How CDPs are Going to Change Email Marketing Forever
Written by Philip Storey
3 Minute Read
What is a CDP?
First things first, what even is a CDP? CDP stands for "Customer Data Platform." It's a type of software that aggregates and organizes customer data from various sources into a centralised database. Here's a closer look at its characteristics and functionalities:
Unified Customer Profiles: CDPs pull data from multiple sources like websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, offline transactions, CRM systems, etc. This data is then cleaned, deduplicated, and integrated into a unified customer profile.
Real-time Data Processing: One of the advantages of CDPs is their ability to process data in real-time. As soon as customer interaction data is captured, it's processed and updated in the platform.
Segmentation: CDPs allow marketers to segment their customer base based on various criteria, such as purchase history, online behavior, demographic data, and more. This enables more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns.
Personalisation: With a holistic view of each customer, marketers can design highly personalised campaigns. This might involve sending tailored email content, displaying relevant product recommendations on a website, or delivering personalized ad content.
Integration with Other Tools: A CDP can easily integrate with other marketing tools and platforms. This means you can push and pull data between your CDP and tools like your email marketing platform, advertising platforms, CRM system, etc.
Compliance and Data Privacy: Given the emphasis on data privacy regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), many CDPs are built with features to help businesses comply with these regulations.
Accessible to Marketers: Unlike some other data systems, CDPs are typically designed to be user-friendly for marketers. This means that marketing teams can leverage the power of the platform without always needing IT involvement.
In essence, a Customer Data Platform, enables businesses to have a 360-degree view of their customers, which dramatically improves marketing communications and the ability for marketers to personalise emails, based on the data in the CDP.
When did they come on the scene & what are the adoption rates?
CDPs have been on the scene for almost a decade, but brands have been slow to adopt them. Enterprise brands have been the early adopters in most cases, because of the skills and budgets in those organisations, they've been able to take advantage early.
From 2024, we think this will be very different. With martech brands such as Klaviyo creating their own (pretty awesome) CDP in 2023, this will enable smaller stores and brands to start using the same tech and strategies as enterprise brands.
Why has it taken marketers so long to adopt them?
Price: CDPs have historically come at a pretty penny. The good news, is that's changed and many platforms such as Mapp Cloud and Klaviyo have them natively baked into their platform.
Complexity to integrate with: Whilst CDPs are incredibly powerful, they have historically been a little complex to integrate into martech stacks - especially on smaller budgets. Thankfully, this has changed and with some of the native solutions on the market, this barrier has been removed for marketers.
Need: Whilst I think historically we've all liked the idea of a CDP, most marketers have had bigger fish to fry. That's changed this year and I think this is going to be a trend for the next year - CDPs are transforming from a nice to have to an essential element of the marketing tech stack.
How are CDPs going to change email marketing?
Hyper-personalisation at scale
Email marketing traditionally leans on segmentation to deliver messages that resonate with broad audiences. However, with CDPs, marketers can take this way further. By consolidating a wealth of data, CDPs enable email campaigns to be tailored to each individual contact. This means that every subscriber can receive content, product recommendations and offers that align specifically with their behaviour, preferences and past interactions. It's not just about addressing the recipient by their first name; it's about crafting an email that feels like it has been hand-crafted for them.
Optimised send times and content cadence
Beyond just knowing what to send, a CDP can provide insights on when to send it. By analysing individual engagement patterns, CDPs can predict optimal send times for each subscriber, ensuring emails land in inboxes when they're most likely to be opened and acted upon.
Moreover, by understanding the frequency and type of engagement, marketers can better decide on the cadence of content, avoiding over-saturation or under-engagement. This will change segmentation forever.
Real-time triggered campaigns cased on cross-channel behaviour
This is where it gets really interested. Traditional email automation might trigger an email based on actions within the email channel itself (e.g., if someone opens an email or clicks on a particular link). However, with CDPs, email campaigns can be triggered based on behaviour across all channels. If a customer browses a product on your website, abandons a cart, interacts with your mobile app, or even engages in-store, the CDP can use this data to trigger targeted email responses almost instantaneously. All channels can work together to help the customer get what they need, when they want it.
In essence, CDPs elevate email marketing from a reactive channel to a proactive, highly personalised communication tool, deeply integrated with a brand's entire digital ecosystem. Strap in - email marketing with a CDP as standard, is going to be fun.
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