Why targeted emails are so effective and how they are now an essential to any email marketing campaign.
In this guide to making a targeted email campaign we will discuss and quantify what targeted emails are, and why they are so effective at turning your email list into a genuine marketing asset. I’m keen to show you why tagging email opt-ins at the start is so important downstream for your targeted email campaigns, how dynamic content can be used to make a different message to different segments of your list, and much, much more! Targeted emails are the Rolls Royce of the email marketing sphere and leave standard email blasts for dust.
What are targeted emails?
It’s no longer enough to just send out a blast email to your list in the hope that someone will catch on to what you are trying to say. You need to customise your content so that people who receive your email feel like they are the only one that got it, and that they are in a genuine one on one conversation with you. This might sound obvious but it’s not easy to do en-masse to your email list.
However, it’s definitely possible – that’s where targeted emails come in. Targeted emails are basically dynamic content emails that have content depending on the interests and demographics of the person being emailed. Marketing Automation taking advantage of tagging makes this possible, which is available with many modern email marketing platforms (I use GetResponse for email marketing, check out my review of its pricing structure here).
The real promise of targeted emails is they don’t feel like marketing. I’m sure your inbox overflows with irrelevant emails blasted en-masse just like mine; it’s a modern day malaise. Relationship building is key to any form of selling today and targeted emails are just so far ahead of your average joe email newsletter.
With targeted emails, it’s imperative that you have tagged your users in some manner, this forms the basis of a targeted audience. You can tag your email users as they are added to your list, or during the time they are on your list. Methods to do this might be based on which lead magnet they exchange their email for, how they interact with your email series (open rate, click rate), or how they behave on your website.
A targeted email campaign is a campaign using marketing automation that targets specific user characteristics based on how they are tagged in the email marketing platform. For a simple example, if you have tagged some emails in your list as being interested in ‘tennis’ and you are a shoe distributor, you can tailor your email specifically to the new season’s tennis footwear.
A targeted email is an email that is sent according to the segment that the email owner is tagged in. As such, its possible to tailor an email specifically to the geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural characteristics of a particular user. This helps engage email customers significantly more effectively than an old-school email newsletter.
How do targeted emails work?
The first and most crucial concept is a feature called tagging. Tagging is basically labelling an email opt-in contact according to their interests, behaviour and other categories. Sounds fairly simple and uneventful, but it can be used to great effectiveness when you bring marketing automation into play.
The power of targeting and marketing automation can probably be best described by an example. Say you are an Affiliate Marketing website, in the health niche and you cover many different supplements such as weight loss protein powder and body building specific items. If you were to just send out an email blast covering products from both the weight loss topic and the body building topic in one email to your email list, you will without doubt lose a slice of credibility with both markets – body builders are likely to be turned off by ‘weight loss’ and vice versa. If you were clever enough to figure out who on your list is a body builder and who is looking to lose weight, then it becomes much simpler – info about body building and its products goes to those on your list tagged as body builders, and weight loss information to those who initially showed interest in losing weight.
OK, cool, it’s not a difficult topic to get your head around. How on earth do you tag different emails as having their users interested in different things?
This is where the magic comes in. Assuming you have a website, you can tag your email opt-in according to many different parameters, for example, if someone opts-in on a page about weight loss, it’s a simple exercise to tag them as being interested in ‘weight loss’. You can take this even further using a lead generation quiz (see a product such as leadquizzes) where you literally ask customers what they are interested in, and tag them accordingly, with an extremely high level of accuracy. If you’re running ecommerce, you can tag people according to products they have already bought, and you can even tag people on their engagement rate with your emails (think open rate, link click etc.) The tag remains on the email in your email marketing platform as long as you want it there. Now you’ve tagged the interest, you can market accordingly.
If your list is fairly small, it’s possible to even manually tag specific emails. This can be handy for use in say a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) some of which have the ability to work with tagging and marketing automation as well as standard CRM functions.
It’s so important for this process to collect as much information about your customer as possible in order to be able to market to them effectively and engage them in what feels as close to a one-on-one conversation as you can via targeted emails. This engagement leads to much better sales conversion down the track.
If you’ve ever wondered why a platform such as LinkedIn asks so much about your interests when you sign up, or why Facebook asks you what your interests are, it’s all about targeted marketing. Tagging your user’s emails is just another form of the same strategy.
Email based website tracking
Once you’ve tagged someone via email, it’s even possible to track their interactions with your website, and yes, even market to them according to the pages they visit. This is a highly, highly effective way to increase the conversion rate of your emails. If their interested in a page on your site, it’s a great indicator of intent, which is crucial to know for great targeted email marketing.
Dynamic Content for targeted emails
Dynamic content allows you to change the message within your emails based on the tags that you have you have applied to each email in your list. This is really powerful when you have one message you want to go out to everyone, but specific messages based on the interests of each specific email owner. Going back to the weight loss and body building example, maybe you want to send an email to your entire list, but the picture of a body builder to the muscle heads and a picture of someone doing cardio to those interested in weight loss. This is absolutely possible in the same email when you take advantage of the tagging you have already applied in conjunction with dynamic content.
Tracking the success of targeted emails
All this targeted email stuff is great, but how do you know if it’s working? Most email platforms track simple opens and link clicks but the information you really need to know to grow and evolve your sales are measures such as conversion, sales and engagement.
You really want to be able to build a full marketing funnel with your email list; many modern email marketing platforms ,such as my favourite, GetResponse, allow you to build lead and/or sales funnels where everything is measured, giving you great control over the entire marketing arrangement and meaning small tweaks in your automation process within the funnel can lead to big increases in revenue.
Marketing Automation and targeted emails
I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz around the email marketing world about Marketing Automation, which is now available on so many platforms at more than affordable price points. Earlier I’ve talked about how by using tags you can segment email users into different interests, behaviours and other categories. Marketing Automation is the part where you can put these tags into use. Say you want to send an email to only users who interacted in a certain way with a particular past email. By setting a follow up email to trigger to only send if this has happened, you can effectively reach out to email users that will be specifically interested in that information.
There’s so many applications of marketing automation that it boggles the mind. Think abandoned cart emails, abandoned registration emails, emails to people who interact with a certain web page or product page that don’t reply, the list goes on. Getting in front of your email customer right at the correct time is so important for effective conversion in a world of constant distractions and so important when people’s attention is competed for so heavily.
Integration of your email marketing platform with your site
If you are going down the path of getting an email marketing platform with the intention of sending out targeted emails, make sure you find one that has good integrations. Nowhere is this more important than in ecommerce, where automation features such as abandoned cart emails, for example displaying the exact product that your potential customer has just rejected, can boost your sales revenue considerably. If your website is based on WordPress, Shopify, Magento or any of the big Content Management Systems, you’ll find that most likely your email platform supports integration. Before you subscribe to an email marketing platform it’s definitely worth checking this out.
You’ll find most platforms sales teams or customer service will happily be able to inform you if this is the case.
Targeted Emails for Affiliates
If you’re an Affiliate with a website, you’re in luck when it comes to using targeted emails. Beware though – not all email marketing platforms allow you to affiliate market through their systems. I wrote an article here describing the email platforms I believe are Affiliate Friendly. It can be a bit hazy reading through terms and conditions and I’ve done my best to de-mystify it.
There’s so many uses for Affiliate Marketers when it comes to targeted emails by segment. Again, I’ll use an example to illustrate. Say you are affiliating for a relationship dating site. You collect emails using two different lead magnets – one aimed at men and one aimed at women. Here’s an obvious case for segmentation, now you can target your email list by gender. You may have a series of emails adding value to customers, and by using Marketing Automation and tagging according to email interaction you can narrow down your funnel to the sales approach that suits the particular customer best. Think this will increase your conversions? You bet.
Research by Mailchimp has shown that targeted emails using list segmentation (separation by tags) has an increase in email open rate, unique open rate and link clicks, when compared to unsegmented email campaigns. Conversely, it reduces Bounces, Abuse Reports and un-subscriptions. These are all massive plusses for your business no matter what your industry is. Targeted emails are something you should take advantage of, if you collect emails or have a website. Though it may sound a little complicated, most email platforms that offer the ability to perform tagging and automation make it relatively easy to do. There is a learning curve but it’s one well worth your time.
It’s generally reported that email marketing is one of the most cost effective methods of marketing. The returns that it can generate on investment can be very high.
You may not be sure how to collect an email in the first place, as this is kind of the catch 22 that all this email hinges on – you need an email list. Again, many email marketing platforms (including, you guessed it Getresponse) offer forms, landing page builders and other methods to collect emails. There’s a real art to having a good offer (eg lead magnet, see my guide here) and creating a landing page that converts into collected emails (see my info on landing pages).
Im hoping this article has ‘sold’ you on the need to utilise targeted emails in your marketing repertoire. I would love if you would leave a comment, and feel free to peruse the rest of my site, for more information about Affiliate Marketing generally and also SEO and email (autoresponder) tools and tips. Thanks for reading this article!
Affiliate Disclaimer: In case you were in any sort of doubt, yes, I’m an Affiliate in some manner for some of these programs and products. I like to practice what I preach. If you are intending to utilise any of these offers I’d love if you went through one of these links to support my site.