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  Email Marketing Tips Newsletter: 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Do You Achieve Relevancy?

Every marketing email includes a "call to action"... perhaps, to click-through to the web site and purchase something. A message that is "relevant" to a particular receiver is far more likely to encourage the recipient to read the content and respond to that call to action.

The importance of relevance in marketing emails keeps cropping up over and over! So, what does it mean? And, how can you put it into your emails?

Simply put, relevance is what makes your email worth opening and reading ... it makes your message interesting, instead of boring ... it separates your emails from those that might be considered Spam.

You achieve relevance by segmenting your mail list and personalizing the content for each segment. If you do this well, your email will likely be seen as relevant.

Let's now talk about list segmentation and personalization - the keys to relevance.

List Segmentation
I have also seen list segmentation referred to as "demassification". Whichever you call it, it refers to dividing a mail list into multiple subgroups, based on some combination of attributes. Rather than sending a mass email to everyone on the list, you can now send targeted messages to each subgroup.

Much of the information used for segmenting the mail list comes from the initial signup process and the information requested then. Some of it comes from a subscriber's online history.

If you don't already have the data needed to segment your mail list, you can use surveys, polls or response forms to gather it.

Once you have the data, items used for segmentation might be any of the following, as well as many others:
  • How was the email address acquired? Did the recipient buy something on the web site or did they just sign up for the special offers? If they bought something, what was it?
  • What did the receiver do with previous emails? Did they open them and click-through to the web site? Did they buy something? Did they just hit the Delete key?
  • Behavioral tracking of your email campaign means monitoring the links that recipients click on in the email. You can then analyze this information to determine what is being read and what is ignored and adjust accordingly.
  • Similarly, clickstream tracking monitors visitors' pathways through your website. What web pages have they visited? What online papers have they read? This information can also help you target the interests of the recipient. Both behavioral tracking of your email campaign and clickstream tracking let you re-evaluate any subscriber information gathered earlier and possibly see if their needs have changed.
  • Demographics - Things as simple as female versus male or the age of the recipient can be useful. Obviously the sensitivity and the security of any information gathered must be carefully weighed against the value of the information, for targeting purposes.
  • Preferences - Making it easy for a user to set their preferences and change them at any time also makes it easier for you to personalize what you send.
Now that you have segmented your mail list, you can target your emails to each segment. That is, you can personalize your messages for the recipients in each subgroup. The ideal result would be an email message that appears to have been created only for the recipient.

Personalization techniques at its simplest should at least include adding the recipient's name in the subject line or message body. If the subscriber has purchased previously, the email can mention that purchase and suggest possible companion products. If the recipient recently downloaded a white paper, the message could offer a product or service that is related to the topic ... or provide a link to another document on the same or a similar topic.

The truly important thing about personalized messages is that they can help build a relationship between the marketer and the recipient ... that can lead to consumer loyalty ... and that, in turn, can lead to ongoing sales! has the expertise necessary to help you make your email Relevant!



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