Three Tips for Targeted Email Campaigns

It may be time to move beyond batch-and-blast in your email campaigns.

Sending regular emails to everyone on your list has a couple of possible downsides. Whether it gets caught in spam filters or not, recipients tend to treat a weekly email as spam, and don’t bother to read it. Those who do read it are apt to take it for granted; they’ll stop making purchases unless there is a discount or other incentive involved. For both reasons, you’re not necessarily going to develop regular customers who make substantial purchases with batch-and-blast efforts.

A targeted email campaign does require a little extra work, but the payoff can be significant. Here’s how to get started:

Identify your target. Find a high-value segment with the RFM model. Crunch the numbers to find good customers, either in terms of their:

  • Recency
  • Frequency or
  • Monetary value

You might develop a target group of those who have made purchases in the last week; those who have made four purchases in the last six months; or those who have made purchases totaling 50 percent more than the average over the last year. (And, of course, if purchases aren’t the relevant metric, you can look at opens, clicks, or downloads, in which case the “M” in your formula becomes a “V” for “volume.”)

Create the email. There are five elements to an effective targeted email:

  • It’s personal. We’ve all seen spam with our name in the subject line, so go beyond that. Include wording that refers to the specific reason the person has been targeted: “Thanks for your purchase last week,” or “We appreciate your major purchase six months ago, but we haven’t seen you since.”
  • It’s special. Consider sending it over the signature of the CEO or an appropriate department head.
  • It’s short. This is no time to blah-blah on at length: the whole email should run no more than 100-150 words.
  • It offers a special deal. Add a button with a direct link and a coupon code — and make it clear that it’s an offer for only a select group of customers.
  • It’s urgent. Put a time limit on the offer.

Send the email and track the results. Once the results are in, you’ll be able to evaluate the effectiveness of a targeted campaign by comparing them to the results of your last batch-and-blast. You should see improvements in your open rate, your CTR, and your conversion rate.

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