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What Is Targeted Email Marketing (6-Step Guide for 2024!)🎯

Email marketing is literally one of the most successful digital marketing strategies no, seriously and targeted email marketing is an excellent way to stand out.

But don't take our word for it.

targeted email markeitng - parks and recreation "literally" television GIF

In 2022, globally, about 333 billion emails were sent and received daily.

This will likely rise to 376 billion by 2025.

So you risk your message getting lost in a massive pile of digital content if you're not drilling down on your target audience.

The way out? Give people exactly what they want via targeted emails.

Let’s see how, shall we?

What is Targeted Email Marketing?

Targeted email marketing is a type of digital marketing where businesses send personalized emails to specific groups using shared characteristics.

Using targeted marketing segmentation, email campaigns can achieve everything from brand awareness to converting prospects into loyal customers.

The goal of targeted emails is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, which can lead to the following:

  • Higher engagement
  • Increased sales
  • And better return on investment (ROI).

By analyzing this customer data, businesses can gain insights into their customers' behaviors, preferences, and needs.

This data informs the content and timing of your email campaigns and other elements of your marketing strategy.

Benefits of Targeted Email Marketing

1. Relevance

One of the key benefits of targeted email marketing is increased relevance.

With a personalized email, you have a higher chance of reaching prospects with relevant content that resonates with them.

This means it’s easier to get their attention and signal to them you understand their needs.

2. Response

When people receive content that speaks to their needs, situations, and preferences, they are more likely to take action.

It’s no wonder that segmented campaigns get you 34.7% more open rates and 26.5% more orders than non-segmented emails.

☝️ Make sure your call to action aligns with the subject of your email. This might include making a purchase, signing up for a trial, or visiting a website.

3. Revenue

Increased revenue is an inevitable result of sending relevant emails that drive desired actions.

For example, you can create a targeted email campaign for customers who abandoned their shopping carts, offering them a special discount or incentive to complete their purchase.

This can lead to higher conversion rates and increased revenue for the business.

4. Relationship

By sending personalized and relevant emails to your subscribers, you demonstrate you understand their needs and interests.

This helps build brand loyalty over time and strengthens your relationship as customers feel seen.

And by building stronger relationships with your existing customers, you also increase customer retention and reduce churn.

How to Execute a Targeted Email Marketing Campaign

1. Define your segment

Defining your segment is the first step when executing a successful targeted email marketing campaign.

So, how do you carry out email segmentation?

Well, start by identifying your target audience.

Who are the people you want to reach with your email marketing campaign? Are they existing customers, or are you trying to attract new ones?

Once you have a clear idea of your target audience, you can start to group them based on certain characteristics, such as demographics, behaviors, interests, or past purchase history.

For example, you can segment your email list based on the customer journey stage. Are they new prospects who have just signed up for your newsletter or long-time customers who have already made multiple purchases?

targeted email marketing - Kermit the Frog GIF "yay statistics"

Some other plausible criteria for creating segments include:

By segmenting your list this way, you tailor your email content marketing strategy to match their specific needs and interests and ultimately increase the effectiveness of your campaign.

2. Choose your email marketing software

The email marketing software you choose determines your campaign's success.

A good email service provider should allow you to easily segment your email list and create personalized emails.

This level of personalization is essential for engaging your audience and driving conversions.

Another important factor to consider when choosing your email marketing tool is its deliverability rate.

This is the percentage of emails that reach your recipients' email addresses rather than being marked as spam or filtered out altogether.

A high email deliverability rate is essential for ensuring that your emails reach your target audience and have a good chance of being read.

Also, your email marketing service should have robust email marketing analytics, allowing you to track the performance of your marketing strategy and make data-driven decisions about how to improve its effectiveness over time.

This may include tracking open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, as well as segment-specific metrics like bounce rates and unsubscribe rates.

Ease of use of your email marketing software is also an important consideration.

The software should be easy to navigate, with a user-friendly interface that allows you to create and send marketing emails quickly and efficiently.

Email templates are a plus, too. An email template saves you time and effort and allows you to focus on other essential aspects of your email marketing efforts.

3. Integrate all your platforms

Integrating your website, CRM, and social media platforms with your email marketing platform gives you valuable insights into your audience.

You can use this data to segment your email list more effectively and create targeted email campaigns that are more likely to convert prospects into customers.

Plus, integrating your platforms with your email marketing tool can power marketing automation, such as an automated email being triggered based on actions taken by your audience across different touchpoints.

This ensures you engage with your targeted audience more effectively. And saves you time and effort.

4. Create buyer personas for all your segments

Creating a buyer persona for your targeted email marketing segments involves researching and identifying your ideal customers.

These personas represent your target audience and help you tailor your email marketing campaigns to your audience's specific needs and interests.

You can do this through surveys, social media analytics, website analytics, and customer feedback.

Data from your CRM system also helps identify common patterns and characteristics among your customers.

Once you collect this data, use it to create fictional characters that represent your ideal customers.

These personas should include age, gender, income, education, job title, interests, hobbies, pain points, and goals.

5. Create content for your targeted segments

Location

Carrying out targeted email marketing by location involves creating email campaigns tailored to the geographic location of your target audience.

You increase digital engagement and conversion rates by personalizing your content marketing to the specific needs and interests of people in a particular area.

One way to create effective email marketing content for audiences segmented based on location is to offer promotions or discounts on relevant products to the region where your customers reside.

For example, if you're an eCommerce brand that sells winter clothing, offer a promotion on winter coats or accessories to customers who reside in areas with colder climates.

You can also create content that speaks to the specific challenges or opportunities in the area.

For example, if you're targeting customers in a coastal town, create content about beach safety or how to prepare for hurricane season.

This kind of content marketing shows you understand the unique needs and concerns of the people in the area and can help establish your brand as a trusted resource.

Behavior

For your behavior-based segments, the goal is to send highly personalized messages based on how your prospects and customers interact with your brand.

Here are some examples of content you could create for a behavior-based email campaign:

  • Abandoned Cart Emails: If a customer adds items to their cart but doesn't complete their purchase, send a reminder email with an incentive, such as free shipping, to complete the purchase.
  • Re-Engagement Emails: If a customer last interacted with your brand a while ago, you could send a re-engagement email to encourage them to return. Offer a special promotion or highlight new products that interest them based on their past behavior.

Other email types in this category include welcome emails, product recommendation emails, etc.

Timing is crucial when it comes to behavior-based targeting.

If you're sending an abandoned cart email, you'll want to send it as soon as possible to increase the chances of converting the customer.

Also, ensure the content you're creating is relevant to your target behavior. And try to offer value to your customers in your emails.

This could be exclusive promotions, helpful tips or recommendations, or other content that enhances their experience with your brand.

Customer lifecycle

Creating targeted email marketing content based on the customer lifecycle involves tailoring your email content to different customer journey stages.

This approach helps you map out an effective email marketing funnel that provides relevant and engaging content for your email subscribers.

And leads to better user engagement and conversion rates.

Here are some stages of the marketing funnel you should cover:

targeted email marketing - customer lifecycle 5 stages infographic
  • Awareness Stage: Here’s where potential customers know about your product. Send them emails with educational content, such as blog posts and infographics, to keep them engaged.
  • Consideration Stage: Prospects in this stage are weighing their options and have shown interest in your brand. Send them product info emails, case studies, and other materials highlighting your unique value.
  • Conversion Stage: This is the stage where leads become paying customers. To close the sale, you can send them promotional emails with exclusive discounts, limited-time offers, or personalized recommendations based on browsing or purchase history.
  • Retention Stage: Keeping customers engaged after purchasing is critical to extending their lifetime value. You can send them newsletters with updates on new products, features, or loyalty program emails with exclusive rewards and incentives.
  • Advocacy Stage: In this final stage, satisfied customers become brand advocates, referring friends and family and leaving positive reviews. To encourage advocacy, you can send referral program emails with bonuses or discounts or social proof emails that showcase positive customer reviews and experiences.

🎯If you really want to turn your customers into brand advocates, have them do your marketing for you with user-generated content!

Purchase behavior

Targeted email campaigns based on purchase behavior are highly effective at increasing customer loyalty, engagement, and revenue.

Possible email types you can use to engage customers based on their previous buying behavior include:

  • Upsell and Cross-Sell Emails: If a customer has recently purchased a product, you could send an upsell or cross-sell email suggesting related products they might be interested in. For example, if a customer bought a camera, you could send an email suggesting related accessories like a camera bag or tripod.
  • Post-Purchase Follow-Up Emails: After a customer makes a purchase, you could send a follow-up email thanking them for their patronage and suggesting related products or services. For example, if a customer purchased a book, you could send an email suggesting related books or an upcoming author event.

6. Test and measure campaign effectiveness

Once you have all you need in place, it’s time to roll out your marketing strategy, test different versions of your emails (also known as A/B testing), and pay attention to the results.

By analyzing your email marketing analytics, you can identify what's working and what's not.

And make informed decisions to achieve your marketing goals.

To conduct an A/B test for targeted emails, create two versions of your email with one key difference between them, such as a subject line or call to action.

You'll then randomly split your email list into two groups and send each group one of the two versions of your email.

Track key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates for each email version.

By comparing the results, you can determine which version of the email performed better and use this information to optimize future email campaigns and finetune your larger marketing strategy.

Get Better Results with Targeted Email Marketing

Simply blasting out bulk emails that follow “best practices” doesn’t require you to knuckle down and dig into data, carefully create customer segments, and tailor messages that evolve with time.

It’s easier but costlier in the long run.

On the other hand, targeted email marketing gives you a detailed but more effective channel to deliver what various sections of your audience need to see at the right time.

Your marketing messages will likely resonate with your prospects and drive the desired action.

Why not ditch “spray and pray” email marketing for targeted email campaigns and become the brand people want to listen to?

Dozie Anyaegbunam is a B2B content writer and strategist. A Cannes Lions certified storyteller, Dozie has crafted compelling content for brands such as Mirasee, SmartBlogger, Growth Mentor, and more. He's also Dodo and Ronan's dad, a proud flâneur, and a Felix Baumgartner wannabe. Don't miss his podcast, The Newcomers, where he interviews immigrants about the struggles and lessons that come with starting life in a new country.