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Enhance Your Email Marketing Response

Things have changed since Henry Ford said, "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black." Customers are a lot more in control now.
Views: 1.056 Created 09/08/2008

If you are an email marketer who is doing traditional "batch and blast" email marketing, now’s a good time to start segmenting and sending triggered emails. Doing this allows you to send more relevant emails and get a better response from your subscribers.

Most Email Service Providers (ESPs) have tools that make it easy to segment your list and schedule triggered emails based on certain criteria. In addition, email reports generate specific subscribers who performed specific actions (e.g., clicked on a link) and other data very useful in targeting your emails.

Segmenting will help you target your emails and get you far better outcomes.  A lot of people hesitate to start because they are busy and think it will take a lot of time and effort. The reality is you can start with some basic segmenting and extend it from there.

Getting Started
Let's say you are in the wine business and you have a field in your database that delineates general palate preference: "dry," "sweet," and "both." You have another field that delineates wine color preference: "red," "white," and "both."

To target those likely to respond to your message, you would use the filtering feature provided by your ESP to choose those who have "dry" selected in the palate field and "red" selected in the color field. You could also expand your reach by selecting subscribers who have selected “both” in the palate and color fields.

Do not send to those who like only "sweet" or only "white" as they are unlikely to respond well to your message. They key to targeting is to include those likely to be interested and exclude those likely to be indifferent (at best) to your message.

Use Your Reports
Most ESPs provide good reporting on the outcome of your emails: opens, click-through rate (CTR), bounces (both hard and soft), unsubscribes, complaints, and delivery reports. You can get the raw numbers and drill down to get the specific subscribers who performed the specific behavior.

If you find that certain subscribers have clicked on a specific link in your email, you can be reasonably sure they have some interest in what you were offering at the other end of that link. Send them relevant emails.

You can do the same sort of thing for open rates and target based on who opened a specific email. Again, send them relevant emails.

The converse is also undefined. If you see recipients on your list who rarely open your emails or click on your links, you might need to get their attention again with some fresh approaches.

Always review your reports carefully both to monitor your results and to determine if there are ways you could use the information to more effectively target your emails.

Triggered Emails
Most ESPs have a feature called triggers (autoresponders) that enable you to send emails based on dates or at certain intervals from the time the subscriber joined your list (sometimes called "drip marketing").

Many email marketers send out promotions ahead of subscribers' birthdays and anniversaries. This is the very definition of a relevant email: it arrives at the right time with the right message.

With triggers, be careful to avoid sending people too many emails in too short a time, lest your subscribers suffer from email marketing fatigue. This condition is only treatable by ratcheting back your email frequency a bit.

The fact is, without busting your budget or using up all your time, these methods can help you significantly improve response to your email marketing campaigns and build stronger relationships by sending relevant, timely messages.  If Henry Ford were an email marketer today, even he would agree.

About the Author
Neil Anuskiewicz the Business Development Director for the StreamSend Email Marketing service.

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