Targeting and Testing Email Marketing Campaigns 101

Compared to most internet marketing tactics, email marketing is incredibly personal. Your goal isn’t just to get on the top of the search engines because you know most people don’t click to the second page. Rather, you want to connect with your leads directly so they will consciously choose to use your services, buy something, take part in an action, etc.

Even though email marketing is so personal, a lot of marketers go about it the same impersonal way as other internet marketing methods. If you do this and just send out a bulk email to all prospective leads, then you are going to have a very low success rate. Instead, you need to target and test.

Who is Reading Your Emails
Before you can begin any email marketing campaign, you must figure out who your audience is. Try to put yourself in their shoes and consider all aspects of what happens when they read your email. You should consider:
• How old are they?
• What is their reading level?
• How much time do they have?
• What is important to them?
• Where are they reading the email?
• What is their income level?

Once you know the answers to these types of questions, you can start targeting much more effectively. For example, for a young businessman who is likely reading your email on the train to work, you will want to make a mobile-friendly email which gets quickly to the point. For a wealthy unemployed woman being targeted for an online shopping boutique, you would want to avoid talk about “discounts” and instead focus on “newest trends”. If you are sending emails to adolescents, make sure that the text is playful and you’ve got a lot of images to capture their attention.

The content of the email must be directly related to the group of people it is being sent to. This is the core idea of targeting email marketing campaigns.

Testing Your Methods
Testing the efficacy of your targeting methods is fairly easy thanks to all the analytics tools offered by email marketing service providers, such as the popular AWeber. Keep in mind that testing should always happen before you send out your campaign to all your subscribers! Here is one efficient method of testing your campaign:
• Break your email list subscribers into percentages of 10/10/80. Then, send one version of the email to the first 10% and the second version of the campaign to the other 10%. The version which gets the best metrics should be sent to the 80%.
If you have a very large list of subscribers (into the thousands), then you can get into much more detailed modes of testing your targeting efficacy. You can break the subscribers into groups of 1-5%. Then, send these groups emails various forms of emails. You will want to experiment with these factors:
• Subject phrases
• Calls to action
• Designs of templates
• Day sent out

Each of the different aspects can provide you with different information about targeting. For example, if one subject line was very effective in getting high open rates but few people clicked the call to action, then you need to change the content of the email to the mode that worked best.