One of the trademarks of our mobile-equipped, technologically rich culture is the multitude of platforms on which people can broadcast any and all personal matters to their virtual communities. Social media enthusiasts post everything from major life events to the mundane details of their daily routines on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, while others take to Instagram to play the role of photojournalist for their own lives.
Since the personal is at the center of of this new online landscape, email marketers have to learn to adapt their promotional campaigns to appeal to their customers' sensibilities – and creating more targeted email lists is one of the key ways firms can ensure they are keeping abreast of the times.
The end of the email blast
In an age where social media lets everyone feel that there's a spotlight just for them, impersonal email campaigns are sure to set marketers up for failure. Instead of sending a high number of email blasts to the entirety of their email marketing lists, brands are taking a more focused approach.
Adam Sarner, an analyst at research firm Gartner, recently told Internet Retailer that email marketing trends are emphasizing quality over quantity, and as part of that endeavor, marketers have to target their promotional messages more effectively.
"The market doesn't see email volume as where the value is anymore," Sarner told the news source. "They're sending less email, but starting to take advantage of things like predictive analytics, segmentation and offer management to email the right campaign to the right recipients."
Luckily, providers of email marketing solutions are already adapting their offerings to this trend. Internet Retailer also spoke with Matt Belkin, vice president of customer strategy and business development at Adobe. The firm recently altered its pricing strategy for Adobe Campaign to allow marketers to create more customized messages. Now, users won't be charged extra if they want to coordinate across multiple marketing channels, Belkin told the news source.
Given these factors, email marketers only stand to gain from finding ways to make their customers feel important, as though they're being spoken to directly by the brand. In a post for Business 2 Community, Kevin Lindsay, the director of conversion product marketing for Adobe's Marketing Cloud products, noted that basic customization can go a long way.
"Many brands have found staggering results from something as simple as adding the recipient's name to the subject line call to action," Lindsay wrote.
The Adobe marketer also recommended that firms consider using dynamic content – that is, tailored marketing copy based on customers' previous behavior – as a way of increasing customer engagement. Strategies like this help recipients feel like the brand emailing them knows and understands their habits and preferences.
Targeted marketing for the holidays
Marketers who are just getting started with personalization and segmentation may be wondering how they can quickly incorporate these techniques into their email campaigns. Luckily, the holiday shopping season is an ideal time for retail marketers, in particular, to employ new, more targeted tactics.
In a post for Marketing Land, Cara Olson, a marketing executive at digital consultancy DEG, outlined a series of ways in which firms can segment their email contact lists to boost holiday sales. One segment should contain the brand's best customers, she suggested. For this group, which should only be about 10 percent of the total email list, marketers can send promotions that reward brand loyalty. Meanwhile, marketers should create other segments based on contacts' past activity – whether they made a purchase last year, two years ago or have yet to do so – and market differently to each group.
By playing to the culture of the personal, you can create email campaigns that may prove more likely to boost holiday revenue.