32 posts categorized "Targeting" Feed

Blending personas and personalities to increase conversions in email marketing [Part 1]

It’s a well-known fact that some of the greatest results can be gained by combining personalisation and persuasive architecture to deliver what the customer wants.

In this 2 part post I will look at approaches to leverage 2 types of buyer personas to use to increase conversions within your email marketing programme.

When combining both of these buyer persona styles we’re ensuring that we deliver not only the copy, TOV, and offers/merchandise that our buyer wants and expects from us but we’re also delivering the experience that will enable them to convert according to their temperament.

So let’s look at the two different types of Buyer Personas. For clarity’s sake, I’m labelling them differently to how they’re labelled elsewhere:

  • Persona: This addresses the motivation (i.e. what the buyer needs, what are their challenges and goals, what motivates them  etc)
  • Personality: This addresses their temperament (i.e what triggers they respond to, how they navigate, read and perform tasks etc)

In this post [Part 1] of this series, I’ll be addressing the Persona based upon motivation.

Read the full article
Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

An example of Holistic Email Marketing: Integrate search and email marketing using intelligent personalisation

I wrote this post last week for Smartinsights and have received very positive feedback on the concept behind using search to personalise the email subscribers experience.

But before we begin, we also need to understand the difference between a pull and a push channel.

Websites and search are both pull channels, whilst email is a push channel.

The strength of search being a pull channel, is that people are on a mission – they have a purpose and are focused on completing that mission.

The strength of email as being a push channel is that it is able to push the valuable content and offers to the subscribers inbox.

What we ideally want to do here is harness the strengths of each of these channels to deliver a personalised and relevant subscriber experience. By doing this we are performing what I like to call Holistic Email Marketing.

We're all aware of being able to utilise implicit data such as click behaviour, browsing behaviour and transactional behaviour to personal the email subscribers experience - but there is also a 4th form of implicit data that we can leverage - that of search data.

Using this data, we can not only understand what products or services they're interested in, but we can speak to them where they're at within the buying cycle.

Read the full post to see how this can work for you

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How to get the attention of inactive subscribers

One of the most cost-effective email marketing programs is outreach targeted to recapture the interest of disengaged subscribers. 

These are customers who subscribed to your email list but lost interest, and stopped opening or clicking your emails. They're still on your list and receive email, but they're no longer purchasing from you. 

It's not uncommon for 40 percent or more of a brand's list to be inactive. 

Recapture programs have the best return when they're made a permanent part of your email marketing mix. 

A persistent, ongoing recapture program has these ingredients: 

  1. Define "inactive subscribers" 
  2. Establish baseline statistics of their email (email service provider) and site (web analytics) behavior: click and open rates, conversion rate, revenue per mailing 
  3. Generate an email list of inactive customers 
  4. Send recapture offer email 
  5. Measure response 
  6. Feed results back, repeat

 Continue reading here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Do You, Subscriber, Take Thee, Marketer, to Lawfully Opt-in?

There's a great post over at Blue Sky Factory addressing the fact that unlike the controversial behavioral targeting feature which Google has implemented, as email marketers we are in a wonderful position to use behavioral tracking - as we have permission from our subscribers.

As Nikki says :'Email marketing is one of the best online marketing mediums to offer permission-based behavioral tracking for online users.   Bottom line: it offers marketers a way of establishing relationships, cross-pollinating social media networks and RSS feeds, and it builds your client base organically. Email marketing enables marketers to deliver campaigns specific to the interests and behaviors of their recipients, while giving measurable results to easily track your ROI.'

Read the full post

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Four New Marketing Segments You Need to Know About

In her latest ClickZ column, Jeanniey Mullen says we have to be smarter about our segments and find ways to make e-mail work harder for us in this digital world.

These are the four new e-mail marketing segments that she says we need to know about:

The Social Influencer

These are people who signed up for your e-mails, but only respond to them occasionally. It's not that they don't love your brand -- they do. They're just too busy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and 75 other networks to click on your e-mail.

Send them an e-mail that impresses them, though, and watch what happens. Nope, they still won't click through and buy, but they will post it to their groups and drive up to 412 percent more response to your campaign than you would have had with your entire list alone.

Why? These people are influencers. You know, the cool kids. Get these guys to love your message and your campaign will be bigger than you had ever dreamed.

The High-value Customer

Sometimes the people in this segment are mistaken as the most important on your list. In the new world of e-mail, these are called the short-term revenue drivers.

These people buy from you. But they love you so much, they want you to be their best kept secret. So there's very little exposure of your e-mail to their friends and family.

Think of these people as your revenue rock. They provide the base of money, while social influencers blow out your ROI.

The Wannabes

This is 80 percent of your list -- people who like your brand, but who need your help. They love the offers and the deals.

What are they looking for? For you to tell them how to best work with you. E-mail people in this segment with ways to leverage your Web site, access deals, and just plain be more engaged. They want to be high value or social -- they just need your help.

The "This is Spam" Clickers or Unsubscribers

These are people who felt your message wasn't relevant to them. Some were so uninspired they couldn't even find the time to look for the unsubscribe link -- they just clicked, "this is spam" to get you out of their inbox.

Beware! These people are really social influencers in disguise. One unsubscribe or "this is spam" click can equate to 10 people hearing about how bad your e-mail is.

In the new world of e-mail, these people should be targeted in different ways. Woo them back before they cause brand damage.

Read the full article here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Forget relevance - it's about value!

As usual, Dela Quist of Alchemy Worx has decided to turn things on their head and not accept the 'norm'. In this case he's being irreverent to the holy 'relevance' mantra of email marketing....and he makes a good point.

In the latest issue of email-worx,, he talks about replacing 'relevance' with 'value' - as without value, it is very hard for your email program to be relevant. As he says 'Subscribers expect - and should get value!'

He goes onto say that an easy way to add value to your email program is to offer something which you can only get by being in the mailing list - that is, you can't get it by going directly to the website. This of course can be information, whitepapers, special offers, reduced shipping etc...

Watch the video here

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How Much is Too Much?

Steve Woods wrote a great blog post about email frequency management and control. Here's his advice on how to manage email frequency:

One conversation I end up in a lot with clients is the "how many times can I email a person per month?" conversation. Unfortunately, there is not a magic number, and attempting to govern around one can be damaging.

The reason that there's not a magic number is that email is only useful in the context of building a relationship, and in a relationship communication frequency changes dramatically depending on the type of relationship and where that relationship is at the moment.

Think of this question in terms of your communications with your friends and family - how many times per month do you communicate with your spouse? kids? Aunt Hilda? Neighbors? Old friends from school days? The answer is that it depends on the relationship.

It's the same thing in B2B marketing. If you are actively engaging with a prospect, and they are highly interested in what you are offering, they will want, and appreciate, frequent communications. However, if you're only lightly engaged with someone, and they have only displayed minimal interest, you will turn them off with more than a communication per month in many cases.

The answer is that you have to manage this from the bottom up, rather than the top down.

There is not a top-down X emails per month number that you can manage to. Instead, you need to understand your audience in terms of how much you have communicated to them and, more importantly, how engaged they are with you, and use that to guide communication frequency.

Use your understanding of your audience's response to your marketing (their Digital Body Language) to segment them into groups.

Use communication frequency and response frequency(email opens, clicks, form submits, web visits, etc) to define three segments:

  • High Engagement: you have sent them many communications, and they have shown great inbound interest
  • Moderate Engagement: you have sent them some communications, but their inbound activity remains occasional
  • Low Engagement: you have communicated with them, but they show little to no inbound activity


From here, you can then use these segments to build a bottom-up frequency management structure. Look at your communications and define what category they fall into. If they are a "required" or "all recipients" category, you may not suppress against any of the groups (eg, registration confirmation for events the recipient just registered for, or the quarterly thought leadership newsletter).

If the messages are in an "active interest" category, you may suppress Low and Moderate Engagement segments from receiving them (up to the minute news, detailed product information, etc), and if the messages are in a "moderate interest" category you may only suppress the Low Engagement segment.

Hat tip: Dennis Dayman

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

More Email Marketing Resolutions for 2009

A couple of weeks ago, Chad White posted some great tips for your email marketing program in 2009. Here's a summary:

1. Each month replace one of your previously planned broadcast emails with a targeted email to a segment of your list. A well-crafted, targeted email can generate as much sales as a broadcast email, while simultaneously increasing engagement and reducing list fatigue. However, a targeted email does take a little extra effort to create.

2. Schedule a review of all your email forms and triggered emails. Sign-up forms, preference centers, welcome emails, triggered emails -- if you haven't done an inventory of these pages and emails and reviewed them to make sure that they're accurate and up to date, do it now. These tend to get set up and then forgotten about - sometimes for years.

3. Speak to the subscriber and not from the point of view of your business. Make sure that your emails and forms address consumers with them in mind. What's in it for them? What's appealing to them? And how does your email program help them?

4. Redesign your email templates with image blocking in mind.

5. Segment out your inactive subscribers. Send them different messaging than your active subscribers and at a lower frequency. Also consider sending them emails with a different template, one that has an unsubscribe link at the top, or offering the choice to opt-down to a lower frequency. After a long period of inactivity, you may also want to send a reactivation campaign, asking them to opt in again in order to continue receiving emails.

Read the entire article here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

5 Fundamental Segmentations That Drive Relevance

Whether taking a basic approach or performing extensive data gathering and analysis, there's a core set of fundamental segmentations that drive relevance and consistently outperform across the most successful e-mail marketing programs. In this article on the Multichannel Merchant website, Millie Park sums them up:

  1. E-mail behavior: by leveraging the behavioral data collected from your e-mail programs, you can design campaigns with greater relevance to your targets and generate a higher number of clicks. 

  2. Purchasing behavior: of course, customers with the highest RFM numbers should be marketed to in a distinct way. But segmenting by one element alone can increase hit rates. For example, if you have a customer who makes a purchase every three months, you should market to her near the end of this cycle, offering discounts to entice her to not only buy again, but possibly increase spending.

  3. Purchase category: you already know what customers have purchased in the past, so from this you can deduce what may interest them in the future.

  4. Preference center and survey data: preference center data and/or data obtained from surveys is infrequently used or leveraged to its fullest, yet it can serve as strong basis for customizing programs and improving e-mail relevancy.

  5. Demographic or psychographic data: you may not already be tracking information as detailed as a customer's gender. But you can easily glean it from other data you've collected, directly ask customers for it or purchase it. For example, results from a brief survey asking a customer for his zip code can enable you to segment him by geographic location and gain insight into what's most relevant to him.

You don't need complex customer models and sophisticated publishing grids to effectively segment customers. Small incremental changes such as tailoring subject lines can have a big impact on the relevance of your e-mail marketing and your bottom line.

Source: Multichannel Merchant

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How To Collect More Information From Your Email Subscribers

In this article, Stefan Pollard lists a couple of ways to collect more information from your email subscribers that can be used to create segments and relevant messages:

  1. Invite readers to fill out or update their profiles
  2. Use the search engine optimization terms that drive the most traffic to your site
  3. Target messages based on subscribers' past behavior
  4. Interview the people who talk directly with your customers
  5. See where people click in your email messages
  6. Choice vs. behavior: which yields stronger segments?

Read this excellent article here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

RSS: Really Simple Segmentation

Segmenting your list and targeting your content are good ways to improve your e-mail marketing program's performance. But many companies are operating under the false belief that they don't have the information they need to segment and target. Even if all you collect at opt-in is an e-mail address, you should have the information you need to segment and target your missives.

In her most recent column, Jeanne Jennings lays out the framework for a very simple segmentation of your list:

  • Segment 1: people who've joined the list in the past 30 days.
  • Segment 2: those who have not opened, clicked, or converted.
  • Segment 3: people who have opened e-mail, but not clicked or converted.
  • Segment 4: those who open and click but don't convert.
  • Segment 5: people who have opened, clicked, and converted, taking the action you wanted them to.

In her next column, Jeanne promises to cover ways to provide relevant, targeted content that moves members of each group forward in the relationship in upcoming columns.

Source: ClickZ

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Sender-Line Branding Tactics In Retail Emails

To gain a better understanding of the range of branding tactics used in sender lines, Chad White examined both the sender names and addresses used in the promotional emails of 111 of the online retailers that he tracks via RetailEmail.Blogspot. Here’s what he found:

Sender Name Branding
In their promotional emails, retailers used one of four branding tactics with their sender names:

  1. They simply use their brand name.
  2. They use their dot-com branding.
  3. They use their brand name plus the name of the newsletter.
  4. They use their brand name plus the name of their division.

Sender Address Branding in Promotional Emails
Branding in the sender address is critical become not all email clients display sender names; some just display sender addresses. When looking at the branding of sender addresses of promotional emails, it comes down to whether the retailer uses branding after the @-sign in their address, or both before and after it. The consensus is the more branding the better, with 73% of major online retailers including their brand name both before and after the @-sign. The remaining 27% use branding only after the @-sign; none use branding only before it.

Clearly, a lack of branding before the @-sign is not a reason to change your sender address, but it’s something to consider the next time a change of sender address is required.

Source: Email Insider

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How to Introduce Behavioral Targeting Into an E-mail Newsletter?

Behaviorally targeted messages provide better response and can even be credited with shortening sales cycles.

The easiest way to obtain behavioral targeting data is through the reporting capabilities of your e-mail marketing campaign tool: what customers open and what exactly they click on. Targeting messages based on open or click-through activity allows you to communicate with your most engaged audience on topics they’ve already indicated are important.

A more sophisticated way to get behavioral targeting data is to integrate your e-mail program with a Web analytics application. Besides providing revenue data on an e-mail campaign, Web analytics give you postclick data and site abandonment numbers you can tie back to e-mail targeting.

The easiest behavioral targeting technique to implement involves all the data you have at your disposal. Categorize the different article types in your newsletter. Then for recipients who’ve clicked on a particular type, use the dynamic content feature in your e-mail campaign management tool to deliver another article of the same type at the top of the next newsletter. This way, they’ll see the topic of greatest interest to them in the inbox preview pane.

Once you’ve attempted this easy behavioral targeting technique in your b-to-b newsletter, experiment with open and postclick data. And remember, dynamic content isn’t reserved only for text. It can also be images and links.

Source: btobonline

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Strategies to Re-engage Inactive Subscribers

Over on the EEC blog Dan Babb and Austin Bliss share some strategies to re-engage inactive subscribers:

Explore segmentation tactics.
One-to-one communication and segmentation are so easy to do with email. It’s highly recommended that you start categorizing your non-responders into various cells, and start testing different content and subject lines for each cell. When you identify a strategy that starts to show positive results (getting people engaged), use that strategy for the remainder of the cells.

Consider a survey.
Inviting subscribers to participate in a survey can be an effective tool for re-activation programs. Ask your subscribers for information that can be helpful in providing them content and offers they will find valuable.

Get a new email address.
Is the fact that the subscriber is not responding a sign that the email address is going to be invalid soon (abandoned email account)? Should you try to find a new email address for that subscriber? Over the last 6 to 8 months, there’s been an increase in the number of customers that are submitting their “chronic non-responders” for email change of address and email update services. One reason for this trend is because of slowing list growth. As a marketer’s growth rate of their opt-in house file slows down, the loss of emails due to bounces and non-responders start to really show their impact in terms of lost revenue. Therefore, finding a new email address for a non-responder has been a strategy that’s being adopted by more companies.

Is there a risk if you continue to email non-responders?
This question came up. The general consensus was that there probably is not a risk that the non-responder will press the automated complaint buttons or report you as spam. However, abandoned emails do sometimes get converted to “honeypots” or “spam traps” by the ISPs. The ISPs don’t tell us good guys which addresses may have triggered a spam trap, so you don’t know which ones to remove from your list. A suggestion: do a 1-year purge—anyone who hasn’t shown any action (as defined above) could be suppressed from future campaigns.

Source: Email Experience  Blog

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How to Make Sure Your Email Campaigns Are Relevant and Effective

In their whitepaper, The Retail Marketer’s Playbook: Your 180-Day Email Marketing Game Plan with Top 5 Plays, Responsys offers five “top plays” to make sure your e-mail marketing campaigns are relevant and effective:

1. Refine segmentation tactics.
Segmentation allows for more targeted e-mail messages. The white paper provides some tips on how to segment:

  • Segment based on consumer behavior, not just demographic information.
  • Use whatever data you have available, and send more relevant content to subsets of subscribers.
  • Create different versions of your messages.
  • Perform continual testing.

2. Improve transactional messaging.
Transactional e-mails are highly relevant and very likely to be opened and read. Therefore, they should offer the customer something, furthering his or her relationship with you. Recommend additional products or services the customer might want or need; offer a subscription to your newsletter; and send transactional messages in HTML format to reinforce your brand.

3. Strengthen welcome messaging.
In e-mail, it’s imperative to make a good first impression: “The moment you acquire a consumer’s e-mail address is a key point of engagement—quite possibly the most relevant and defining moment in the relationship.” Suggestion: send new subscribers a series of well-timed and well-designed HTML e-mails that grab attention.

4. Reengage customers with a win-back program.
With the cost of attracting new customers so high, it’s important to keep existing customers coming back. Every e-mail marketing team should implement an automated win-back program. Let customers know you’ve noticed that they haven’t made a purchase in a while; send surveys to solicit feedback, and make an exclusive offer that’s too good to pass up. The more you engage your customers in a positive way, the more likely they’ll stick around.

5. Recover revenue with a cart abandonment program.
Shopping carts are great tools for e-mail marketers, but just because people put items in their cart doesn’t mean they’ll buy them. However, the interest is there, so Responsys suggests you help nudge these would-be consumers along with these tips:

  • Trigger the timely delivery of e-mail messages to potential purchaser who abandoned their shopping carts;
  • provide easy access to saved shopping carts;
  • include quick links to more information about shipping and return policies or alternative methods of ordering; and
  • offer a special discount to accelerate the buying cycle.

You can download this whitepaper here.

Source: Target Marketing

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Can a campaign be too targeted?

Hmmm.. interesting thought!

We all know that a successful campaign needs the following ingredients: relevency, timeliness and permission.

In order to achieve the first item 2 ingredients in our recipe for a successful campaign,  as marketers we use segmentation combined with data which we know about the recipient in order to provide a targeted and relevent campaign.

All good so far. There are numerous industry reports and whitepapers which can be used to support these practices, in fact they are promoted as being Best Practice. However, at one of the presentations at the EEC conference, it was suggested that if a campaign is too targeted, you can actually scare a customer away.

How can that happen? Well, say for example someone subscribed to your newsletter, giving you only their name and email address, and then over a period of time, by being a good email marketer, you have collected significant data on them by tracking their movements, slowly introducing more and more targeted campaigns until one day they realise that you know a bit too much about them! This can then scare them away.

I guess, as with anything we need to use wisdom and commonsense when implementing campaigns. As the old saying goes 'All things in moderation'...

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Preference Centers And Targeting

David Baker wrote an excellent article about preference centers and targeting a couple of weeks ago which I didn't get round to reading until this morning. Here's what he says:

While the concept of an online consumer preference center is a great idea, does it really add value to an email program or consumer experience?  In theory it works. You ask your customers to profile themselves, manage their subscriptions and hope they'll manage this over time.  In theory, this would help with customer targeting, timing and overall customer management. 

While I've seen some really great approaches to preference centers, consumer adoption and interaction is a product of the consumer brand involvement with the product and service (how frequently and how often), the perceived value in contributing to this enhanced profile (what's in it for me), and your ability as a marketer to continue to motivate your customer to contribute to this profile over time. 

Many preference centers are great ideas that are poorly executed -- not because the registration page isn't functional or the users can't update their profiles, but because of  mismatched expectations.  When many marketers are still grappling with permission management practices (opt-in vs. opt-out), why add another layer of consumer management to the problem? 

Many in the email space propose preference centers to help with subscription practices. Some do it for depth of profile, some do it thinking this level of management will help you understand what percentage of your audience will get that involved in your brand.  Which are you? 

If you decide to develop a preference center, which I personally think has value for the marketer -- and, if done creatively, for the consumer -- there must be a connection between a consumer, the appropriate depth of content and value in a program, and a commitment from the marketer to continue to build value in keeping profiles updated.  Remember, a bad or outdated profile is potentially riskier to a customer relationship than little-to-no profile.  Would you rather market broadly to your customers with a common voice -- or show them you still have their old address from 10 years ago?  I have several profiles I set up in 2001, and I continue to get local marketing ads for Texas with poor use of personalization that is designed to show how smart the marketers are.  They simply showed me how inept they are in carrying a profile for 10 years without first attempting to get it updated.

If you decide to bring this on, here are some things that you should consider:

  • How do you want to introduce it?  (At enrollment/membership, one-step or two, a condition of membership?)
  • How can you support this through alternative channels (offline? Television, radio, POS)?
  • Do you have a "big idea" that can carry this program message?
  • Is your organization behind it and the value it can add? (this means all channels committed to building and leveraging this information)
  • What level and type of data is actionable vs. nice to have? (the 4-Ps of Data, Personal, Profile, Preferential and Performance)
  • Do I try to build a profile in one sitting or build it in stages?
  • How will I entice the consumer to participate today and tomorrow?

As a professional marketer, I'm a bit skeptical of customer preference centers.  Yes, they make sense for transactional relationships and managing functional tasks.  But if your goal is one-sided (only value is to the marketer), your program and the perceived value by the consumer is likely that as well. 

Pull a comScore report and look at all the sites that your ideal customers visit regularly; look at their demographic traits, their interests and genres, and see how many of these sites and brand relationships they are willing to go to the next level. Then do a reality check and try to determine whether your idea of a preference center would really "hold water" with all these connections the consumer has today.  If your brand has this connection and persistence, then you have a chance.  If you have a preference center in place and have completed profiles of less than 15% of your base, then you need to rethink the value this serves.

Source: Email Insider

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

5 Segmentation Tips

In this article, Stefan Pollard shares 5 segmentation tips. Why should you care? That's easy: the more relevant your messages are to your subscribers' needs, wants, and expectations, the better the response and deliverability. Segmentation can help you with that.

The following list of ways to collect more information can be used to create segments and relevant messages:

1. Invite readers to fill out or update their profiles.
Don't ask too many questions on the sign-up form but use the welcome email or a survey instead to invite subscribers to tell you a bit more about themselves. Stefan suggests to "add a small incentive, such as a discount coupon or extra download, to sweeten the deal".  

2. Use the search engine optimization terms that drive the most traffic to your site.
Incorporate the search terms that are used into message content, subject lines, calls-to-action and other communications, such as the preference page invitation. Then, review the data manually. Tally key words and phrases used to find your brand. You'll quickly see a pattern you can use.

3. Target messages based on subscribers' past behavior.
Use behavior data to segment out inactive users (those who haven't opened or clicked in a set time period) to capture those who clicked on product links in earlier e-mails but didn't buy, or who bought from you once but never again.

4. Interview the people who talk directly with your customers.
These include your customer-service or call-center people who should be familiar enough with your Web site to offer feedback or pass along comments about the site's usability or what customers are looking for when they call. Again, you can turn this information around to create useful segments that speak to customers' needs or interests.

5. See where people click in your e-mail messages.
If I'm promoting men's shoes but a large portion of my audience clicks the links for women's shoes, I can use that data to promote woman's shoes in the next offer.

This is just a short summary of the 5 tips Stefan offers in his article. Read more here.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Checklist for Behaviorally Targeted Email Campaigns

Due to the low cost of e-mail marketing and deployment relative to revenue generated, e-mail marketing programs should be assessed on the additive value they provide to your overall campaign. Expanding segmentation and personalization opportunities through the use of e-mail series allows marketers to provide readers with real value. This can translate into communications that result in relationship building and increased revenues.

Expanding an email communications program to include more behaviorally driven messaging can pose significant challenges. Topics and questions to consider include:

  • Contact strategy. Do you have a strategy for communication frequency? Does it take into account non-e-mail communication channels? Are these channels coordinated?
  • Message conflict. How do you manage customer messaging to ensure customers don't receive multiple or conflicting messages from your firm within a given time? What processes are in place to determine which messages get priority?
  • Dynamic content. Are systems in place that allow you to tailor e-mail content based on customer preferences or behavior? If not, how can you modify your e-mail strategy to achieve similar results?
  • Database and e-mail system support. Does your firm have systems to support these types of communications? How long does it take to specify and implement changes to e-mail management systems? Are there other systems that may be affected by these campaigns that must be coordinated?
  • Creative approach. Have you assessed how to provide appropriately branded, attention-getting content? Quality must be consistent with other e-mail communications. Targeted communications reach a smaller segment of the house file. As a result, it may be difficult to justify your usual creative resources.
  • ROI justification. Is it necessary to prove an ROI hurdle rate? If so, how do you collect the necessary information?
  • Fulfillment. Do you have sufficient product to meet customer demand? Do you have a high-enough headcount to support promotions, regardless of how customers communicate with you?
  • Must-Have Features

    Ensure e-mailings help customers to achieve their goals. To this end, always include the following in your e-mail:

  • Search box. Customers may use e-mailings as a reminder and want to search for other products on your site.
  • "Buy Now!" button. Let customers purchase a promoted product without going through a complicated purchase process.
  • Link to e-mail registration. Since the communication may be forwarded from another party, allow recipients to click a link to sign up for personal e-mail.
  • Forward-to-a-friend functionality. While this functionality in an e-mail tends to get low response, don't overlook those readers who wish to use it.
  • "Contact Us" link or button. Provide a means to communicate with your firm to overcome objections and close sales.
  • Preference center. Offer readers e-mail options in terms of frequency and targeting. According to Ashley Johnston, senior marketing director at CheetahMail, providing these choices can help retain customers on a house e-mail file.
  • E-mail Series Metrics

    When addressing the effectiveness of an e-mail series, metrics to track include:

  • Customers mailed. Track the number of customers contacted by e-mail type or series. Also, count the number of new registrations generated by various entry points.
  • Opens, clicks, and links. Monitor the number of unique e-mail messages opened as well as which items/content motivated readers to click through. Track the most popular links customers click on to determine which content is most attractive to readers.
  • Unsubscribes/bounces. While every mailing generates unsubscribes and bounces, analyze results to ensure that on a relative basis these newer forms of e-mail messages aren't causing list erosion. Monitor the churn rate or percentage of readers who leave your list as well as hard bounces. This is an important indicator of your list's health.
  • Revenue. While these e-mail series may not generate significant revenues individually, as a group the series should be examined in the context of incremental sales and profitability. They may be a valuable way to avoid price-driven promotions.
  • Lifetime value. Evaluate the lifetime value of an e-mail address or customer. This metric takes into consideration both the acquisition cost as well as ongoing marketing costs matched against revenues over time.
  • Source: ClickZ

    Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

    Ideas for Behaviorally Targeted Email Campaigns

    While behaviorally targeted mailings may not have the same reach and sales as promotional marketing messages, they meet customers' needs with personalized, relevant information. Often, these communications are triggered at various points in the purchase process and customer lifecycle. These messages may be part of a longer series aimed at building relationships beyond just one purchase. The objective is to create the kind of communications that are so relevant they break through inbox clutter and are read and acted upon.

    When looking for areas that provide opportunities to develop a targeted series of e-mail communications, examine the following:

  • Welcome e-mail. A welcome e-mail can jump-start buying. Many e-mail marketers take advantage of this highly read messaging. Depending on your product, tailor an offer that engages prospects. The initial e-mail must build the relationship with users. The idea is to get prospects engaged while they're still excited about your offering.

  • Purchase-related e-mail. As part of the purchase-confirmation process, provide customers with a series of e-mail messages to ensure the product has arrived and the customer can get the most out of it. Include references to information on your site or blog providing product and customer support. Use these communications to sell related products and services, such as coordinated clothes or warranties. Airlines and hotels send reminders that aid trip planning while providing other related services, either their own products or related suppliers.

  • Post-purchase e-mail. Product purchase is a trigger for future communications. Think like a direct-response TV marketer who uses an initial sale to promote related products. This can work in a number of ways, such as selling more ink for a printer. Or you can make recommendations based on past purchases, as Amazon does.

  • Purchase-behavior-related e-mail. Take a cue from traditional direct marketers who segment customers based on past buying behavior. Communications to consider:
    • High-value buyers. This group is the core of your customer base and must be handled with care. Assess their potential based on past purchasing. Look at the type of product they buy as well as the dollar amount and frequency of purchases.
    • Low purchasers. These customers and prospects may no longer be interested in your offering. Consider ways to either reengage them or eliminate them from your e-mail list, because at some point they may consider your communications spam.
    • Gift buyers. These buyers may only be interested in your offering at the next gift-giving event that's relevant to the recipient. If you can determine this, provide a reminder; but don't clutter their inboxes with ongoing, irrelevant e-mail.
    • Gift recipients. These folks are your target market and probably like your product. Consider ways to add them to your house file.
  • Reminders/calendar-related e-mail. Consider the marketing calendar from a customer perspective. Take into account personal events, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations, or business events, like conferences and budget season. Brainstorm relevant personal events and position reminders as a service. Help customers plan ahead and provide them with useful, relevant information. The more information customers share with you, the less likely they are to buy from competitors. Shopping with your firm will be easier.
  • Source: ClickZ

    Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!