Be Relevant to Your Recipient (not the Sender)

April 13th, 2009 | By Marla Chupack | 1 Comment

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Marketers research the most effective delivery dates and times to gain maximum email value. However, not many marketers thoroughly consider the content of their message as it relates to the reader.

To gain maximum value from your campaign, you need to hit your audience with a message that relates to them – in a communication style they understand, with a design they find appealing and in words they use. A message that is relevant to your audience in content, personalization and tonality is far more effective than other tactics.  Be Relevant!

Get to Know Your Audience
Gain an understanding of your audience – pick up on the words they use, their challenges and concerns. Then apply what you’ve learned to make your email copy relevant and action-oriented. For instance, if you find that your audience is in a certain cycle of life, use that as a theme. Or, if you segment your email by geographical area, the tone, offer and word usage in your email should change to fit that location.

Here are a few strategies for learning about your audience:

  • Eavesdrop. That’s right: listen in. Use social media channels to get to know how your audience communicates, what’s important to them and the type of information they seek. Follow your audience on Twitter. Read what they write on their blogs, or take a look at the blogs they read.  View their Facebook page or group. Subscribe to their RSS feeds.
  • Survey. Surveys are an underutilized tool when it comes to email marketing.  Keep surveys short and use them as an opportunity to learn more about your audience’s email preferences with respect to content, frequency and length.You can also use surveys to gather additional demographics about your audience allowing you to better segment your lists and your messages.
  • Email Preference Center. Give your audience a choice. If you offer multiple email communications to your audience, allow them to choose which types of messages they want to receive and how often they want to receive them.

The Email Message
Use what you learn from your audience to create a meaningful message.

  • From (Person). Is there a person in your organization who will be meaningful to your audience? If so, use them here. You might want to think about using one person’s name for consistency and recognition instead of using anonymous “From” names.
  • From (Email). Often an email from a recognizable organization or company with loyal followers will see higher open rates.
  • Subject. Set expectations using buzzwords that the audience themselves use.
  • Message. Deliver expectations with examples relevant to your audience.
  • Test. Test your email to see what audiences respond to best. For example, select a small group of recipients and split your audience using one subject line for group A and a different subject line for group B. Use the more successful subject line for the remainder of your subscribers.

Results from Results

  • Metrics. Always check your metrics. Compare and contrast. If you are testing within a campaign, compare those results. Also compare current campaigns with past campaign efforts. Email Transmit has an easy tool to use to perform this comparison.
  • Revisit and Revise. Email campaigns and messaging are ongoing processes. By consistently revisiting and refining messages based on past campaign performance, you can create more relevant messages, decrease your unsubscribes and increase conversions.
  • Change is constant. Audiences can and do change, so it’s a good idea to continue to monitor them even when you think you know them.

Optimizing your messaging and email campaigns really comes down to one thing: Don’t create your message based on what sounds good to you. Create email campaigns that sound good to your audience and resonates with them. Be Relevant!
 

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  • Emily

    Good idea about the surveys. Polls can also be a good way to collect data and tend to get better responses than surveys from what I’ve seen.


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