Webinar Recap: Using First-Party Data in Email and Beyond with SparkPost

Why is first-party data so important?First-party data — which comprises data in your CRM/CDP such as customer email addresses, purchase history, behavioral tracking, etc. — lives on your website (meaning you own the data) and is typically supported by all browsers. Third-party cookies, on the other hand, are not owned by your website and are no longer supported by all internet browsers; in fact, Google is removing support for third-party cookies in 2022.“Marketing has long been addicted to this notion of targeting users using third-party cookies and spending a lot of money on advertising…That’s not how marketing is going to work going forward. Marketing should have always been a long game, and now it’s kind of forcing us to be in this long game.” April Mullen, Director of Brand & Content Marketing at SparkPostGone are the days of hemorrhaging money on advertising just to acquire new customers without focusing on retention. Ensuring the lifetime value of a customer is far more sustainable and cost-effective than simply focusing on new customer acquisition.

How to Use Recommendations in Online Marketplace Marketing

Online marketplaces that deliver stellar recommendations are a staple of customers’ browsing habits worldwide. Each country may have its own favorites, but they all have the same basic structure: get goods from many sellers into the view of customers, in one central location. And while we traditionally think of ecommerce and used goods as being the primary uses for marketplaces, almost every industry and vertical have their own version of a marketplace, whether it’s mortgages and credit cards in financial services or baseball cards and beanie babies on auction sites. These sites are essentially huge databases filled with content and products, which can be difficult to sift through — that’s where recommendations come into play.Marketplaces have incredible earning potential — the major marketplace players sold $2.03 trillion worth of goods in 2019, which made up 57% of global web sales for that year as well. These astounding numbers were possible in part to the (almost scarily) relevant recommendations the top marketplaces, like Amazon, serve up to customers. Our 2020 Benchmark Report found that campaigns using Predictive Recommendations are 116% more effective than those without. There’s no doubt that while marketplaces are a staple of online shopping today, a huge part of their success comes from their ability to deliver hyper-accurate recommendations throughout the customer journey. Here are just a few ways Blueshift customers in the online marketplace space are using recommendations successfully today.Tradera: Online Marketplace for Used GoodsTradera is one of Sweden’s most popular online marketplaces to buy and sell used electronics, household goods, clothing, and more. As Tradera has evolved and grown, their marketing team struggled to balance all of the moving pieces that came with an ever-changing inventory of millions of items up for auction (to make matters more complicated, the team had limited ability to collect dynamic customer data). To deliver personalized auction recommendations at scale, Tradera uses Blueshift’s fully integrated system to handle the demands of their dynamic catalog, varying product auction length, and ability to collect large amounts of unstructured data.Blueshift’s unique ability to understand complex listing data against customer data was key to the team. This capability allows Tradera’s marketers to serve up timely personalized recommendations to each customer during the buying process. Additionally, Blueshift’s Single Customer View enabled the team to collect, unify, and understand their first-party data better than ever before. Blueshift’s AI-powered segmentation and Predictive Recommendations made it simple for marketers to build on-brand, templated emails with custom recommendation blocks and deliver those messages to their most valuable customers — all autonomously. Blueshift made it easy for the Tradera team to surface 1:1 auction recommendations onto their site, allowing each user’s experience to be completely unique and tailored to their preferences.How Tradera Uses Blueshift’s 1:1 Recommendations:On-site and in-app recommendations as users browse through products up for auction that increased sales by +131%Specific product recommendations within email campaigns, that drove click-through rates back to their site and app by over 40%1:1 recommendations across paid media campaigns, especially using Facebook to target ideal users

Engage21 Day 5: Delivering Connected, Omnichannel Customer Experiences

Friday marked the final day of Engage21. It’s been an extraordinary week, full of great insights and resourceful discussions. Whether we learned something new or got the chance to talk with some of our friends and partners or made new connections, for us every day was full of excitement. And we hope you enjoyed the sessions at least as much as we did!The final day was dedicated to our partners. We met with Tim Rogers (Senior Vice President of Global Initiatives, Criteo), Erik Nilsen (Head of Strategic Partnerships, Pathwire), Nick Salzman (Global Partnership Lead, OneSignal), and Michael McCarthy (CEO and Founder, Inkit) to discuss the topic of building connected, omnichannel experiences that drive omnichannel customer engagement. The session was moderated by Jason Shugars (Sr. Dir. of Global Partnerships at Blueshift). We took it from one end to the other and discussed benefits, challenges, success stories or failures, and even the future.After the partners introduced themselves, we jumped into the discussion, but not before Jason asked each guest one surprise question. From the most embarrassing moment to the first concert ever attended, each answer got us to know the guests behind their professional expertise. But we are not going to reveal their answers here! For that, you’ll have to watch the video sessions which are available on-demand here. We’ll give you a sneak peek before we get to the first question: Erik’s dad joke.“What state has the most streets? That would be Rhode Island.”First, how would you define omnichannel customer engagement?Nick: “I think omnichannel engagement is probably a term that’s thrown out a lot in the industry. But if you boil it down, it’s sending the right message at the right time to the right user. It’s just figuring out when’s the appropriate time to talk to somebody and what’s the appropriate message that will resonate with them.”What’s the typical entry point for the customer experience?Tim: “I think about channels. There are a plethora of starting points, as well as a plethora of opportunities for personalization and engagement and organizing. Take that consumer experience and personalize it to all channel outcomes and all channel inputs.”What are the other benefits connected to the customer journey?Michael: “The omnichannel experience never really ends from the standpoint of a marketer. You’re going to want that customer to not only purchase from you once but to ideally, repurchase from you time and time again.”Tim: “87% of consumers have tried a new retailer or e-commerce company during the pandemic. And by large, the majority of those consumers are willing and able to repurchase from that customer. […] Existing customer base is imperative and even more imperative now. You’ve got to work harder to make sure that you move those consumers up into your higher lifetime value segments.”What are some of the challenges companies and brands face in connecting the customer experience?One of the main challenges seen by the guests is keeping your brand top of mind across different channels especially when it comes to a crowded space where everyone can communicate. The massive traffic to sites due to pandemic circumstances and neglecting the value of loyalty campaigns was another challenge raised.Any success stories, things that are working?Tim: “Building a holistic audience strategy, driving all channel outcomes and really educating those multi-channel retailers and omnichannel retailers. […] If you look through a single channel lens, you miss out on a bunch of opportunities.”Nick: “If you’re not exploring different channels and testing that strategy, you’re missing out on revenue and a potential channel to communicate with customers. We see this all the time. We work with tons of e-commerce brands that maybe have never heard of Web Push notifications, for example.”How about failures, things that are not working?Erik: “I’m not going to name any brands specifically, but I have seen some brands that are targeted more towards the Gen Z generation, and they don’t engage with email very much. […} 13-15-year-olds aren’t checking their email every day. So I think utilizing other channels is huge.”What is the future of customer engagement?Tim: “I think it’s gonna be very much more customer-centric. Everyone in the world has been thinking about this from the brand’s perspective, traditionally. And it’s the age of empowerment for the consumer at the moment. And to that end, brands need to be far more privacy-compliant to address those consumer needs.”Michael: “Marketing is going to become quite literally individualized using different tools like AI. In the next five years, I truly believe that workflows will become a thing of the past. And that tools like Blueshift will be able to optimize when to send the text message, when to send the email or when to send the TV ad, etc, based on single individuals tastes and preferences.”Nick: “There’s going to be more channels over the next 5-10-20 years. And they’re going to have to stay up to date with what’s going on. And so platforms really focus on extending and connecting the various channels and always staying up to date are going to be important. And I also think that you’ll see vertical-specific channels start to open.”And that’s all for the last day! It was an amazing session that left us truly inspired. We want to thank everyone who made this whole week possible. We will need some time to process all the great information we received, but that can only mean we learned a lot! If you missed any of the sessions, you can always check the other blog posts:

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