EBay Customizes CRM to Personalize Email Marketing

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The eBay auction site gets to collect reams of site visitor data, just by its nature as an auction site. Visitors express what they’re interested in buying. Through their bids they indicate their price range. Then, purchase decisions separate out the window shoppers from the actual buyers.

Alex Weinstein, director of marketing technologies, for the last two years has been taking that rough assortment of data and adding another element: data captured from eBay’s own email marketing campaigns when it sends out notices of what’s available to those it thinks are interested. Lately, that data capture has had to take on a real-time quality.

Rudimentary analytics would allow eBay to send email campaigns on watch or purse sales to previous purchasers of those items. But Weinstein has no interest in sticking with the basics. He thinks a lot more insightful marketing can be done with the data he already has in hand, never mind what might be possible one day.

Not so long ago, eBay conducted its email marketing campaigns by going through its stored up lists of site visitors, looking for those who might be a candidate to buy a particular item or category of items that it wished to feature as being available. An eBay campaign today might easily consist of a list with a million names. Generating such a list by hand would be time consuming.

“We had to invest a lot of manual effort into writing the right queries and building the audience list. It was very labor intensive, and targeting wasn’t precise enough,” said Weinstein in an interview.

Read the source article at informationweek.com