The latest marketing research shows targeting email recipients with relevant content is the No 1 challenge for email marketers. In MarketingSherpa’s annual report, 68% of B2B companies & 66% of B2C companies agree this is the most significant problem.

How to make sure your emails are relevant

1) Email segment
Is your message relevant to all customers or prospects? If not, you don’t have to send it to everyone. Just send it to the segments likely to be interested in that message.

An example of someone doing this badly is TomTom. I have subscribed to ongoing map updates, yet every month they treat me like a prospect rather than a customer and I receive an email asking me to subcribe to the map service…again.

It doesn’t have to be this way as with my advanced email system it is possible to create one email and dynamically send different content to different people. Everyone might receive the first 2 paragraphs but with the 3rd paragraph, customers get message A & prospects get message B. The email could be segmented by any data field on your database e.g. gender, location, product purchased, value of purchase

2) Timing
I receive some emails from companies several times a day; daily; weekly; monthly; quarterly; or more infrequently. It depends on whether they have something new to say, relevance and my degree of interest.

You email frequency has to consider newsworthyness, relevance & recipient interest. If in doubt, ask the recipient how often they want to receive your email.

3) Content
Too many companies focus too much on what they want to communicate rather than what their recipients want to read and there is a disconnect likely to lead to low open rates and high unsubscribes.

Companies like Amazon & Apple have sufficient content to send an email every day. Many companies may only have something to say every 3 – 6 months, however it is still possible to email more frequently. For one of my clients, I email a monthly newsletter containing a summary of industry news written by a journalist. This ensures their brand is top of mind with their target audience every month. The email content is 90% industry news & 10% company news / selling opportunities. It’s widely read and enhances their brand and still provides a monthly opportunity to tell prospects and customers about new services.

4) Identify what works and what doesn’t
Advanced email systems combined with Google Analytics provide great data to identify what’s working and what isn’t. This learning should be incorporated into future emails.

Key learning for companies big and small

Email relevancy is the number one issue facing email marketers. Relevancy depends on:

  • reaching the right people
  • at the right time
  • with the right content
  • identify what’s working and what isn’t and incorporate the learning into future emails
  • if you need help contact an email marketing expert