Search and email account for 50 to 60 percent of all Web referrals, according to a recent Business Insider article on why Google needs a “buy” button.

Optimizing your presence in search and email are two very different activities that carry equally significant weight in reaching the customer. One focuses on targeting individuals based on a customer relationship management (CRM) profile and other sources of information, while the other targets anonymous audiences. Marketers who align search and email CRM will benefit from a more holistic view of the customer, resulting in more targeted communications, messages, and a higher rate of engagement over time.

What you need to connect your search engine and email marketing

If you have the right solution, you need only a few things.

  • A campaign management solution with strong data management and CRM capabilities
  • A data management platform (DMP)
  • An ad manager

That’s it. With these three things, you can start using the two biggest sources of Web traffic together. For example, you can segment your AdWords campaigns based on your campaign manager segments: customer vs. not customer, men vs. women, frequent buyer, recent buyer, customer with average cart value above $100, high income, married vs. single, baseball fan, etc. This is a critical step because it allows you to pinpoint exactly who you’re talking to.

How to connect your search engine and email marketing

In a nutshell, open your DMP, configure an audience, and select AdWords as the destination. Then, synchronize this DMP audience with your remarketing list. That’s it! Now you can target your AdWords campaign as precisely as you desire.

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Eight use cases you can deploy today

Marketers can quickly refine their ad targeting and enrich classic keyword search targeting across a broad range of potential use cases. These include:

  1. Leveraging an audience’s family status (single, family, DINKY, young couple, etc.) for very targeted ads
  2. Leveraging segments and scores for segmented offers
  3. Offering ads for low-income vs. high-income customers
  4. Sending highly segmented ads based on consumer behavior (people who contacted your customer service, rated a product, installed your app, participated in your contest, etc.)
  5. Sending follow-up ads based on email or SMS campaign clicks
  6. Sending different ads to your most loyal customers or daily website visitors
  7. Sending geo-located ads based on the most recently visited shop location
  8. Sending upsell ads to recent buyers

These are just a sampling of practical, high-value use cases, but marketers are only limited by their imagination. Just don’t forget you have to anonymize everything to protect people’s privacy.

Not connecting your search and email marketing can cost you

Imagine a customer who filled out his details and preferences in your website preference center. This same client orders products through your website every month, clicks on your email links, fills out your customer feedback surveys, and even spreads the word about your brand and products on social media. This is a seriously valuable customer.

Now imagine what happens when he types in your brand name on his search engine. If your search-based and email-based marketing are siloed, you’ll most likely point him to your landing page, or worse, to a terrific new-customer offer he can’t use. At best, you miss an opportunity to cross-sell, up-sell, or offer him a valuable “VIP customer” offer. At worst, you may irritate him so much that you break a valuable customer relationship and cost yourself a loyal brand ambassador.

What you should do now

Connecting search and email marketing, in order to leverage together your two primary sources of Web referrals, is an extremely valuable practice. However, you can only do this if your campaign management solution or CRM is tied to your DMP.

If it’s not, you need to consider switching to a platform that integrates the two straight out of the box.

Mickael-BentzSince 2014, Mickael Bentz has been a product marketing manager at Adobe Campaign (Mickael came to Adobe via the Neolane acquisition in 2013). Prior to Neolane, Mickael was sales and marketing manager at MARKESS International, a leading French market research company specialized in IT, and marketing manager at Orange.