The Importance of Targeted and Personalized Email Marketing

Aug 26, 2016

If you’ve ever joined a loyalty program or opted into email marketing for a special promotion, you may have experienced a moment of hesitation knowing that you could soon be inundated with emails. Customers must determine if the benefits of opting into email communications are justified, knowing that their inbox could soon be overflowing with communications targeted to the masses.

Is opting into email worth free shipping and a discount?

This feeling is shared by millions of consumers around the world. In fact, according to a recent Capterra survey, 72% of consumers sign up for emails because they want to get discounts, but only 8.2% sign up because they actually love the brand. Admittedly, I am one of these people seeking instant gratification, but rarely willing to reciprocate with engagement. I tend to opt in to email communications for free shipping or a minimum of 20% off my purchase. Brands need to earn my engagement and I’m a demanding customer. I want relevant offers, and good ones too!

It’s our job as marketers to engage customers in meaningful ways to create that bond between brand and consumer and to elevate that relationship above and beyond the small wins of mass email. Many customers opt in for the discount, only to quickly unsubscribe or flag emails as spam once they’ve received that first incentive. Still, email continues to deliver strong results for brands and marketers—leveraged by over 90% of businesses while providing an incredibly cost-efficient and powerful communication channel that elevates spend by 138%, but at what cost to the consumer?

I recently joined a loyalty program that sent me the exact same email almost daily. They didn’t care who I was, what I bought or how to create that bond between customer and brand. This approach has left me feeling disenchanted with the brand as a consumer, but also disappointed as a marketer knowing that this highly emotional brand is missing out on opportunities to leverage this advantage. A recent survey conducted by TechnologyAdvice delved into why customers defect from brands or flag emails as spam. One of the top reasons for 45.8% of those surveyed was, “they email too much.” Clearly, customers feel real angst about over marketing, but this doesn’t rule out email communications entirely. Customers simply want their preferred method of communication to be one-to-one with relevant information and personalized offers.

Tailored Email Based on Preferences

Targeted marketing is more cost effective than mass emailing efforts. According to research conducted by ExpressPigeon, targeted emails are 4,300% more impactful. There’s data waiting to be used that can deliver more powerful results that may not require deep analytics analysis. Simply knowing purchase behavior or even preferred products, which can easily be captured in profile data, is an instant win and surely a step in the right direction.

As with any relationship, we need to nurture and maintain connections in order to keep the communication channel open. Emailing too little allows the customer to forget about the brand too easily, but living on the opposite side of the spectrum can get you thrown right into the junk folder. MarketingSherpa has discovered the optimal send frequency, which is obviously not daily, but somewhere around weekly and/or monthly to ensure customers aren’t under marketed and neglected.

Making the Preferred Channel Your Channel

Ultimately, email marketing will remain as the top preferred communication channel because it offers a fast and low cost way to market to consumers without the disruptions SMS text messaging may cause or the high costs to marketers. Marketers can increase ROI and brand engagement by not abusing it, but rather honing in on its benefits like focusing the crosshairs on a target. Sure, it may require more effort, but it makes for better results in the Wild West of email marketing.