The importance of targeted email marketing Published April 9, 2015 Email marketing can prove very successful when used properly and one way in which to maximise its return on investment (ROI) is opting for a form known as targeted email marketing. Targeted email marketing differs to its bulk counterpart by sending customised emails to certain demographics, based on their needs. For example, if your brand formulated a product or service aimed at 18 – 24-year-olds, ideally you’d want to target this core audience above any other. You may have a location-specific service, meaning you only wish to attract Glaswegians or those living in Hampshire. Targeted email marketing can help you achieve this and much, much more… Why not increase your chances? It’s as simple as this – why would you target your marketing at the 65+ age group, when it was designed for an 18 – 24-year-old audience? If the product has been designed for that audience, so too should the marketing. It’s just simple common sense. Sending targeted emails to the right demographic will, in theory, improve your chances of said demographic buying into the product. This could in turn improve your profits. How could anyone argue with that? Age isn’t everything Targeting doesn’t just apply to location or age. One of its key benefits is your ability to target those at different stages of the buying cycle with the content that is most relevant to them. At its core, the buying cycle has three phases – interest, research and purchase. Say you sent an email to someone at the ‘interest’ stage that invited them to visit your website for a quote. This could look like a hard sales tactic and really put them off your brand. Instead, you could provide them with some basic information on your company and subtle reassurance that your future emails will feed their research. In this scenario, your next email to said recipient or group would ideally have more detailed information and testimonials – supporting them through the ‘research’ stage. Taking this nurturing, gentle approach could improve the chances of said recipients hanging on to purchase stage. It is at this point that you can begin talking numbers; perhaps offering customised quotes or targeted plans within your marketing emails. The respect you have shown your recipients throughout the buying cycle will be taken on board when they make their final decision and really, can only improve your chances of making a sale. Engagement and reach In terms of relationship building, email marketing done well can be extremely successful. Whether it’s a monthly newsletter that comprises targeted information to nurture leads or a blog post, emails can provide an online resource for recipients, positioning a small business as an expert in the field through the posting of regular, insightful and relevant emails. Additionally, marketing campaigns can complement social media activity; directing the recipient to a Facebook page, to follow them on Twitter or on Google+. Individuals might be prompted to join discussions and share content with friends, reaching a far wider network of prospects. It’s about your traffic, too Whilst a bulk email marketing approach can have a positive effect upon click-through rates or overall traffic levels, what is this worth if the traffic is not of the right quality? There is no point spending money on generating traffic that isn’t going to convert into a sale, or whatever your end goal is. Targeted email marketing can deliver the relevant, high-quality traffic you need to improve chances of conversion. This is supported not only via the written content in your email and the fact you’ve sent it only to the relevant demographic, but also the fact that targeted emails include the most relevant links to your website. Sending an email to someone in the ‘research’ stage with tailored content is great, but if the links to your website included direct them to the ‘request a quote’ page, this could damage the relationship. However, include a link to your ‘guides’ section or a page of case studies will help them form an educated opinion. Maximise your ROI These are all lovely benefits, but they all ultimately contribute to one thing – maximised ROI. Using a targeted approach makes your email marketing work harder for you, allowing you to reap as much value as possible from your investment. Your return could be higher than your outlay – isn’t that at the heart of every worthwhile investment?