Uber sending emails about users' personal experiences is just one example of a brand leveraging data to deliver great email marketing campaigns.

Way back in September of 2014, I wrote about how data must drive 2015 digital marketing planning. Data drives experience, and each and every digital touch point correlates to data attributes provided by consumers, either explicitly or implicitly.

Today, we're nearly halfway through 2015, and now is the time to double down on our data initiatives to drive inbox action.

Increasingly, data-driven experiences are not just key to email engagement, but also to true business differentiation and conversion acceleration. Data helps marketers align with customer context - i.e. a consumer's disposition and situation - to deliver value, which in turn drives engagement and action.

As marketing innovation accelerates, it's time to put data into fast and measurable action via email and other channels. By testing and optimizing new consumer communication experiences over the next few months, programs will be primed to use data to drive better results heading into the hectic last six months of the year.

Let's explore four key examples of opportunities to double down on data during 2015:

1. Overtly YOU Behavioral Data

Tap all the overtly YOU data you can find.

A prime example of overtly YOU data is from transportation innovator, Uber.

Uber harnesses a payload of data from consumers to provide a highly valued transportation experience. And, they also put this data into email messaging action.

Uber recently channeled my usage data into an anniversary email that reported my stats, encouraged social sharing and compelled me to find my next destination with a "faux".gif animated field driving clicks to search new Uber locations.

I was compelled to know my usage patterns and how I'd been "along for the ride" at the (Read more...) mark for Uber. Uber did a great job making their anniversary messaging all about me by integrating my unique usage data.


2. Social Community Data

Driving social authentication and social sharing can deepen engagement and amplify messaging with more relevancy based on social ties.

TripAdvisor for example, integrates social connections with site features and email subject lines that inform me of a friend's reviews and actions. With the site's social authentication and social graph transparency, I can see where my friends have traveled, and reviews are prioritized on the site and in email communications.

I recently received an email with the following subject line:

< MY FRIEND> really likes Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam. See why.

The value is clear here, and when I plan my next trip to Tanzania, I have the good fortune of having a friend, and friend of a friend, who recommended a hotel there.

3. Location Data

Location data drives a lot of relevancy and value with fast-moving consumers.

InterContinental Hotel Group delivers value by offering up weather reports at my hotel destinations. Technology now enables this data to be refreshed at the time the message is opened, providing real-time value to consumers on the go.

In message live content related to weather and maps provides consumer value based on location when the message is opened.

Marketers can provide a lot of consumer value with content customized to location, such as top restaurants or transportation options in a city the consumer has just landed in, enabled by real-time location detection.


4. Transactional Data

With transactional messaging generating very strong engagement rates with consumers, there is opportunity to expand transactional messaging to deliver consumers tremendous value.

For example, asking consumers if the right products arrived on time is as simple as an in email "Yes" or "No" button. Based on the answer, a customized message flow can follow up to address the status.


Another opportunity many marketers are missing during the purchase cycle is a real-time notification of package delivery. With one data point from the shipping source, this messaging delivers consumer value by ensuring they get to those shoes on the porch as quickly as possible. And, of course, to suggest other products and prompt for ratings and reviews.


As we hit the midway mark of 2015, place your bets on data for the win!

Data drives a more contextual and valuable experience for consumers, leading to stronger engagement and more conversions.

Think about how some of these data-driven concepts may apply to your business goals.

Today, it's less about big data and more about immediately actionable data that can deliver value and drive action.

So, double down on data now for a winning 2015, and start to gather key insights to apply to 2016 planning.

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