Posted 12th August 2013 by APSIS

Geography and email marketing

In our latest newsletter, we told you about our efforts to find solutions for animated countdowns in email. Our internal tests of this technology have been very successful, so we decided to test another exciting piece of technology this summer: how to control the contents of a newsletter based on the recipient’s geographical location when the email is opened.

If you think this article is starting to feel a bit ”nerdy”, you are quite right – this is all about pushing the limits for what is possible to do with email. The solutions are technical, but the purpose is – as always – to give marketers tools that increase the value and the relevance of their email, in order to get better results.

Well, then. Geo-IP?

Most IP addresses on the internet can be tied to a specific location on Earth. This gives us an opportunity to see where the recipient of an email is, in most cases. (Sometimes it is a bit harder, e.g. when someone uses a mobile device. Then, it looks as if there are many recipients in the exact same location – where the mobile network operator connects to the internet.)

Naturally, the information about the location of an IP address is a bit tricky to use, since we can’t get the information until the email is received and the images are downloaded (this needs to happen for us to see the recipient’s IP address). But what should we do if we need the information to show each recipient where their closest store or repair shop is? Or perhaps to cross-check the information with a weather report to give each recipient unique content, tailored to their environment right now?

Just as when we made an animated countdown in an email, the trick is to create software that receives the recipient’s IP address, translates it to a geographical location (and handles the situations where the IP address don’t produce a useful answer), combines this with information on where the senders’ stores are located and then uses a map service to produce a relevant email message.

Awesome, don’t you think?

We haven’t had the time yet to test this technology commercially, but as always, we are confident that even more relevant content equals better results.

Or what do you think?

Jonas & Anders in Apsis labs