ClickZ’s e-mail marketing forum confirmed e-mail remains a strong marketing communications tactic, despite increased challenges. E-mail marketing is still the form of marketing with the highest ROI (define) because most of its costs are very modest once you’ve captured a prospect’s e-mail address. Promotional e-mailings drive measurable sales results, so marketers are often tempted to add more scheduled mailings, despite risking negative consequences.
A calendar of regularly scheduled e-mail promotions and newsletters is by now a part of most marketers’ plans. As e-mail marketing continues to evolve, more marketers will add other types of e-mailings targeted by relevance, timing, and personalization to take full advantage of this attractive medium.
Providing more targeted, personal communications that meet readers’ needs helps marketers break through inbox clutter. As with direct marketing, targeted e-mail messages are segmented based on customer behavior and other audience interest preferences. This helps marketers break out of the price-driven promotional mode while making mailings more relevant to readers.
It’s important to assess a segmentation strategy and behavioral targeting at the top level to determine areas of greatest opportunity. Consider the following and think in terms of how these categories may interact:
Behaviorally Targeted E-mail Series
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:
- 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.
It’s critical customers view your e-mail communications as personal and relevant so they continue to receive them and respond to them. Using customer interests and behavior to target your messages will help your e-mail program achieve these goals.
In part two: a checklist for behaviorally targeted e-mailings and outline of the relevant e-mail metrics to track.
Want more e-mail marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our e-mail columns, organized by topic.