We all like to believe we’re special. Or as anthropologist Margaret Mead wryly put it, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique — just like everyone else.”

That belief (or state of denial) is why so-called “batch and blast” email is usually less effective than email campaigns customized to your unique market. In a recent study of marketing professionals by Experian Marketing Services, 62 percent said a personalized email subject line is crucial.

The study also revealed that personalized promotional emails generated transaction rates and revenue per email six times higher than non-personalized emails. The personalized mailings had 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates. For triggered email campaigns (in which emails are triggered by a calendar event, a business action or an action taken by a website visitor), personalization doubled transaction rates.

Because today’s email marketing services allow for more detailed data about customers, users can implement some pretty impressive personalization that likely wouldn’t have been possible a couple of decades ago. Logistics like fully optimized mobile applications and time-delayed messaging are now par for the course, as is message micro-customization based on consumer behavior.

“With so many available tools, businesses of all sizes can now employ the best email strategies for reaching customers,” writes Jayson DeMers in the Huffington Post. “When used correctly, these tools let businesses of all sizes compete with even the largest corporations. As more marketers discover the value of personalized marketing, businesses that don’t personalize their efforts will likely find their campaigns are largely unsuccessful.”

Reasons to Ditch

“To get started with such customization, conducting customer research is imperative,” explains Vertical Response Senior Content Marketing Manager, Linzi Breckenridge. “Your success with email marketing lies in understanding as much as you can about your contacts so you can better communicate with the groups of people likely to find your message relevant,” she says.

Since personalizing messages for a world’s worth of potential customers is probably still out of technology’s reach, here are tips for identifying whom to target in your next campaign.

Identify your target market(s), segmenting the groups of customers most likely to buy your goods and services. Think about which segment of the population has a problem your product is able to solve. Narrowing that down keeps you from wasting time and energy, and maximizes your chance of gaining and keeping customers, growing profits and expanding market share.

The most common ways to segment are by demographics, geographic location, purchasing behavior and/or psychographic segmentation (interests, hobbies, lifestyles, values and attitudes). The most common demographics used are age, gender and income level, notes social media blogger Lisa Furgison, all of which can be collected from your customers and embedded for reference onto your website or blog platform.

To help you form your messages, some marketing professionals recommend identifying common themes among your best customers and conceiving of actual “personas” that represent them in their various forms — including their shopping objectives and possible objections to buying.

Further fine-tune your target market by analyzing email data to identify customers who answered calls to action, like clicking to open windows announcing new product arrivals. “Knowing if, when and how contacts engage with your email is useful in determining which contacts find the message relevant,” notes Breckenridge. “You can continue the communication with those who respond, and tweak or completely change the message for those who don’t.”

Limit your target market to a manageable size. Warns Furgison: “If you overdose on segmentation, you could get frustrated and make your email marketing strategy more complicated than it needs to be.”

Consider rewarding loyal customers with discounts or special sneak peeks of products. “With a marketplace overflowing with options, repeat buyers are a much smaller segment than they once were,” Furgison notes.

Identify, target, and maybe reward brand advocates — customers who praise your products on social media or provide you positive feedback.
Make an effort to bring back inactive customers, possibly with a promo. Such emails have titles like “We miss you!” or “It’s been a while,” notes Furgison, who also advises that surveys should find out why customers have strayed.

Place the customer’s first name or user ID at the top of the message to quickly capture attention, advises Kevin Gao on targetmarketingmag.com. “If the user took the time to register with your business, then there is some implicit trust between both of you,” he says. “Remind them of your relationship by promptly showing their names. This tactic is especially important for consumers on mobile devices as the limited space means brands need logical personalization right away.”

Ask customers for information so you can provide even more apt customization in the future. “But avoid being greedy,” warns Gao. “Customers don’t want to spend time with a detailed registration page that asks for demographic data or other personal information. Ask for the minimum, use that in personalized emails, and expand your data as the relationship grows.”

Messages to customers triggered by real-time behaviors — such as reminders that items have been left in a “shopping cart” — can be very effective. “Even if the visitor receives it minutes after leaving the site, it does help the brand to stick in their mind,” states Gao. “Personalization should also be included in standard messages, such as shipment confirmations, where companies can suggest additional products or services, perhaps at a discount.”

Consider customizing email messages to arrive at the optimal times for your customers depending on demographics and time zone. For example, emails to student customers could arrive in the evenings when they’re most likely to be browsing via computer.

Lastly, always test your email campaign before sending. Having more than one pair of eyes review the email reduces the chance of suffering from an error. After making the effort to boost open and click rates with personalization and segmentation, the last thing you want is to waste it on a typo.

Conclusion:  Move beyond the old-fashioned and ineffective approach of “batch and blast” to get the best results with email marketing.

Source: Reasons to Ditch “Batch and Blast” and Get Started with Email Marketing Personalization

Email marketing is a great way for small businesses to reengage their customer base. It’s a fast, easy, inexpensive, and effective way to drive more sales. Reaching these customers is key to your marketing, but too many email blasts can force even the most loyal customers to click the unsubscribe button. Luckily for advertisers, there are a few new hacks to supercharge your marketing and reach your customers just using an email marketing list.

supercharge with email marketing lists

You can use an email list without drowning your customers in emails!

#1. Integrate Email and Search Marketing With Customer Match Targeting

Google’s revolutionary new targeting tool, Customer Match, allows advertisers to supercharge their paid search campaigns by exclusively showing ads to users on a customer’s email marketing list. Simply upload an email list as a remarketing audience to AdWords and then apply to your campaigns’ targeting option and viola – whenever your customers search for your product or service, your ad will appear at the top of the SERP.

remarketing with email lists

Although brand new, we’ve already seen amazing results from Google’s Customer Match. Google is often able to match more than 50% of all users from email lists big and small:

email list match rates

#2. Build A Social Following on Twitter and LinkedIn

It’s more important than ever these days to have a large number of fans and followers, particularly as small brands’ reach on Facebook has dwindled to almost nothing over the past few quarters.

facebook organic reach

Getting new followers is key to your success on social media and the easiest way to do it is to simply invite your past customers and prospects to follow your brand using an email list. Twitter followers can easily be imported from email address books across a number of major platforms including Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo under the “Find Friends” tab. Your brand’s page will begin to follow them and they’ll more than likely return the favor.

email list twitter upload

And LinkedIn connections can be invited to join your company’s group page by importing their emails to the “Send Invitations” tab under the group management page.

linked in email list upload

#3. Leverage Facebook Customer Lists

Even with a large fan base, your brand may still struggle to reach all your customers on Facebook organically. Facebook Ads are your solution reach a large audience quickly and inexpensively. Crafty advertisers know that they can leverage their existing customer email list on Facebook to create a tailored audience to show their ads to.

To create a Facebook Customer List audience using an email list in the Facebook Ads Manager:

1. Select “Audiences” from the Tools menu.

facebook customer audiences2. Click on the “Create Audience” dropdown and select “Custom Audience”.

3. A prompt will appear. Select “Customer List”

email list facebook

And from here you’ll be able to create an audience to reach by uploading your email marketing list!

#4. Use Twitter Custom Audiences

The benefit to advertising on Twitter is the ability to reach a large, active audience that spans all types of users. Pair this wide reach with the ability to get cheap clicks for a high quality score and Twitter Ads can be very lucrative to advertisers of all budgets. Best place to start on Twitter is to upload an email list of current customers or prospects as a target audience.

To create a Twitter Custom Audience using an email list in the Twitter Ads Manager:

1. Select “Audience manager” from the Tools menu.

2. Click the “Create new audience” dropdown and select “Upload your own list.”

custom audience twitter

3. Name your audience and label it as a list of email addresses

4. Upload your email list as either a .csv or .txt file

And ta-da! You can now serve ads to this custom audience of your loyal customers or potential buyers.

Email marketing is a powerful tool by itself but the lists you use for email can be leveraged to make your other marketing more effective. Next time you’re tempted to send an email blast to your list, consider using the email list on your search or social campaigns first!

Visit the AdWords Grader.

Source: 4 Hacks to Supercharge Your Search & Social Marketing With an Email List