Email Marketing

Why Targeted Email Marketing Converts

Mike McGovern | Aug 16, 2013

Email isn’t exciting, but it works. When email is done right, it can be a beautiful thing for your business.

Therein lies the rub.

Too often we all receive email messages that aren’t done right. We click (or flick on mobile) those to the trash without even second a thought, every day.

A less effective email campaign blasts an entire email list with the same offer, and probably isn’t going to get the desired reaction. That’s where message segmentation can be a useful tool. Email list segmentation, or message segmentation, breaks down your email list into smaller, targeted subdivisions. The result is that your customers get a message from you that is relevant, timely, and (hopefully) isn’t immediately trashed.

Let’s Talk About Rob

Rob purchased a pair of black dress shoes from your store 3 months ago. While at your store, he also signed up for your email list. Did he receive a welcome email right away? A common email misstep is to wait to send customers an email until there is a sale or other important announcement. Data from Epsilon (an email marketing consultant) indicate that welcome messages have an average open rate of 50%–60%. Additionally, their report showed that long-term engagement with a brand increased by 33% for subscribers who receive a welcome email. This is simple step that too many businesses are missing.

Ok, back to Rob.

Rob likes your store, and might return at some point for new running shoes. How do you increase the chances that Rob is a repeat customer? One way is to send him a message tailored to his preferences. Instead of sending Rob an email about the new spring collection of women’s high heels, you send him an email about your men’s running shoe sale going on next week. Chances are, Rob will be enticed by a message tailored to his preferences and more likely to take advantage of what you are offering.

Why does targeted email messaging work? Generally speaking, it is easier to convert an existing audience into repeat business than it is to convert new business through Google (ie, AdWords, organic search optimization, banner ads). The infographic from Monetate (below) does an excellent job of explaining exactly how email is a great customer conversion tool, and has the data to substantiate those claims.

Email is not a soon-to-be-extinct fossil. However, what is nearing extinction is the idea that sending the same message to the same list of customers will continue to be effective

In addition to message segmentation, effective email marketing that converts has these qualities:

  • Mobile-friendly layout
  • Personal & timely message/offer
  • Provides an ongoing value proposition
  • Markets your brand without being “salesy”
  • Solves a problem or fulfills a need

What other qualities does a good email campaign have? Please let me know in the comments!