A Linked Product Feed: More Relevant and Efficient Mailing

Mascha Soors, PI Marketing
Mascha Soors is commercieel directeur bij PI Marketing. PI Marketing houdt zich bezig met het maximaliseren van sales en ROI door middel van slimme, datagedreven, gepersonaliseerde campagnes met een focus op terugkerende bezoekers en klanten.
4 February 2021

Relevance is key. In 2021 it’s more important than ever to be as relevant as possible for your target audience. It should come as no surprise to anyone that more relevant marketing efforts lead to better results. This is certainly true for your email marketing channel. In practice, however, a lack of know-how and/or time means it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

In this article we’ll dive into the option of applying a product feed in your email marketing campaigns. This offers an efficient way to personalise your emails to make them more relevant.

Newsletter Efficiency

Almost every e-commerce newsletter shows multiple products. Generally we see that email or content marketers copy/paste product details from the company’s website. It’s a time-consuming process that’s prone to errors and a pain for most marketers. By linking a product feed to the email template, products can be automatically loaded from the feed. This can even be set up to be fully automated (for instance by selecting an x number of products at random) or partially automated, meaning you only have to enter a product ID in the template and the rest of the product information (image link, price, etc) will be sourced from the product feed automatically.  

In this blog entry, we’ll discuss the advantages of linking your product feed to your email template. It’s easier than you might think, and it enables you to work much more efficiently.

The Advantages of a Linked Product Feed

By loading your product feed into your email template, you can automate part of the content of certain emails. Instead of selecting products manually, you can import them with a single click. Voila, the products and all the relevant features will be added to your email. It’s not just quicker, it’s also less prone to errors. Another big advantage is that you can be sure that the pricing in your email is current. Even if you create the email on Tuesday and don’t send it until Friday, the product feed will provide the latest price when it goes out. 

Adding your product feed to the newsletters is the most basic of the many possibilities. The more product information the feed contains, the more you can do with it.

Follow-up Email Based on Click Behaviour

The product feed can also be used to build follow-up emails based on click behaviour. If the recipient of a newsletter clicks on something, a follow-up email is sent three days later. The content of the email will be determined based on the click behaviour in the prior email.

Did a newsletter recipient click on the category men’s shoes? An automatic follow-up email will be sent three days later highlighting six products from the product feed for the men’s shoes category. The same applies for another account who clicked on women’s shoes (in which case six products from the women’s shoes category would be used, obviously). 

The content of the email is determined by the target customer profile and data from your product feed. You can use it as creatively as you wish. 

Cross-selling/Upselling

Does the product feed contain recommended products (i.e. products X, Y, and Z go well with product A), for example? This data could be used to send out a cross-selling email. When a customer buys product A, you can then send out an email recommending products X, Y, and Z, imported from the product feed.

This makes the emails you send out a lot more relevant, without needing to create a campaign for every single product. You only have to set up the campaign once, and after that the email can be composed automatically using relevant products from the product feed.

An additional benefit of conducting email campaigns this way is that you can send out ‘the same’ email multiple times. This makes A/B testing of your campaigns a lot more effective. By constantly testing little tweaks, you can optimise the automatic email campaigns to make them as effective as possible.

Getting Started

Setting up a linked product feed for the first time is less time consuming and complicated than you might think. The first step is to create a product feed. You can use EffectConnect’s Feed Manager for this. Remember, the more data your feed contains, the more options you have to use it for a variety of campaigns. You then create an additional database in your ESP (Email Service Provider) where you import the product feed. It won’t matter if you import 10 or 10,000 products. The final step is linking your product feed to the template. 

Could you use some help setting up your product feed? Or would you like specific advice on the possibilities offered by a linked product feed? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll gladly tell you more.

This article was written by: Mascha Soors, Commercial Director at PI Marketing


About PI Marketing

At PI Marketing we maximise sales and ROI through smart, data-driven, personalised campaigns with a focus on returning visitors and customers. We achieve this by combining data, smart technologies and personalised campaigns, using different online marketing channels. Does it sound complicated? It actually is 😉. And it’s what we love to do – in addition to making our customers hapPI.


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