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Tim Watson: Behavioral Email Marketing and Email Automation Now on Top

In our express interview with Summer Lab 2014 speaker and email guru Tim Watson (Zettasphere and Direct Marketing Association, UK), we found out that behavioral targeting and email automation are now on top in email marketing. What are they and how can you benefit from them?


In a few words, what is behavioral marketing?

Behavioral marketing is sensing and responding to people’s actions. So, rather than explicitly asking people what they like and what they are interested in, observe what they do and then use the observations to provide marketing that is better matched to the person.

Behavioral targeting sounds great! But what to start with if never used before?

The simplest behavioral email is a re-target of people who didn’t open. When you’ve a big event coming up or maybe a sale ending, then try re-sending an urgency-driven email. I very often see the response to a re-send being 50% of the response to the original send.

Can we use automated emails in behavioral marketing?

A common misconception is that email automation and behavioral marketing means all the work is done for you. This is not the case. The marketer must create the strategy. The technology can then automate parts of the strategy.

What is email automation for? Lazy marketers… busy ones?

Lazy marketers! We’d all like more results for less effort, right? I wish it was a solution to take the strain out of email marketing, but it isn’t. That being said, it is a way to up your performance.

To sum up, what piece of advice could you give our marketers?

Behavioral email and email autoresponder are hot topics right now. And fairly so! It’s an important part of where email is heading. However, there are weaknesses in a purest approach to this topic which I see being overlooked. I’d encourage people to think about their customers. Stand in their shoes, consider what actions and behaviors they show. Then starting thinking about how you could make them observable.

Thank you, Tim, for the great tips and encouragement! Marketers, if you want to hear more from our email expert, follow Tim on Twitter at @tawatson.

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