In part 1 of our series on how to start your email marketing campaign the right way, we are looking at the importance of defining your target audience and goals. Nothing is more important than understanding your audience and knowing what you want to gain from your campaign. Without this knowledge you will be unlikely to achieve your goals or get the desired response from your recipients.
If you are going to do something right, you should first know why you are doing it, and what you hope to gain from it. Defining what your objectives are will ensure that you stay on the right track throughout both the creation and implementation phases of your campaigns.
Your goals are the building blocks of a strong email marketing strategy, and knowing what they are will allow you to tailor your campaign to ensure they are successfully met.
Before you do anything else think about these goals, which may include the following:
Financial goals – Do you want this campaign to increase sales? Are you working towards shortening the sales cycle?
Repeat business and referrals – Are you looking to create repeat business and instigate referrals?
Click-through rates – do you have an idea of how much you want to up your conversion rates?
Increase traffic – Are you looking to increase more traffic to your site, or even foot traffic to your business?
What are your time-based objectives – How long will your email campaign be? What is the timeframe?
Once you have defined your goals and you know what you are working towards, you will be in a position to define your target audience.
Why you need to define your target audience
There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ and you can’t please everyone all of the time. However, when you correctly define your target market, you can please the right people and engage with them in a way that will strengthen your relationship and build loyalty.
How to define your target audience
To accurately define your target audience you need to build up a picture of who you want to target.
Firstly, think about your business: which problems does your product or service solve? Once you have clarified this and are happy with your answer, make a list of the types of people or business that need your service.
Secondly, get specific.
Delve into the demographics of your target group and take a deeper look.
Group them by market sector and take note of the following:
Business size (either revenue or employee size)
Occupation and job title
Marital or family status
Also look at their habits, attitudes, values, lifestyles and interests. This will help you to understand your target audience and allow you to create pertinent content that they won’t be able to resist.
The more specific the data you gather on your targets, the more successful your campaign will be when it is implemented.
How to find this information
LinkedIn is a key resource for researching your target audience. Use it to find businesses via location and size. You can also use it to look at employee information (i.e. directors of companies and so on). They also have a great selection of industry-specific groups which are full of rich information.
Look through search engines for research that others may have already completed.
Read blogs and articles that focus on the sectors in which you are interested.
Do keyword searches on forums to find relevant articles and communications that fall within your target market. Boardreader is a great free tool that makes it really easy to find and understand your target audience. All you do is enter your keyword and its search brings back applicable forum threads and articles.
Relevant content and segmentation
The information you gather when you are defining your target audience will give you the tools you need to make sure that your campaign is relevant. You have to work really hard to earn attention these days, so being super-relevant with your content is a must.
Use your research to segment your targets into niche groups. As we said above, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” so before you even send out an email you need to work out which targets sit best in which group and what content is most relevant to them.
All of this information provides you with knowledge that you can use to create a successful email marketing campaign.
When you segment your audience and tailor the subject matter specifically to their interests and habits, you will most likely increase engagement and impress. This understanding will allow you to connect with your customers and directly influence them. Emails that have been customised to a specific audience enjoy 50% more clicks than their counterparts.
The simple truth is, if you create something they want to read, they will read it and most likely click on the links.
By defining goals and studying your email marketing data so that you are able to segment your audience into specific groups, you will be better able to ensure the successful implementation of your email marketing campaign.
For more advice, or if you want help in creating your campaign, speak to Marc at Winbox.