But at the core of engagement is the database, and e-mail is showing a surprising capacity to help in developing good ones.
“The list-management capabilities of e-mail are pretty strong, so marketers need to focus on the data they collect that way,” said Stephanie Miller, VP-global market development at e-mail deliverability provider Return Path.
“Marketers want to collect first and last names along with e-mail addresses, and perhaps a birthday, and city and state,” Miller said. “Knowing these kinds of information opens up all sorts of possibilities. If you know a birthday, you can send out a special offer. If you know the city, you can know something about shipping rates or about your partner companies located near the recipient. Even a little bit of data can be used efficiently.”
Palo Alto Software's Parsons agreed.
“It's very possible with e-mail to have a full picture of who your customers are, their issues and their history with the company,” she said. “Knowing these things allows you to continue to build out your offerings.” M