In the movies, the good guys and the bad guys target each other. Whatever the weapon of choice is, whether a sniper rifle, or a longbow arrow, you can’t kill your enemy if you don’t hit them.
In marketing, targeting is everything.
If you don’t use targeted marketing strategies, your marketing can hurt your business more than help it can help.
When you target the wrong customer with the right message, or vice versa, you will lose time, money, and opportunity. Worst, it will reduces customer trust and their attention.
In the long run, customers leave because your message is no longer relevant to them.
Non targeted email marketing example
Being a account holder of several local banks, I’m on the banks’ mailing list. I won’t mention the bank to call them out, but suffice to say, it is a major bank in Malaysia.
Usually, the email I receive are offers for restaurants, beauty etc. The banks are working with other companies to co-promote their products. Most require the customer to spend money to gain a small discount.
However, the banks are using a shot gun approach.
I received offers for slimming program, beauty program etc. Being male with a high metabolic rate to boot, any slimming program is not for me. I’m not a target customer.
I wonder what gave them the idea that I may be interested in such offers?
At one stage, I was very tempted to opt out of the mailing list to spare me the trouble of deleting the emails. Being a marketer, however, I decided to see what happens in the future.
This is Not the way to do email marketing. This is just plain lazy.
If you consider your customer as important, don’t ever do this.
Segment the list by gender and age group. Different gender and age groups will have very different interests. This will be the very first thing to do.
The next will be to send test messages to a small sample group, and review the results of open rates and click through rates.
For example, if you plan to promote beauty and slimming program, then don’t send the email to men. To most men, that is bordering on junk mail. Irrelevant to us. Offers for gadgets, cars, etc may get my attention and likely the attention of other men.
When your customer receives too many irrelevant offers, they will start to ignore your emails, or unsubscribe.
With more advanced targeted marketing strategies, psychographics, which includes the psychology, lifestyles, and behavior of customers, is taken into consideration.
Demographics (age, gender, income level, occupation etc) should be the minimum yardstick to segment your customers.
A mindset of adding value
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Zigler’s, author, salesman, and motivational speaker.
Before you send the email, ask yourself “How is this email going to improve the live of my customer?” Most people make the mistake and think, “how is this email going to make me money”.
Yes, the bottom line is important, and you want to make sales, but there is the right way to do it, and the incorrect, ineffective way.
Once you have the right mindset by adding value to customers, eventually they will look forward to hearing from you. Otherwise they will deleting your email without even opening it.
Don’t make this mistake.
Remember, it is not email. It is the relationship you have with the people on the email list.
Once you see your customers responding positively to your emails, then you are getting it right. When they begin to share and forward your email to friends, then you know for sure you are adding value to them.
Learn your customer’s behavior
If you have a large list, you cannot target everybody with the same message. That is why segmenting the list is so important. If you are just beginning to build up a list, you may even want to write directly to them to find out what are their interest and concerns.
You are not your customers. What you think and feel is very different from what they think and feel.
Do it until you cannot cope and then you rely on statistics from your emails to learn about your customers’ behavior. It is not that difficult but it will take time, and an analytical mind.