3 Tips to Target Your Subscribers Better

To achieve the best results we can with email marketing, it is imperative that we write both to and for our audience. In order to do that, we need to recognize that each of our subscribers is unique, often in significant ways.

If we are mindful of this, we can better:

Schedule our messages
Segment our campaigns
Write compelling content

To state it plainly, it helps for us to put ourselves in the shoes of our audience. This is something both our Education and Support teams stress to marketers, and ultimately, this is what I’d like to leave you with.

To give you a better understanding of what I mean by this, here are three examples of ways our subscribers can differ that I’ve thought and talked about lately:

Who Are Our Subscribers?

B2B vs. B2C:

Are we marketing directly to consumers or to business owners or decision makers? There is some level of contention here about how much of a difference there is in marketing directly to consumers versus businesses.

But for email marketing, there is one way that approach may make a significant difference: scheduling. Particularly, if we’re sending to a business crowd, we probably want to send email messages to them … while they’re at work!

Meanwhile, consumers may respond best at different times during the day and week. Test, then test again to see what works best for your particular subscriber base.

Learning Styles:

Our subscribers come from many different backgrounds and personalities, just like you do from other marketers. So, we need to be careful not to write only for ourselves and our way of thinking.

For instance, I may be hooked in by a compelling story or example of use of your product, while you focus solely on the concrete value of your product through specs of your product. You may lose me and my sale if you throw a bone my way and write something I find compelling.

This may sound a bit abstract. Fortunately, a while back Brian Clark wrote a simple strategy on learning styles that really got me to thinking this, and I think it may help us all to write more effective copy.

Level of Interest:

One person opening our message may have signed up for our email campaign teetering on the edge of making a purchase, while another provided their’s with just a slight curiosity or general interest in what we have to say.

Not only that, but as we send newsletters, some of the people who open our messages may be new to the campaign and very interested while others have been with us for a while and open our messages only occasionally.

So, we need to be thinking about ways to help people who are teetering on the edge of purchasing, but also for those people who may be teetering on the edge of unsubscribing.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

By understanding some of the different traits of our readers, we can work to make our marketing tent bigger and reach out better to more people, or at least make a conscious decision to corral in the ones we can effectively reach, and knowingly let go of the ones we cannot.

I’ve listed a few today to provoke some constructive thought on the subject. But we’ve covered some of these in the past, such as Justin’s post on targeting your subscribers’ time zones, and we’ll continue to with posts on topics like list segmentation and effective copywriting.

Browse through some past articles, and stay tuned for future tips. If you have any ideas of some of the topics we might cover, please share them with us below, or let us know of these and other ideas by email.

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12 Comments

  1. Looking for help on segmenting messages. We receive sign-ups on our site that go to the same campaign. How do I assign separate follow up messaged based on information that they enter into the form. Is there a tutorial about this?

    10/23/2007 10:17 am
  2. Good question by Andrew..
    I also am curious also

    10/23/2007 11:17 am
  3. Andrew and Chuck,

    This is something that’s possible with some slight HTML manipulation to an in-line form. I’m putting together a Knowledge Base article with step-by-step instructions on this and will link to it here as soon as it’s complete.

    Thanks for the constructive questions.

    10/23/2007 2:04 pm
  4. Andrew and Chuck,

    I’ve published the Knowledge Base article I alluded to in my last comment:

    How Can I Add a List Selection Field To My Form?

    By following the instructions, your subscribers will have the option to choose which list (and set of follow up messages) to sign up for.

    It requires some basic HTML manipulation for an in-line form, so if you don’t know HTML, you’ll need to consult with your web designer.

    10/24/2007 8:58 am
  5. I would say that the best way to keep your customers upto date with whats new on the market its by email and advertising all you can to them but at the same time offering your clients with understanding clear view of what ever they getting into.Theres nothing more satisfying and glamours than you’ve been there for your business and your business been there for you Thats one thing i learn along the way on the internet business.

    10/24/2007 12:36 pm
  6. Linda,

    Very true, and although I’ve chosen to highlight some of the differences in your subscriber base, without a doubt there are certain things that all of them can appreciate, like valuable information and good service.

    We should focus first and foremost on these in our email marketing campaigns, and only once we’ve done that, work on a more nuanced approach.

    10/24/2007 12:48 pm
  7. Burton Kent

    What I’d like to do is have a main list for past customers and a sub-list for the individual product. Is there a way to do both at once?

    10/26/2007 9:00 am
  8. I am so new to this that I am lost on alot of this. Sure would be neat to figure it all out! I’ve been messing around with all this for about a month now in ALL my spare time, then some. The web site has a long way to go as soon as I learn "how" to do it. Between dial up and this old puter, it’s a bit of a chore!
    Now, this week, I ran an email ad and knocked the doors off on responses. (over 1000 hits this week, up from 2-5/day) but no conversions. Funny thing is, I did this one night after work when I was physically drained and tired. (sleep deprived from the work schedule been up 46 hrs) Now I can’t remember what I did. It was all a fog to me at the time and I did not write it in my book! Didn’t save it either from what I have gone back looking for. I have been going to school on some sites I have found, maybe this weekend I can do some work on the site to better the click thru rate. I need more buttons to capture their info is one, but I have not figured out how to get them there yet.

    Not there yet, but I’m on my way!

    10/26/2007 9:28 am
  9. Burton,

    Certainly. You can manage as many campaigns in your account as you’d like, each with its own subscribers, sign up forms, and messages.

    Using our automation feature, you can link up two campaigns, so that any subscriber added primarily to the campaign for an individual product is also added to a main list for past customers.

    10/26/2007 10:15 am
  10. Marc,

    Thanks so much for the tutorial on adding a list selection drop down to the optin form. I’ve been trying to work out how to do this for ages without any luck – thanks very much for enlightening me!

    10/30/2007 1:05 pm
  11. George,

    So glad I could help! We’d like to provide the knowledge base not only as a resource to explain what a feature does, but also to discuss solutions to real world problems. It makes my day to know that we hit yours on the head in this case.

    Please just get in touch with our customer solutions team if you have any other lingering questions. More than just to read answers, they’re also here to provide solutions.

    10/30/2007 2:28 pm
  12. Well hello Marc, thanks for the reminder to keep on testing.

    I have been sending my messages out at the same time for quite a while now, although with the new message editor the time zone has now switched from ET to my local GMT which means a little bit of maths is required to get the delivery time correct in the new message editor.

    I think I will send out a message at my standard time asking my subscribers if this is the best time for them? Failing that I will mix it up and watch my stats.

    The link you provided gives a great email copy template which I will be implementing into my message template before I send out the next broadcast.

    igor Griffiths

    2/9/2014 3:34 pm

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