Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why GPS Might Drive Email CTR Through the Roof

Anyone who has ever played with a cell phone's GPS feature has seen a glimpse into the future of eMarketing. iPhone, in addition to knowing your exact location, now has apps that pinpoint the proximity of friends and colleagues as well. Welcome to the latest in segmenting your customers: Location, location, location!

I'm not talking about a 10% off coffee coupon that gets emailed to you as you walk by a Starbucks, (although that would be pretty cool). But with relevance being the key driver in whether your email gets any attention at all, it doesn't get much more relevant than knowing exactly where someone is at the precise time they open your email!

Here are a few examples of how one day we might be able to leverage GPS in segmenting our email communications:

B2B Message Before GPS:

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your interest in [Our Product]. We'd like to schedule a brief demo with you. We can arrange an appointment at one of our many branch offices or have the local rep in your area contact you directly.

B2B Message After GPS:

Hi Bob,

Welcome to Boston! Hope you had a good trip. Did you know we have a branch office right down the street from you! While you are in town, we'd like to schedule a brief Product Demo with you from the convenience of your hotel.

Please reply to this email to have Simon Smith, our product expert in Boston arrange a convenient time for you.


B2C Message Before GPS:

Dear Bob,

Save 50% off pure wool coats at Bingham's Factory Direct. To find the location of the store nearest you, click here.

B2C Message After GPS:

Hi Bob,

Welcome to Boston! Hope you had a good trip. Since you've already discovered how cold it is here, we'd like to invite you to Bingham's 50% off wool coat sale, going on now through Sunday. Even better, there is a factory-direct store right down the street from you, conveniently open until 9PM.
Click here for directions.


With segmentation rapidly becoming the cornerstone of effective email marketing, knowing where someone is can dramatically personalize your messages, making them instantly relevant.

No doubt some will say this is way too "Big Brother is Watching" and like anything else, this type of segmentation could certainly get abused. But with today's sheer volume of email communications, your only hope of ever getting through all the clutter is to make your messages as relevant as you possibly can.

Personally, I can't wait for someone to connect the plumbing on this so I can test it!

Steve Kellogg
Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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