6 Data-Driven Email Marketing Strategies to Build Lasting Customer Relationships

6 Data-Driven Email Marketing Strategies to Build Lasting Customer Relationships cover

With the amount of data companies have available, there is no excuse not to use data-driven email marketing. Not using this approach means you’re leaving your conversions to fate.

Whereas data-driven email marketing uses valuable customer data to send the right email at the right time to assist with your product’s growth.


  • Data-driven email marketing relies on customer data insights to drive decisions to help increase email metrics.
  • A data-driven email marketing strategy helps to personalize subject lines, increase clickthrough rates, and improve customer retention by re-engaging inactive users.
  • Direct marketing emails are targeted emails sent directly to potential or existing customers to promote your product.
  • Transactional emails are sent to customers regarding a specific action or transaction, providing information or updates.
  • Behavior-triggered emails are sent to customers based on their specific interactions, behaviors, or actions.
  • You can use customer data to ensure emails get seen by your customer. It can also let you create campaigns based on relevant holidays.
  • Specific in-app events, such as onboarding, can trigger emails sent to customers to provide additional information or help.
  • Survey data can trigger relevant email campaigns to follow up on certain responses.
  • You can reward active customers to drive loyalty or send out win back emails to inactive users.
  • Analyze email metrics such as bounce and clickthrough rate to make improvements.
  • Use benchmarks to set a standard for certain metrics and measure how changes make improvements.
  • You can use customer data to create user personas and then segment them to send personalized emails with relevant information.
  • Don’t overload the customer with emails. Choose specific touchpoints on the customer journey that will make the biggest impact.
  • Trigger a customer email when specific actions customers perform, such as a particular NPS score, to enhance the customer experience.
  • Perform A/B testing to see which subject lines and messaging improves metrics.
  • Mailgun can help you store and customize HTML email templates to test different email designs for performance.
  • Userpilot can help you with data-driven email marketing by integrating tools like Hubspot to connect to your product’s in-app experiences. Book a demo now.

What is data-driven email marketing?

Data-driven email marketing is an approach that leverages data and analytics to optimize all aspects of the email marketing process. It includes audience segmentation, content personalization, timing, and overall campaign strategy.

By collecting and analyzing data, such as customer behavior and preferences, you can create targeted and relevant email campaigns. These results are better engagement, higher conversion rates, and improved overall marketing effectiveness.

An effective email contains a clear and compelling email subject line, one concise call to action, and a form of personalization (it could be using a customer’s name or preference only to send relevant emails).

Why is a data-driven email marketing strategy important?

If you want to increase the success of your email marketing strategy, then using a data-driven approach is a must.

A data-driven email marketing strategy is important because it:

  • Improves click-through rate: You can use customer data to personalize subject lines, making customers more likely to open them. You can also run A/B testing to see what types of subject lines get opened more by your customers.
  • Provides a personalized experience: You can create different emails within a campaign to send to segments and personalize them based on customer attributes relevant to their wants and needs.
  • Improves customer retention: Knowing what customers have been inactive means you can set up automated flows to win them back.

Types of data-driven emails

You should be aware of and use three types of data-driven emails in your business. Let’s explore them in more detail.

Direct marketing emails

Direct marketing emails are where you, the email marketer, send promotional messages directly to potential or existing customers.

These emails aim to promote products, services, special offers, future campaigns, or events to generate sales, increase brand awareness, or drive customer engagement.

Transactional emails

You send these transactional email emails to customers in response to a specific transaction they have initiated to provide necessary and relevant information.

These emails are typically sent in real-time or shortly after the triggering event, ensuring timely communication.

Examples of transaction emails could be order confirmations, shipping and delivery notification, and password reset emails.

Behavior triggered emails

You send behavior-triggered emails based on their specific interactions, behaviors, or actions.

You use them to deliver timely and relevant content to the recipients.

Examples of behavior-triggered emails could be abandoned cart, browse abandonment, or welcome emails.

Types of data used to send data-driven emails

There is one important component to data-driven emails, and that’s data.

You need to focus on the types of data you want to use to ensure you are effective in your email marketing campaigns.

Customer data

Customer data can help you to enhance your email marketing strategies to get the best engagement every time.

You can use data such as the customer’s timezone to ensure you’re sending emails at the best time (and not in the middle of the night.)

You can also use geographic data for planning email campaigns around certain special days or holidays, so you have more reasons to send emails to customers.

In-app events

The data from in-app events can help power your email campaigns. You email customers to provide additional information or the next steps in the user journey. You need to ensure that your email sequence corresponds with user behavior in-app.

For example, you can set up onboarding emails to welcome users or provide tips or tricks for new features they have started using. But you can’t send an educational resource regarding a secondary feature when the user has just signed up and hasn’t recieved proper onboarding yet.

Survey responses

You can use collected data from survey responses to trigger automated campaigns when follow-up is needed.

It could be that a user has chosen a low score multiple times. So rather than dealing with that manually, you could set up automation asking for more information to understand this trend or even to book a customer interview.

For example, if a customer responded with a low score on your NPS survey, you can automatically trigger a folow-up email to learn more about the issue before they churn.

User engagement

You can utilize inactive and active user engagement data to help increase customer retention.

For instance, you can use this data to engage inactive customers and work on turning active customers to loyal ones.

One way to retain customers is by segmenting inactive users and sending them a “win back” email.

You can send active users rewards, such as discounts, early access to new features, or company swag to help build customer loyalty and increase retention.

How to create effective email marketing campaigns with customer data

Customer data can make an impact on your email marketing. Here are some methods to help you succeed with data-driven email marketing.

Leverage data-driven metrics to improve your email campaigns

There are a series of key metrics that you should be monitoring in your email campaigns.

These help you see how campaigns are performing and if any changes make improvements.

  • Deliverability Rate: The percentage of emails sent that successfully reach the recipients’ inboxes without bouncing or being marked as spam.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails not delivered to the recipients due to invalid email addresses or other delivery issues.
  • Open Rate: The percentage of delivered emails opened by the recipients.
  • Click-Through Rate: The percentage of email recipients who clicked on one or more links within the email.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of email recipients who completed a desired action, such as purchasing or filling out a form, after clicking on the email.
  • ROI: The measure of the profitability of an email marketing campaign, calculated by comparing the campaign’s cost to the revenue generated from it.
  • Lifetime Value Per Subscriber: The estimated revenue subscribers will bring to the business over their entire relationship with the company.
  • Revenue Per Subscriber: The average revenue each subscriber generates over a specific period.

Set benchmarks to see how your emails perform

Using benchmarks is a great tactic for data-driven email marketing to track the basic metrics of your email performance over time. It’s important to decide on which metric/s you consider significant and measure it over a period of time to understand the average.

With knowledge of the average, you can see how well your emails perform and make improvements to try and beat the benchmark.

Segment your target audience to personalize emails based on subscriber data

Creating segments is a great way of grouping your customer so you can personalize the types of emails they receive to help increase engagement and other metrics.

You can create audience segments on some of the following:

  • Which stage of the customer lifecycle they’re in.
  • What their job-to-be-done (JTBD) is.
  • Where they are in the sales funnel.
  • Which acquisition channel they came through.

You can create detailed user personas for each segment to understand important aspects of your customers.

You can then utilize that information in your email marketing strategy by only sending relevant emails (like updates to features that they use). Or tailoring the language to address their wants or needs.

A example of a user persona that helps with data-driven email marketing
Example user persona.

Optimize your email marketing efforts by sending emails at relevant data points

Sending timely emails will help to enhance the customer journey by providing relevant information to let customers get more value out of your product.

Bombarding your customer with emails will annoy them and result in them ignoring future emails.

It would help if you strategically chose key touchpoints in the customer journey to send emails. For example, you can send onboarding emails when a user just signs up with information and guides to assist the users that cannot be triggered in-app.

A screenshot of an email from campaign monitor that follows data-driven email marketing
Campaign monitor onboarding email.

Trigger data-driven email campaigns when users perform a certain action

There are events in your product that are beneficial to trigger email campaigns to create a better customer experience and help you improve it.

You want to send email campaigns when they are relevant. Imagine signing in to an app for the first time and receiving an email minutes later. Not relevant at all.

You want to trigger email campaigns for events such as when a user submits a certain NPS score or completes a milestone.

Webhooks are a technology that allows you to send a response based on a customer action to a third-party system so you can trigger an appropriate response.

A screenshot showing the Webhook integration page in Userpilot
Create Webhook integrations with Userpilot.

A/B test different subject lines and email campaigns

A/B tests are a great example of data-driven email marketing as it helps you to determine what resonates with your segments and makes them convert.

You can take two emails and change just one thing (subject line, preview text, CTA, image) and see how it impacts certain metrics, such as the open rate or conversion rate.

These experiments can help you identify email frequency, the types of emails, and the messaging most effective within a certain segment.

Data-driven email marketing tools

To make data-driven email marketing much easier, certain tools can assist you in creating successful email marketing.


Userpilot is a product growth platform that can help you monitor and track user events. With a no-code solution to tracking user interactions in your events, you can use these to implement email marketing strategies and send automated emails.

Userpilot has two methods of integration. You can use webhook to programmatically send information about events within your product to any third-party systems so it can respond (send an email, enter them into an email sequence, add them to an email segment).

Userpilot also has a HubSpot integration to transfer data from customer events into HubSpot for an email campaign and can integrate with other email marketing software.

A screenshot of the HubSpot integration in Userpilot
Connect HubSpot with Userpilot.


Mailgun is a popular email service provider and API platform, and email marketing platform offering developers comprehensive tools to enhance their email campaigns.

One such feature is the ability to upload HTML email templates to the platform using the Templates API. This gives you ample flexibility to store and customize your HTML email templates according to your brand’s identity and preferences.

Moreover, Mailgun supports templates using Handlebars v3.0 as its template engine. With Handlebars, you can create dynamic and personalized content within your email templates, tailoring them to specific recipients or campaigns.

This template engine compiles your templates into JavaScript functions, enabling lightning-fast execution and seamless rendering of your emails.

By combining these powerful features, Mailgun empowers businesses and developers to easily create engaging and visually appealing email campaigns that look great on mobile devices, making it an ideal email marketing platform for optimizing email deliverability and customer engagement.

A screenshot of the tool mailgun
Email service provider Mailgun.


All companies collect customer data, but the ones that succeed put their customer data to use. Data-driven email marketing is an example of using data-driven insights to drive action to get results and focus on improving.

Want to get started with data-driven email marketing? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can power your email campaigns with the right customer data.

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