A targeted email marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult, and the potential benefits to your business are enormous.
When you look at every metric that matters, a segmented or targeted email marketing strategy performs better than a one-size-fits-all approach.
We covered the question of “What Are Targeted Email Lists” in an earlier blog.
Not already familiar with the basic ideas behind segmenting your subscriber list? It would be a good idea to go back and read that first 😉.
Because, in THIS blog, we’re going to be looking at how you can put segmentation into practice to get better results from your email marketing.
But first, we’ll quickly run through the evidence supporting a targeted email marketing strategy, because it’s so compelling.
💥 Email is 40% more effective than Facebook or Twitter for customer acquisition
💥 77% of all Return On Investment from email marketing comes from segmented campaigns
💥 Segmented email campaigns get around 14.5% more opens and 65% more clicks than unsegmented ones
Well, segmentation is the practice of breaking your complete audience down into sub-groups defined by certain characteristics.
People prefer to be treated as individuals than as masses. That’s why personalization in marketing is so powerful.
But real personalization – getting beyond “Hi <name>” 😉 – can be difficult to pull off if you don’t have huge amounts of customer data, major-league processing power, AND a lot of time to tailor content.
A segmented or targeted email marketing strategy gives you many of the advantages of personalization without the costs and effort.
In this blog, we’re going to start by looking at how to get hold of the user data you need to segment your audience. Then we will run through what a targeted email marketing strategy might look like, firstly for a B2C business then a B2B business.
Finally, we’ll conclude with an important warning against buying email lists and what you can do to expand your reach instead. Click on any of the links below to jump ahead!
- How to Get the Data You Need
- Targeted Email Marketing Strategy for B2C
- Targeted Email Marketing Strategy for B2B
- Don’t Buy Email Lists
Get A Newsletter includes simple yet powerful tools for segmenting audiences in its email marketing service – check it out for free now!
1. How to Get the Data You Need
You can start to segment your list as soon as you can connect:
- An email address with
- Any other information about the person whose email it is
Here are five ideas – some obvious, some less obvious – for collecting data you can use to draw up a more detailed picture of your subscribers.
👉#1 Lead Capture Form
This is the simplest way to find out factors you can use to segment your audience. Ask them for the information when they are registering!🤩
But there is a price to pay. 81% of people in a 2018 survey said that they don’t always finish completing forms they begin.
And the reasons they gave are not good news for marketers wanting to collect a lot of data upon sign-up:
To maximize the completion rate, many websites opt for a minimal form, like ours below:
So if you don’t want to rely on a long registration form, what can you do instead?
👉 #2 Quizzes and Surveys
Many people are surprisingly willing to provide lots of information about themselves when they’re answering quiz or survey questions!
Another section needs some sort of incentive to get them to fill them in. In the example above, it’s some customized SEO advice. Elsewhere, Neil has said that he gets a 60% completion rate on his quizzes. That’s a lot of data!
A lot of marketers ask for customer feedback using measures such as Net Promoter Score (NPS).
This allows you to collect valuable feedback on how to improve your business and at the same time segment satisfied customers from those who are less happy!
👉 #3 How They Use Your Product
If you provide any sort of online service that requires users to log in, then you have a goldmine of information you can correlate to their email addresses.
As Zapier explains in this article, they know what software tools their users are integrating, That means they can develop a separate targeted email marketing strategy for those who use (eg) Evernote and those who don’t.
This also applies to engagement. If you can see that a user has not logged in recently or is not using particular features, you can automate reminders to get them back.
Language learning app Duolingo does this very well – to the point where their passive-aggressive owl mascot has become a meme in his own right.
👉 #4 Purchase History
Purchase (and browsing) history is an incredibly effective segmentation method for eCommerce businesses. It enables you to target people who have looked at or bought particular items with offers for similar and related products.
This works well for travel and hospitality businesses (see the example from Booking.com above), fashion retail, and other frequent-purchase goods and services.
But if you sell products and services that are bought less frequently or that are more durable, you’ll need to think more laterally.
If someone has just bought a toaster from you, they’re not likely to buy another one soon!🤣
👉 #5 Social Media
If your business is active on social media, your followers and people who engage with you provide lots of valuable information you can use to segment your mailing list.
And if you’re only looking at small numbers, don’t forget: you can do all this manually in spreadsheets!
2. Targeted Email Marketing Strategy for B2C
Imagine you run an online clothing retailer selling women’s and men’s fashions, like this one:
The most relevant segments for you will be:
- Gender: Although by having two calls to action in the image, the example above avoids sending different emails to women and men – OR allows the business to collect that information from clickthrough data
- Age groups: For promoting styles that are popular with different generations)
- Location: If you have a brick-and-mortar store, it is unlikely to be worth promoting in-store sales to international customers; however, you CAN offer them shipping discounts instead or emails written in their local language
- Purchase and browsing history: Promote your summer shoe collection to people who bought winter footwear from you as the seasons change. Offer more from the designers that people show an interest in.
- Abandoned Carts: 69% of online carts are abandoned. Messages reminding users about them average a 40% open rate and 21% of those are clicked on. An automated email for cart abandonment can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
Put yourself into the mind of somebody in each of these situations and work out a workflow for emails that will effectively lead them through your sales process. Consider:
- How many emails will be needed to nurture them
- What time to send messages for best results
- What kinds of Call To Action will motivate readers
3. Targeted Email Marketing Strategy for B2B
The best segments for a B2B company will be different from those above.
- Gender and age are unlikely to be relevant because you are approaching people in their “professional” aspects
- That means that what interests and motivates them will be determined far more by the SECTOR, JOB TITLE, SENIORITY, and ORGANISATION TYPE.
Suppose your company offers fire safety training (to pick an example we looked at a little in another blog).
You will want to segment your audience on the following lines:
- Purchase history – You can remind customers when their certifications need renewing and offer training at the best moment
- Sector – High-risk businesses will need different types of training at different intervals from low-risk ones
- Job Title and Seniority – If you can differentiate, for example, small business owners and safety managers in large companies you can approach them in ways tailored to their interests and needs
- Location – If you offer seminars in particular locations, target companies in the vicinity in the run-up to each session
Once again, you should put yourself in the mind of each type of recipient and build out the appropriate workflow.
4. Don’t Buy Email Lists
It can be tempting to extend your reach by buying or licensing email lists from third parties.
It’s a bad idea.
While it’s not illegal as such, you are taking it on the vendor’s word that they have full permission from everyone on their lists to sell their data on to third parties for marketing purposes.
The penalties for breaching data protection laws can be severe.😱
Because of this risk, most reputable email service providers (including Get A Newsletter) will not allow you to upload bought lists.
But even if you could, would you want to?
- People on bought lists have no idea who you are. How can you tailor your messages to them?
- Performance is very likely to be poor. The lack of familiarity with your brand will likely lead to deliverability issues, low open rates, and low clickthrough
- You run the risk of damaging your sender’s reputation with spam reports, mass unsubscribed, and bad reviews
That doesn’t mean other people’s lists are of no use to you though.
If you know other business owners in similar or complementary markets, why not agree to swap GUEST SLOTS in one another’s marketing emails?
You can generate new leads for yourself by providing valuable content to your colleagues’ users this way.
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