Targeting and Personalizing Your E-mail
Promotions to Boost Your Bottom Line

Let me ask you a very important question: What are you doing to make sure that your e-mail promotions are getting noticed, read and acted on by the people you are sending them to?

I'm not talking about writing killer copy -- although that's essential -- or offering a great product or service. I'm asking how YOUR customers and subscribers know that YOUR offer is relevant to them specifically. What is it that makes each and every one of them individually sit up and take notice of your e-mail promotions?

The most successful e-mail marketers will answer these questions without even thinking, and just about every one of them will mention the two strategies we're going to be discussing today: targeting and personalization.

Once you've learned how to exploit these two powerful marketing concepts, you'll dramatically increase the effectiveness of ALL your promotions.

E-mail Success Strategy #1: Targeting

Using e-mail to target different segments of your audience is one of the single most effective ways I've found to market products or services on the Internet. And if you've been collecting opt in e-mail addresses on your web site, then you can get started right away! Here's how:

The simplest way you can market to different segments of your opt-in list is by targeting them based on whether they are (a) existing customers, or (b) visitors to your site who have opted in to receive your free newsletter, eBook, etc.

The message you send to your customers might focus on selling them an upgrade to a product they already own. Because you've already earned their trust through a previous sale, this promotion should do quite well.

Of course, you'll need to approach your subscribers -- those people who haven't made a purchase from you yet -- from a slightly different angle. You might try offering them a 25% discount off their very first purchase, for example.

Here are some other techniques you can use for targeting your customers and subscribers:

  • Target customers who own a particular product with offers for related or complementary products.
  • Target your best customers -- those who have made the most purchases from you -- with a special "Thank You" promotion.
  • Target customers who haven't made a purchase for a long time with an offer to win back their business.
  • Target your customers and subscribers based on their geographic location.
  • Target your customers and subscribers based on their expressed interests. (What kind of music they like, for example.)
  • Target your subscribers with a "First Purchase Bonus Gift" that gives first-time customers a free bonus with their purchase.
  • Target your subscribers with a "Tell-A-Friend" promotion. Offer them a free bonus for recommending your product, service, or newsletter to their friends.

Now, you'll notice that some of these strategies require that you know a bit more about the people on your opt-in list than just whether they are customers or subscribers.

By collecting more specific information from the people who are visiting your site, you'll be able to target your e-mail promotions in some very sophisticated ways. Here's an example:

Suppose your product is a book on how to buy foreclosed properties from the bank. Your opt-in form might ask people whether they're interested in buying property for investment purposes or for use as their personal residence.

Armed with this information, you could send two different promotions targeting these two different groups. One could outline the benefits of buying properties as investments, and the other could focus on buying your family home at a substantial savings.

And since you would already have an opt-in form set up at your site to collect e-mail addresses, it would be really easy for you to customize this form so your visitors could tell you WHY they're interested in foreclosed properties. Your form could read something like this:

Enter your name and e-mail address below to receive the FREE report: "The 10 Things You MUST Know Before Buying a Foreclosed Property!"



I am interested in buying foreclosed properties for:

Investment Purposes

Personal Residence

By targeting different segments of your audience with a promotion that is specific to their interests, you can just about guarantee that your results will be dramatically higher.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember that the form you use to collect opt-in e-mail addresses has to be simple and easy to use. If you start using this form to ask too many questions, you're going to see a substantial decrease in the number of opt-ins you get.

If you are going to ask your subscribers for more information than just their names and e-mail addresses, I highly recommend limiting yourself to ONE additional question.

I hope you can see how powerful this strategy is! It allows you to talk to your customers -- and prospective customers -- about things that matter to them specifically. And when you target your offers to meet their specific needs, your response rate will improve significantly.

And the best part is that once you've got this kind of system in place, there's hardly any extra work on your part!

E-mail Success Strategy #2: Personalization

Guess what? If you've been collecting people's names when they opt into your list, then you've got a very powerful piece of information. Nothing makes people sit up and take notice like hearing -- or in this case, seeing -- their own name.

Personalizing your promotions is one of the most widely used tricks in direct marketing, yet it still works like absolute magic!

I learned firsthand how effective this technique is a few years ago when I decided to conduct a little marketing experiment. I took a small list of my customers and split it in half, then sent an e-mail to each group that was exactly the same, with only ONE exception. The subject line of the first e-mail read:

here's all the info you need

The subject line of the second e-mail, which had EXACTLY the same body as the first e-mail, had been customized to display the recipient's name. For example:

Bob, here's all the info you need

Now, I had a hunch that the personalized subject line would do better than the generic one. In fact, I was sure of it. But what I discovered surprised even me! The campaign I ran with the personalized subject line had a response rate 64% higher than the one without!

And that was the ONLY difference between the two campaigns! The body of the e-mail was identical in both cases, and so was the offer. It was just that one small change in the subject line that boosted the response by 64%!

As you can see, if you HAVEN'T been personalizing your e-mail promotions, now is definitely a good time to start. Can youimagine what a 64% increase in sales and profits would do for YOUR bottom line?

Of course, you can personalize the body of your e-mail as well as the subject line, and you can use ANY information you've collected about your customers and subscribers, not just their names.

For example, let's suppose you are operating an online pet products business, and that you know what kinds of pets your customers and subscribers own.

Using this information, you can add another layer of customization to your e-mail promotions. You could start your e-mail off like this:

Hi Susan,

I have some news that is going to make your cat extremely happy. For the next 2 days only, a huge selection of cat accessories are being blown out at almost 50% off the regular price.

Putting together a campaign like this is a lot easier than you might think! Many e-mail marketing solutions will allow you to easily merge your customized data into the message. The example above would look something like this before you sent it out:

Hi [name],

I have some news that is going to make your [pet] extremely happy. For the next 2 days only, a huge selection of [pet] accessories are being blown out at almost 50% off the regular price.

And feel free to get creative and personalize your e-mail promotions with whatever information you've collected about your customers and subscribers. Here are a few examples:

  • City or state -- I've got a special offer for residents of [city].
  • Products purchased -- As my way of thanking you for your recent purchase of [product], I've got a special discount offer for you.
  • Date of last purchase -- Your purchase from us on [date] means you're eligible for a special 50% discount on your next purchase.
  • Information specific to your site -- (i.e., type of pet owned, favorite sports team, type of vehicle owned) -- We've got a very special offer for [favorite_team] fans that entitles you to 35% off your next purchase.

The best part is that as long as you're collecting information about your customers and subscribers, there's no limit to how successful your next personalized e-mail promotion could be. And once you learn how easy it is to do, you'll be kicking yourself for not getting started sooner!

Key Secret: Putting Both Strategies Together

Used individually, targeting and personalization are powerful marketing strategies, but put them together and look out! An e-mail promotion that incorporates both of these techniques -- and uses them effectively -- is truly a force to be reckoned with!

And there are some really clever ways to target and personalize your e-mail promotions all at the same time without doing ANY extra work! Here's exactly how to do it:

Let's keep using the example of the pet products site. You know that some of your members are dog owners and some are cat owners. Assuming you have the right kind of e-mail marketing solution, all you have to do is put together an e-mail that looks something like this:

Subject: [firstname], your [pet] will thank you

Dear [firstname],

I have some news that is going to make your [pet] extremely happy. For the next three days only, we are blowing out a great selection of [pet] supplies at huge savings!

Assuming you are using a flexible e-mail marketing solution, you should be able to automatically merge each subscriber's name into the [firstname] field and merge the type of pet they own into the [pet] field. This way, you are targeting dog owners with an e-mail promotion for dog supplies, and cat owners with a promotion for cat supplies.

Not only that, but you're also personalizing each and every message you send out with the names of your customers and subscribers!

For example, many of you already heard of "My Email Manager," which will allow you to customize up to 100 fields of data about your customers and subscribers. This level of custom personalization simply wasn't being offered by the other e-mail broadcast services, and that's exactly why I insisted that it be included when I was designing this solution.

"My Email Manager" includes absolutely everything, including sequential autoresponders, newsletter management and automated scheduling, e-mail promotion management and tracking... plus all the advanced features that the other services just weren't able to provide for you.

And the best part is that all these features are extremely easy to use! Users have been raving about the simple interfaces and step-by-step wizards that literally walk you through every aspect of creating and managing a successful online marketing program. To learn more, please go to:

Final Thoughts:

It's no coincidence that the most successful marketers --both online and offline -- target and personalize their promotions whenever they possibly can. The reason more businesses DON'T customize their e-mail promotions is because they think it takes a high level of technical expertise to pull it off.

And while that used to be the case, technological advances have made it easy for even beginners to deliver professional-looking e-mail campaigns.

These days, sending a targeted and personalized e-mail promotion to a large list of your customers and subscribers isn't much more complicated than sending a message to a friend. You just compose your e-mail, select who you want to send it to, and hit "Send."

Once you see how easy it is, you'll be able to dramatically boost your sales and profits by always sending out e-mail promotions that are targeted, personalized, and relevant.

Your customers and subscribers will appreciate the effort, too! It will let them know that your business is really paying attention to them on an individual level -- and believe me, that's going to be great for business!