Five Advantages of Integrating with Your Email Service Provider

September 30, 2013

Last week, we talked about how integrations can increase the value of your audience data.  Today, we want to talk more specifically about how integration with an email service provider can help publishers get more value from their data—and their content management system. 

There is no question that email marketing is a proven tactic for increasing conversion rates and sales. Chances are, your email service provider allows you to sort and manage your email list for easy distribution. But, does it help you to determine how to sort your list or what other content your email recipients are interested in?  Probably not.

So, you are stuck looking at your email list, then going to your CMS analytics (and whatever other tools you might be using) to get a complete picture of your client base. Then you have to jump back and forth between the two in order to send appropriate emails to the right customers at the right time. The extra steps waste time and money.

At the fundamental level, that is where the value of integration lies. When you integrate your email provider with your CMS, you remove obstacles and gain a more holistic view of your readers. Essentially, you automate the process of managing emails in order to respond with context awareness. Let’s look at how:

1)    Audience Segmentation: when you synch the audience data gathered on your website with your email list, you sort your lists and send the most appropriate content by isolating topic preferences, products purchased and articles viewed. You can automatically target your readers more specifically in an email and give them the information you know that they are looking for.

2)    Manage Trial Offers: Your analytics tell you what premium content works for your trial subscribers and your email list tells you where to send it. You can market new subscriptions, manage upgrades and schedule expiration dates from one place.

3)    Content Automation: When you build your eNewsletters or marketing emails, you can easily pull content from your site into them, by assigning articles, embedding links, etc. Then you can test them and run reports to improve deliverability.

4)    Leverage Sharing Behavior: When your analytics tell you which readers share articles and products on your site (and what is shared), you can generate lists and schedules for targeting those users with the content that suits them the best. You can also build relationships with those individuals who do the sharing by adding them to a gratitude distribution list—or creating another classification that moves them into the next level of user.

5)    Make Event Follow-up a Breeze: With this type of integration, registration and circulation data is synchronized. Most publishers think about that solely in terms of subscriptions. But that’s not the only advantage. When readers express interest or register for forums, webinars or conferences, they can be funneled into a list that pulls relevant content from your blogs, listings, products and articles to build deeper interest and excitement. Then, they can easily be targeted for post-event follow-up; a critical action that many event planners struggle to bring to fruition, particularly when they must jump back and forth between different management platforms. Sending surveys, calls to action and news after the event serves simply to lengthen the relationship and maintain a “top-of-mind” status. 

You may be thinking, “This comes down to one thing: relationships,” and you’re right. As a publisher, you are trying to build a relationship with your readers. Giving them the content they want and the community they need is the name of the game in the world of digital publishing.

Having a CMS that you can integrate with all the tools that you use to manage your readers provides you with the ultimate customer relationship management—without the effort of managing six different platforms. After all, you have to have the time to create the content.

Ultimately, email integration helps you provide a more personalized experience for your reader and gain a more profitable, enduring relationship.