It’s the same story for so many commerce brands. Your team is hungry to learn more about individual customer preferences, through closely measuring who clicks, opens, converts – working out which content works best for them, so you can optimise and scale your success.

It’s simple in principle.

But what happens when you have a hundred-thousand strong email-base – or even bigger, which has zero engagement from this segment to even start testing?

Of course, you have your engaged subscribers too, but those who have hit the snooze button leave you with a huge gap in your potential reach and impact. How can you re-activate these records who have already demonstrated their loyalty to your brand by subscribing, and yet don’t seem to increase their activity with your current flight schedule?

The following three steps of integrated tactics and journeys will take you away from a centralised retail calendar, to not only reactivate unresponsive records but also enhance the engagement levels of those already involved.

Step 1: from one-to-all to one-to-many


Rather than sending one email to everyone, first segment by basic criteria which takes an overall business objective and characterises it with top-level customer criteria. Take “account status” for example:

You can then split your dormant database two ways; by defining and delivering based on

Apart from the fact that you’re being more relevant by making use of this simple segmentation, this step will also bring in additional profile data to teach you more about your sleepy subscribers, so you can optimise your targeting across channels.

Step 2: from one-to-many to one-to-some


Then, you can use enriched customer profiles to tell the right stories informed by cross-channel data, based on purchase intent or interest.

You can use these implicit but telling subscriber actions found across your other channels to inform and qualify smaller groups of email subscribers for segments of ‘relocators’, ‘frequent travellers’ or ‘shoe-lovers’ and include them in campaigns relevant to their broader preferences and plans.

Step 3: from one-to-some, to one-to-one


You’ve begun to add deeper layers of insight to your basis for email segmentation, and you’re seeing the benefits in opens, clicks, and conversions. Now you’ve successfully breathed new life into your database through data-driven workflows, you can start to make journeys more dynamic and informed on an individual level.

This means setting up the interactive decision making and automation which makes your subscriber feel like they’re receiving an email flow just for them – and that you’re responding directly to their needs:

Taking it step-by-step

So if you are dealing with a base full of sleepy subscribers, just remember what to do. First segment them so that you know where you lack profile data. Then add external data from other channels to further enrich your records. To finish things off, start building click profiles via relevant communication you managed to send out via the previous steps. Combine all the data gathered, and use your output to begin predicting future subscriber movements. And there you go, your base is fully awake!


Time to wake up more of your customer data with 4 principles for smarter application of marketing data by Heehang Tsui.