Tesco.com is planning to make its e-mail marketing campaigns more targeted after signing up database marketing services company Epsilon International.

Epsilon has created a bespoke version of its e-mail marketing platform for Tesco.com and will complete the transfer of the retailer’s permission-based e-mail campaigns to the system by the end of this month.

The internet-based e-mail communication and campaign management platform will be used for marketing Tesco.com, Tesco Direct and Tesco Diets in the UK and Ireland. It will use data collected by consultancy Dunnhumby through Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty scheme to improve the relevance of communications to customers.

In addition, the retailer is making use of Epsilon’s services to develop e-mail campaigns that acquire and retain customers and increase sales through cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

Epsilon International senior vice-president and general manager for European operations Ted Wham said that Tesco.com should not experience the kind of diminishing returns on e-mail marketing that other retailers have experienced over time.

He explained: “We are planning to use extremely rich data about who customers are and what they do. We will focus on relevance. That may mean that some customers receive fewer e-mails than today, while we will send out a lot more to others.”

Campaigns will also be co-ordinated with marketing activity in Tesco’s other divisions to ensure that customers are not contacted too frequently.

Wham said that the retailer had been prompted to seek Epsilon’s help by a greater focus on funding and driving e-mail marketing within Tesco.com, rather than any particular internal action.

The retailer’s investment in e-mail marketing professional services is believed to be significant. “We are operating on a combination of an hourly fee basis and a fixed retainer for Tesco.com. It is one of our largest consumers of professional services,” said Wham.