S • Segment. Market research and data analysis heavily inform this first step. You can also use marketing personas and the like to help. Your primary aim with this step is to identify differing customer needs according to relevant markers (e.g. demographic, behaviour, occupation, interests...). You then divide your market into ‘segments’ according to these needs.
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Address subscribers by name. Personalized emails are more successful. Buffer also suggests to personalize your emails based on need by sending emails that meet different user expectations. This makes them more targeted and more likely to be successful. Some studies show that educating and segmenting your audience will boost your click through rate on emails by up to 50%.
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Are you willing to alienate people who disagree with your opinion? Sure, not everyone who disagrees with you will unsubscribe. But if you can’t take the risk of alienating a large portion of them, it’s better to avoid the topic. The only exception are friendly disagreements. For example, it can be a good idea to show your support for a specific sport team, even if you know many in your audience like another team. As long as they don’t take the sport very seriously, it can be just a fun thing to talk about. I could, for example, tell that I’m more of a dog person (we have two dogs) than a cat person. I have nothing against cats, but I like walking with dogs. I doubt almost any cat person will hold that against me.
This seems pretty straightforward. It’s about matching email metrics to your marketing objectives (remember them?) If it’s all gone well, your email conversion rates and financial metrics should track closely with your marketing objectives and customer journey. But, if it’s not doing that, don’t throw your hands up in despair! Look into the data, see what’s happened, work out why, and extrapolate some lessons for future campaigns.
Personas provide a multi-dimensional method of targeting. They’re based, as the name suggests, on a projected persona for each customer ‘type’. Get it right, and personas can help you enormously in both predicting behaviour and personalising your communications. Personas are a powerful technique, and they’re increasingly used to improve the usability and customer centricity of communications.
For example, I can safely share that I listen to a lot of music, and I’m almost fanatic about sound quality. I might listen to an album with poor sound quality once, but I probably won’t go back to it. And to be clear, 95%+ of new recorded music has what I consider poor sound quality (due to an absurd standard of perceived loudness, which takes away natural dynamic range from the sound). That said, I’m not a hi-fidelity sound geek. I’m perfectly happy with my high-end studio monitors—I don’t buy $1,000 power cables, $5,000 CD-players, or $20,000 loudspeakers capable of playing back sounds too high for dogs to hear.
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When you're using email as a marketing tool, you're working on a pretty personal basis. This isn't ‘drive-by' stuff -you're directly targeting customers from their inboxes. There's a huge amount of potential which comes with this kind of marketing... but you'll only reap that potential if you REALLY understand both the marketplace you're operating from, and the audience you're talking to.
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