The days of generic messaging are fast on their way out. Now more than ever, highly targeted relevant experiences are becoming the norm. Smart algorithms and data tracking have led to personalised experiences, but when it comes to email marketing, many are still bulk sending newsletter to their entire database.
Email marketing represents perhaps the single biggest ROI driving activity in digital marketing. But getting great results require getting specific with your messaging. One size does not fit all.
Your ability to effectively tailor your communications to your audience is instrumental in your success. The more relevant a message is, the more likely it is to convert.
But how exactly do you tailor your email marketing? What are the key components to a relevant, tailored email marketing program?
Before you can tailor your message to your audience, you need to understand who that audience is. Assuming you already understand your target market in general, the next step is to find the differences within that audience.
Despite appearances, your email list is not a homogenous mass.
Rather, it is comprised of different subgroups, each with varying interests and behavioural patterns. Your job is to create segments out of these subgroups. From there you can start sending more relevant and targeted emails.
Remember, the more relevant the emails, the better the results.
You can create these segments based on the information and attributes you have available such as:
– Demographics (age, gender, location etc)
– Characteristics (sign up date, sign up method, birthday etc)
– Behavioural patterns (open emails, click on links, purchase history etc)
Naturally, the more information you have available, the more detailed you can get with your segments. But, don’t let your apparent lack of information stop you. You can still segment your audience with only basic subscriber information.
The fact is, many people have an email databases with little more than a name and email address. How can you segment when you have such little info?
Fortunately, you don’t need comprehensive information to begin creating some basic segments.
With each campaign you send, your email service provider is collecting info. This information can be used to create segments so you can send more targeted emails to those groups. Information such as who has opened your email or clicked on a link, can be valuable ways to create sub segments to help you begin tailoring your messaging more effectively.
One way to do this is to create segments based on how active your subscribers are. By grouping users by their likelihood to open emails or click on links, you can create segments of engaged and unengaged users. Each of these groups are likely to respond differently.
For the unengaged, you could try an email with a more provocative headline to encourage them to open the email. In the body copy you could experiment with ways to peak their interest and get them engaged. Perhaps a more aggressive offer is needed to promote action.
On the other hand, an engaged subscriber is likely to be a warm lead who may be already be ready to buy. You could experiment with a series of sales focused emails to close that deal.
Another key segmentation strategy, especially for new users, is to group your users based on their signup source. Let’s say you have a few different ways subscribers can opt in to your list: one offers a report on a very specific subject and another emphasises exclusive deals and offers in the opt in copy.
Those who signed up for the report are likely trying to solve a specific problem. As such, you’d be wise to create a segment of these users (ideally with their own automated follow up sequence) which educates them further on this area and leads them towards a call to action.
Those who opted in for deals and offers sign up, may respond very well to such offers but not be too interested in learning more about your product or service. In which case grouping them in with your group who want more information may not be the most effective strategy.
Segmentation is ultimately a tool to help you develop a more relevant communication strategy. By segmenting your database you can get more specific in your messaging without alienating anyone.
Tailoring your messaging begins from a standpoint of understanding your audience. This takes time and effort but it is worth it. Spending time to analyse the different user journeys and needs of your audience and then creating messaging in line with that will lead to better results.
Naturally, it’s going to take some experimentation to find out what works and what doesn’t, but successful email marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. Above all, you want your subscribers to feel like you understand them and are adding value. If you haven’t yet thought about experimenting with tailoring your messaging, now is the time!
About the author
Director and Founder Upside.Digital
Lee embarked on a journey in 2009 to move from IT to marketing and did so with a bang. She found her passion immediately within the performance based email marketing arena and has been working with clients since helping them drive up their online presence and ROI ever since.
With expert direction and leadership across digital strategy and online marketing Lee is a natural sales director fostering client relationships that have been with the company since its inception in 2009.
Quote: Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try