I am unsure of how best to use data for e-mail and Web marketing?

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Web sites are sticky and e-mail is elastic. In order to enhance the power of e-mail elasticity and keep users coming back to your site—as well as buying and interacting—you need to understand the kind of data that will make this interaction useful. This is where the situation becomes complex, as there is an immense amount of data available online.

There are two main types of data that help drive meaningful interaction: profile data and aggregate data. Profile data include basic information such as name, e-mail address and preferences for receiving promotional e-mails. Aggregate data go a bit further and include click-through rates on embedded URLs, site page views, total number of messages deployed and open rates.

Updating profile data on a regular basis enables tighter targeting of e-mail messages based on previous buying behavior and user-expressed interest. Once the right message is targeted and the user has landed from a specially tagged URL in your targeted message, the ability to harness aggregated data and craft specialized landing pages, offers and microsites will enable your campaign to meet your needs.

To tie in your e-mail programs to the overall Web initiatives, you need to capture various data touch points such as self-reporting, subscription information, purchase and response history, Web site activity, external service bureau overlays and predictive modeled information. Based on these rich touch points, you can create targeted e-mail messages, creative, personalization and timed messages based on events and triggers to better meet your e-mail marketing goals.

Jay Kulkarni is CEO and founder of Theorem (, a provider of technical and analytical services to digital marketers.

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