For most marketers, the idea that your email service provider holds the data that you’re using to build campaigns is simply a fact of life. It’s just the way it is. Because they need your customer data to be in their cloud in order for you to use it, of course you have to send it up to them — and pay for that storage. It may not be ideal, and it causes numerous problems — from data lag to an inability to easily add new fields to a lack of data security — but it’s just something you’ve got to deal with as a marketer.
For marketing/communications teams at businesses with especially sensitive customer data and sophisticated encryption needs — financial and healthcare organizations, for instance, or any company with leadership that makes enterprise data security and enterprise data protection a top priority — the attitude toward email marketing often approaches ambivalence.
Because they can’t risk sending any personally identifiable information (PII) up to the cloud, where it’s outside their control and vulnerable to a security breach, they believe they can’t send personalized messaging campaigns. After all, if they can’t afford to allow the data to leave from behind the security of their firewall, how can they do anything more sophisticated with their ESP than spray and pray?
Have you ever wondered how some companies consistently send millions of highly targeted, personalized emails in real time? The very nature of email makes sending real-time, personalized messages a challenge for any company. Real-time marketing’s key is speed, but email marketing’s success is based on a series of time-consuming tasks. These include list creation, data syncing and batch delays. Each activity introduces another delay, all of which can quickly turn a real-time marketing opportunity into a missed one. If you want to personalize too, expect more delays. The more you personalize a message, the more time consuming it is to prepare. So, how are some enterprise marketers managing to send relevant, highly personalized emails in real time?