Okay, you have this great list, and a never ending procession of attractively priced products to offer, so what is the proper protocol that you should adopt when assembling email marketing blasts to send out. Do you just hit everyone with every message, or do to segment and target based on previous buying or browsing habits? There are a number of schools of thought on this matter.
Email marketing is a very data driven process, not unlike its progenitor, direct mail. The plus is that marketers are not constrained by cost if sending mail to subscribers who do not meet certain criteria. Targeting and segmentation were born out of the need to cut costs by sending mailings only to those who may wish to directly purchase a given item, as opposed to a widespread shotgun blast approach that may or may not hit the intended demographic target. Obviously the problem of cost does not exist with email, so marketers are often less likely to segment their lists, choosing the shotgun blast approach instead.
However, it has been proven that taking the time to properly segment an email list is worth the effort. The obvious pros are the sending of a message that is properly targeted generates higher engagement rates. The downside is that it minimizes the reach of each offer, proportionately minimizing the incremental conversion. Engagement is one sure fire way of determining your success…if a customer hasn’t opened or clicked a message in three months, then they are suppressed from further mailings.
There are different scenarios under which these elements may apply. Let us examine:
Perhaps you send news of a new special or product, and someone opens the message through their smartphone and makes a purchase. You got what you needed, and yet it was not registered as an “engagement” of your message in any way. Does that person get suppressed? You may actually be shooting yourself in the proverbial foot if this person is dropped from your marketing efforts.
Also, do you send complete product information to your recipients when perhaps only a small portion of them are engaged? You run the risk of them becoming bored with your messages because you rarely touch on things they are interested in. Not everyone is fit to receive all of your content, and they should not be expected to. In cases like this, some baseline segmentation is probably in order, especially if you are seeing attrition rates that are of concern to you.
It is also possible to over target your message, which leaves an entire group of potential clients out in the cold. Look beyond purchases in specific categories and broaden your marketing horizons. Those interested in fashion may also be interested in cookware.
Yes, it is a fine line to walk, but it is important that you strike the proper balance in your email marketing efforts, a balance designed to maximize conversion rates while at the same time not going so far as to alienate any portion of your customer base. It will always be a work in progress, so make sure you have the most qualified people handling it for you.