traffic is identified.

> What does that mean? It means that 95% of the traffic that marketers pay to acquire remains anonymous to their businesses.

> And what does that mean? Once they abandon, marketers pay for them again (and again, and again, and again) in order to bring them back.

In other words, while you might be paying to drive traffic to your website, those dollars don’t unlock unlimited access to that traffic. So, considering that more than 75% of that new traffic will abandon without completing a conversion, you’re wasting a lot of money.

Enter People-Based Marketing.

Because People-Based Marketing hinges on identifying your previously anonymous traffic, you’ll leverage Behavioral Marketing to capture the email addresses of those visitors with the highest propensity to convert at the precise moment that they are most willing to provide their email address. Now, when greater than 75% of that traffic abandons, you won’t have to pay to drive them back. You can simply email them in a behavioral, people-based way (we’ll get there).Fact graphic explaining that the BounceX identification rate is 38% while the industry average is only at 5%.


The email, itself

Once upon a morning, SuzieQ woke to a home screen flooded with email notifications:

• A few from work – swiped away, would deal with them at work.

• A couple from home – swiped away, would deal with them later.

• An email from her favorite store – subject line: 50% off. Interesting… but no time now. Swiped.

Later that evening, SuzieQ remembered that morning’s notifications, specifically the 50% off from her favorite store, She quickly journeyed to the Promotions tab of her Gmail inbox. Scanning the subject lines before her, SuzieQ couldn’t find what she was looking for. So, she embarked on her search via Gmail filters – typing the details she could recall – store name, subject line details, time, and date. And there it was – the email she’d been searching for — accidentally archived in her morning swipe. Finally, SuzieQ opened the email and learned that the promotion was available only until midnight – leaving her with a single hour to shop. So she clicked through the email, unlocked her 50% off, and made her purchase. The end.

The point of SuzieQ’s story is not merely to convey that email is important because it led SuzieQ to conversion. The point is to highlight the various high-intent actions an individual might take when engaging with your emails. Let’s lay them out:

Comic strip illustrating the 6 high intent actions a user takes when engaging with an email.

Each of these actions required SuzieQ to consciously make the decision to further engage (or not to) with her favorite store. With each decision in that process, SuzieQ became slightly more invested in the email and its contents.

Think of obtaining an email address as the equivalent of an invitation by your customers to enter their digital homes. Now, think of sending an email as taking them up on that invite and ringing the digital doorbell of those same visitors. Those most interested in what you’re offering and therefore most likely to complete a conversion will open their doors to you – they’ll open your emails. And those who click through your emails – well that’s about as close as you can get to a handshake in the digital realm.

Unlike ad real-estate, an inbox represents a medium that truly belongs to the individuals in question. SuzieQ received the promotional email from her favorite store because she opted to receive it at the specific address of her inbox. That is to say, email is far more valuable than any ad (or even any other channel), because it’s owned by the individuals your business is reaching and they’ve given their explicit consent to be marketed to.

And the emails, themselves? They’re fully owned and operated by your business. You have full control over who receives which email at what point in time – a major contributor to the 4X ROI of email over other marketing channels. You already own the audience, you own the medium, you just have to do the work.

  1. It isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s the foundation of the digital universe.
  2. It gives you the ability to own your audience, so stop re-paying for it.
  3. It is a channel unlike any other – the closest you can come to a physical connection to your digital audience.
Click here to unlock the rest of The Marketer’s Guide to Behavioral Email & learn why a behavioral approach is crucial to driving growth from your email marketing strategy.  Unlock the guide >