Smart mailing, the recipe for a successful e-mailing campaign

Tilit... 🛎 Your mailbox now has 2876 unread messages, which you will certainly never open? In the era of in digital, it has become essential to redouble our efforts regarding e-mailing campaigns. Deliverability, personalization, mailingest, GDPR regulations, smart mailing tools… nothing should be left to chance anymore. 🎯 Also, the team We Are COM went to seek advice from Stephane Germain, Co-founder of the software company, Activecom and editor of platform of e-mailing, Activemailer. So, how to succeed in your e-mailing campaign? The recipe for guaranteed success. 🙌 

Hello Stéphane, to start, we would like to know what are the rules of a successful e-mailing campaign?

Deliverability is a vast subject and it is one of the major challenges for our job as a router. The 3 rules that I am going to list will have an impact on the deliverability but also on the success of the campaign with the public insurance aimed.

  • The first rule is to take care of your database and your targeting. A contact database must be maintained and updated. Too many outdated addresses can have a devastating effect on a campaign as you could be seen as a spammer. As for targeting, it is a common sense rule that does not only apply to e-mailing. We are going to communicate on a subject that may potentially be of interest to our recipients. No use trying to sell ice cream to an eskimo!
  • Rule number 2 is to work on the subject and the pre-header of your message. For the success of our campaign, this is what will encourage, or not, the targeted recipients to open the message. AB testing on the object can be the ally of choice to optimize its opening rate. These elements can also have an impact on the deliverability because they are the ones that will be analyzed first by the filtering equipment (antispam). Certain keywords or the exclusive use of capital letters can sometimes cut short the distribution of your campaign.
  • In 3, if your message has been sent, delivered and it has been opened, everything is not won yet. The content and presentation of the message remain the determining elements for transforming a mailing campaign into a successful campaign. The click-through rate will be the indicator to watch.

Like the object, all the content but also the links are likely to be filtered by an antispam before reaching the recipient.

To avoid “bulk mail” is the CRM no longer enough? How to personalize our mailings?

La date is the key to personalization. The more your contact is qualified, the more you will be able to refine your communication. 

The CRM remains an essential link in this ecosystem. It feeds the databases of Activemailer and conversely, the data collected at the end of a mailing campaign should be able to enrich the CRM. From the contact data, we will be able to define segments and use them to condition content

The more your contact is qualified, the more you will be able to refine your communication.

Precisely, the mailing is an essential strategic tool in terms of customer communication. Also, how can you personalize the content?

Our "profiler" module provides this layer of customization by offering advanced segmentation tools based on the data available for each contact (data from a CRM, thematic preferences, consultation history). These segments, which may correspond to finely studied personas, are used to condition the inclusion of certain content in a newsletter.

Concretely, I can define content that will only be sent to recipients showing an appetite for a particular theme and, if the qualification of the contact is sufficient, go further by personalizing the content itself. Example, I display a generic article on the real estate theme if my contact is part of the real estate segment. If in addition, I know he has an interest in buying, I can replace the generic content with news on credit rates.

Can you tell us more about the management module you offer, “Preference Center”?

The preference center is a way to empower the reader and create a virtuous circle.

  • It can be fed by different channels: external sources (CRM / DATA warehouse),
  • via a history-based self-learning system,
  • in a declarative manner, leaving the choice to the recipients.

By accessing their preference center, the contact can directly interact with the data in their file. In the order of priorities, the declarative data are those which carry the most weight. 

Between us and out of curiosity, when is the best time to send a newsletter?

There was a time when it was said that Tuesday or Thursday was the right day to communicate by email, then everyone rushed to these 2 days with the consequence of overloading these slots. The newsletter must be an appointment with its readers. Regardless of the time slot chosen, but depending on the periodicity defined, this appointment must be respected.

Personnellement, I recommend using the reminder mechanism on non-openers by shifting the two shipments by a few days and half a day (morning then follow-up in the afternoon) this makes it possible to reach populations with different consultation habits. The upscale on opening rates can reach 15 to 20%.

To go even further, we have developed a system allowing us to personalize the sending times according to the reading habits of each recipient.

The newsletter must be an appointment with its readers. Regardless of the time slot chosen, but depending on the periodicity defined, this appointment must be respected.

And when it comes to GDPR, where do we stand? What are the rules in BtoB versus BtoC? Will these rules change?

It has now been more than 4 years since the GDPR came into force. In general, it has made it possible to introduce a dose of good practice in terms of the protection of personal data. By e-mail, the big difference between BtoB and BtoC is at the level of consent. To address a contact B to C, free and informed consent (confirmed optin) is required. The rules are more flexible when it comes to professional communication BtoB.

On the other hand, whether in BtoB or BtoC, the recipient of an e-mailing campaign must at any time be able to unsubscribe. The main change to the GDPR was adopted in 2021. It concerned the use of cookies and therefore had no direct impact on the e-mailing professions.

Besides, what is the “Protection – Pact” label?

This is a label rewarding our commitment to data protection. It can be obtained following an audit of all of the company's practices; if the criteria are satisfied of course.

We would like to know what, in your opinion, will be the major developments affecting mailing and data in the years to come? Will social networks eventually kill email?

According to several studies, it is even the communication channel offering the best ROI and a footprint CSR relatively weak. In my opinion, it will remain among the essential tools at the heart of any communication strategy. Developments will involve integration into complex ecosystems, automation of tasks, media distribution (audio / video), etc. These are all topics we are working on at Activecom.

The second question makes me smile because the death of email has been predicted for more than 20 years and yet it is still there. Email remains a safe and universal value. Conversely, for the Social Media there are fads; the same RS will not address all targets, it can be adopted just as quickly as abandoned. On the other hand, each RS imposes its own rules of use and confidentiality likely to impact your strategies based on their use.

SRs require much more active monitoring; both on the techno level and on the movements of the different personas.

the death of email has been predicted for more than 20 years and yet it is still there. Email remains a safe and universal value.

Do you think there are solutions capable of optimizing the CSR impact of an e-mailing campaign?

Each email sent leaves a carbon footprint that varies according to different parameters including the weight of the email, the storage, the path taken, etc. Personalization helps reduce this footprint in the sense that only part of the content is addressed to each contact. We act on the weight of the mail.

At Activecom, the majority of our customers are located in France. We have decided to host all of our infrastructures in France so as to reduce the distance traveled by your data. Cache systems and application optimizations also reduce the use of server resources. Certain graphic choices can also influence our carbon footprint such as the number of images and their weight, color choices, darkmode, etc.

In short, it is not a solution that allows us to optimize our CSR impact, but a set of levers to activate.

Finally, do you have any last advice for communicators wishing to embark on smart mailing?

I can only encourage you to give it a try. Smart mailing will make you gain in productivity, in perceived quality, detection of opportunities and will allow you to better know theaudience of your newsletter by measuring the effectiveness of your editorial slant. Activecom can support you in this exercise. 😀

3 things to know about Stéphane Germain

  • His sources of inspiration? His mantra is “There are no problems, only solutions. His inspiration, he finds it with us, the communicators. Understanding our needs, anticipating them, finding solutions to meet them and ultimately improving our daily lives. Stéphane consumes the media in all their forms without distinction. Although he admits to neglecting the paper somewhat.
  • Her favorite communication campaign? “What is the text? Being from the Canal generation, Stéphane grew up with Les Nulles, Gildas and De Caunes. So when Orangina entrusted the controls to Alain Chabat, he revealed to us that he had a great time! 
  • His passions ? Stéphane is addicted to adrenaline; sliding sports, speed, the seabed... Today, as soon as the weather permits, he sets off to criss-cross the Vosges roads on a motorbike.

Stephane Germain,

Associate Director / CTO at Activecom

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