J&C Blog

Find all the latest marketing trends on the J&C Blog.

4 Relevancy Rules for successful email campaigns

Posted by Randy Mitchell on April 30, 2015

My email inbox has become a “junk drawer.” If the term is new to you, please allow me to explain.
successful email marketing campaigns
The junk drawer is a uniquely American phenomenon. It’s that one undefinable storage space where you can discover almost anything. Usually, the junk drawer is tucked away in the recesses of a workshop cabinet, home office or kitchen, and it can harbor everything from screwdrivers and flash drives to aspirin and mystery keys.

Why do we maintain these ridiculous clutter collections? Because the junk drawer actually has what you are seeking. Unfortunately, you have to sift through a lot of unwanted debris to locate it.

Which brings us full circle and back to my email inbox. Scanning it today I found an abundance of junk: It wasn’t personalized, compelling, informative or important. In short, it didn’t matter enough to engage my interest.

But then I spotted the hidden treasure. Amidst the clutter was an email that actually seemed like it was developed specifically for me. It was highly personalized, targeted to my needs as a creative professional, reflected a recent equipment purchase I had made on behalf of the agency and suggested some new plug-ins for our audio studio.

This engaging email reminded me of a basic truth: Relevancy matters when it comes to a successful email marketing campaign. So to help make sure your next email blast connects with your customers, here are four “Relevancy Rules” to consider.
RELEVANCY RULE 1: Personalize more than just a name
Email personalization is effective. That’s one of the best-known email marketing facts. But it’s important to note that generic personalization rarely works. In fact, according to the Fox School of Business, generic personalization, such as a first name, can have the opposite effect if there’s not much of a relationship with the customer.1

If you want to engage your customers, it’s important that the type of personalization you employ is truly relevant to your relationship with them. To make this happen, leverage the customer information you’ve accumulated. For example, use the types of products they previously bought or actions they’ve already taken to guide the content of future emails. If they purchased a hat, suggest a scarf. If they downloaded a white paper, drive them to other resources you offer on the topic.

By doing this you’ll go beyond the name game and leverage something that matters to them. A past purchase, pain point or industry interest offers you a good place to start the discussion.

RELEVANCY RULE 2: Start a conversation
Here’s a highly effective marketing technique for determining your customers’ interests and preferences: Ask them.

Admittedly, that inquiry should be common sense. But one of today’s more surprising email marketing facts is how few companies actually collect and leverage this data when people first opt in.

What’s the best time to ask? Once you’ve collected your customer’s email address, a “welcome email” provides the perfect vehicle to mine for data and identify that individual’s preferences. You can get valuable insights in regard to:

  • The type of content they’d like to receive
  • How often they want to receive emails
  • What products or services are relevant

But don’t stop the conversation there. Customers’ attitudes and needs change. So make it easy for people to access their preferences and make updates. Include links in all your emails so recipients can adjust their information to better suit their needs and help you shape more relevant communications.

RELEVANCY RULE 3: Segment your list
If you’ve crafted your email based on your customers’ behavioral data then you’re on the road to relevancy. But keep in mind that not every customer is going to be interested in what each
email has to say. However, a certain segment should be very interested and much more inclined to act.

By filtering out those who aren’t interested in a particular topic you actually make it more likely they’ll respond when you do have a message they want to hear. So when you send your next mobile-optimized email their way, they won’t be conditioned to see it as irrelevant.

RELEVANCY RULE 4: Use triggered emails
When it comes to a successful email marketing campaign, timing is everything. And trigger-based emails are a proven method for anticipating what your customers need and providing it.

Depending upon your audience, you might want to ask if they’d like to opt in for:

  • Sale announcements
  • Store events
  • Product updates
  • New blog posts
  • Webinars
  • Industry events

Each of these opportunities provides a real service to customers and gives you a meaningful reason to communicate.

The strategy works, too. Trigger-based communications helped the airline giant JetBlue increase performance by nearly 1,640% compared to standard promotional messages.2 In fact, almost 80% of JetBlue’s ROI is generated from triggered, targeted and segmented email campaigns.3

Post purchase is another opportunity to send triggered, mobile-optimized emails. Reach out to customers:

  • Just before delivery to announce their purchase is on its way
  • Just after delivery to make sure they got it
  • Several weeks after to be sure they’re satisfied

Here’s another example of a potential post-purchase opportunity. Once the purchase is completed, send a triggered email promoting related or complementary products. This can be an effective strategy because it leverages the “shopping mentality” of the customer. Many times people bounce back and buy again soon after an initial purchase.

Above all, remember that each touch point provides you with a chance to grow customer relationships, build your brand and cross-sell relevant products or services.

That covers the 4 Relevancy Rules, but we’ve just scratched the surface of email best practices.

So if you’re looking for additional ways to make your email marketing campaigns more relevant for customers and drive more revenue to you, sign up for J&C’s personalized email marketing assessment.

You’ll learn how to leverage best practices like mobile-optimized emails to ensure the successful email marketing campaigns. The assessment will cover stats, email marketing facts and techniques to fine tune your strategy and break through cluttered inboxes, like my “junk drawer.”

1. Fox School of Business
2. Benchmark
3. Email Stat Center

Topics: Email Marketing

Recent Posts