There is no place more competitive than a consumer’s inbox. Your email offer is up against not only your direct competitor but also breaking news, sports scores, personal messages from friends and much more. Most of this is out of your hands but there is one thing you can do – and that is send messages that are RELEVANT.

What does it mean to be relevant in email?

Use what you know. Most businesses are sitting on terabytes of customer data that is stored and never used. A great place to start is to use that information to benefit your customers and your business. Got zip code data? Drive store traffic with special offers to customers who live within a 5 or 10-mile radius of a retail location. Or bundle zip codes to offer relevant content on a specific city or state. Consider what other information you have on file. Gender? Fantastic. Targeting offers towards one gender or the other have proven results. Purchase data? Even better. Use this to deploy offers for complimentary products or services.

Learn as you go. On top of the socio-demographic data you likely have masses of response data. You know, down to the email address, who opened and clicked and what they clicked on and if they converted. This is exactly what you need to make your messages more relevant. Segment your file based on response data and market accordingly. Weekly clickers get free shipping while those who haven’t opened in months get a special deal to drive an action.

Ask the right questions. If you’re doing all of the above but still want to do more, try asking your subscribers. Find out what they really think with a quick quarterly survey plus it’s a great practice to ask questions in the moment. If they’re signing up, ask them how frequently they want to receive email. If they’re unsubscribing, ask them why. If they’ve just made a purchase, ask them to rate the experience. All of this data can help you make your program smarter, better, more relevant.

Now all you have to do is use what you have.

As SendGrid's Senior Marketing Analyst, Danny is responsible for keeping the marketing team focused on making data-driven decisions to help make sure we are providing value for our customers and prospects. While he may spend his days knee deep in spreadsheets now, Danny spent most of the last 10 years managing email campaigns, website optimization, and PPC campaigns for B2B companies.