On Tuesday, January 16th, dotmailer hosted a workshop in Oslo, Norway, called “Hitting the Mark, Nordics,” headed by Gavin Laugenie, Digital Strategist at dotmailer. The same workshop was also held in Helsinki, Finland, in November. The workshop was a follow-up to dotmailer’s report, “Hitting the Mark, Nordics Edition 2017,” supported by Vaimo’s partners both Nosto and Klevu. Here’s our summaries of three presentations from the workshop: How to Use Your Data, Hitting the Mark, and The Right Automation Tactics.


The data needed to run an email programme is best established by whittling down the data based on:

  • Should you have it?
  • Can you get it?
  • What is the quality when you do get it?

Bare in mind that data has a shelf life; for example, a customer’s age is out of date in a year’s time, while a date of birth lasts forever. Date of birth is one of the few data points that doesn’t have an expiry date.

First, you must establish where you will obtain your data from, and don’t limit yourself – you can get data from practically anywhere. Any place that you interact with your customer is a great place to start. In addition to the types of data collection, data also comes in two different types. Explicit data comes directly from the customer; you send them a question and they provide the answer. Implicit data comes through the observation of behaviours.

Explicit data is the easiest to obtain, but it must be approached with caution. People will naturally answer questions in the way they want to be perceived by the person asking the question. For example, if you walk into a high-end wine shop and the clerk starts asking you questions about your wine drinking habits, you will give them one set of answers, while you may provide your doctor a different set of answers to the same question.

Implicit data, the observed behaviours, will tend to give you an answer closer to the truth. However, even if the customer’s behaviour differs greatly from the answers they provided to you directly, you should still take into consideration how the customers perceive themselves.


dotmailer took on 20 merchants, composed of local brands and international brands, and evaluated their email marketing strategies.

The 3 key takeaways of Hitting the Mark Nordics Report:

  • 30% of brands failed to send a welcome email
  • 55% of retailers failed to send cart recovery emails
  • 75% of brands did not use segmentation in their emails

dotmailer found that 30% of brands failed to send a welcome email. When a customer freely provides their email address, that’s your cue to reach out and introduce your brand and instantly provide an incentive to make a purchase.

Sending customers a birthday email is basic relevancy used to personalise and capture attention, which is baby steps beyond the typical “batch and blast” mailings many companies perform.

A post-purchase email is a great opportunity to display personalised cross-sell and up-sell recommendations associated with newly purchased products.

dotmailer also found that 55% of retailers failed to send cart recovery emails, which provides a simple way to personalise an email and provide a call-to-action for the prospective shopper.

Of the brands dotmailer investigated, 75% did not use segmentation in their emails, while 15 brands failed to segment their campaigns by order data, gender, behaviour, and location.

dotmailer isolated their top 10 companies that demonstrated a greater skill at using data to increase relevancy through timeliness and the message itself. The top-scoring sector, travel and transportation, harnessed customer data to deliver super-relevant email marketing. The fashion and accessory brands drove engagement with a combination of editorial, UGC, and product-led content.

John Lewis came out on the top as the most mobile-friendly, with a great user experience. Remember – a whopping 70% of all e-commerce transactions took place on mobile in 2017 (Criteo 2016 State of Mobile Commerce Report).

The overall winner for dotmailer was Musti ja Mirri, a Finnish pet shop.

Their marketing email accomplished the following:

  • The email provides links to the website in the first instance
  • The email promotes its omni-channel presence and all the ways its customers can connect with the brand
  • The email personalised imagery based on preferences provided on sign-up (dotmailer had said they owned a dog when they signed up)
  • The email engaged contacts beyond relevant offers; the editorial-style email gives dog owners advice on how to train their pets, along with an accompanying video
  • The email is complemented by other related and relevant editorial content to encourage interaction with the brand
  • The email is finished off with some relevant product recommendations based on behavioural data, plus cross-channel promotion and all of the legal elements like an address and an unsubscribe link

In conclusion, dotmailer found the top brands are actually not the best at email marketing, and this gives smaller brands an easy way get a leg up by focusing on the fundamentals: send a welcome email, abandon cart email, and increase your levels of relevancy.

Want to see the full report? Download it here:


The right automation tactics help merchants increase awareness of their brand, introduce breadth of services, and capture additional data. Merchants can also easily increase their ROI, reduce manual labour, cut costs, and reduce the sales cycle with the following email marketing tips.

  • WELCOME Say “thanks” and kick off the relationship with your customer. Educate your shoppers and connect with them on social media, and incentivise them to buy.
  • REPLENISHMENT Send an email when a product your customer has purchased should be ending its life cycle, for example, a bottle of shampoo. Remind them of their previous purchase, or encourage them to buy the next logical item, like another product from the same line.
  • POST PURCHASE Thank your customers for making the purchase and either use the opportunity to ask them for feedback or cross-sell and up-sell other products in the same category.
  • LAPSED Reach out to customers who have not made a purchase in a while; use this to showcase new products they might be interested in.
  • ABANDONED CART Send your prospective customers the contents of their abandoned shopping carts to encourage them to complete the purchase.


  • Always set objectives for each programme and have a way to measure
  • Always start small but scale
  • You should as a minimum have these 3 types of programmes: welcome, post purchase, lapsed
On behalf of Vaimo & dotmailer we would like to thank all our attendees for participating this workshop. Are you interested in future events organised by Vaimo? Register your interest and we will keep you updated about the events coming up in your region!