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4 Tips for Crafting Context-Driven Emails

January 14, 2015
By Phil Davis

crafting_context-driven_emailsIn this digitally driven, highly social age, personalization is an essential component to any email marketing campaign. Because your subscribers encounter thousands of messages online every day, the only way to win their attention is to tailor your content to them.

Successful email marketing requires a two prong approach. The first step is to know your customers and understand when to engage with them. The second step is to craft customized, context-driven messages.

Here are four expert tips for developing more context-driven emails:

Tip #1: Research or test.

Let’s say you run the email marketing program of an online clothing store and have divided your contacts into three customer segments:

  • Young adults who tend to make purchases primarily online
  • Middle-aged adults who make purchases online and in-store
  • Retired adults who make purchases primarily in-store

In order to create messaging that will resonate with each segment of contacts, your instincts alone might not suffice. Instead, focus on researching what type of messaging works for each segment, or test new messages that you feel could be winners. For instance, a retiree may respond well to a welcome email that says, “Congratulations: You have been successfully added to our email list. Click here and treat yourself to a 10% discount on your next purchase,” while the young adult segment might do better with, “High-five – you’re on the list! Click here to download a 10% Coupon!”

Tip #2: Provide targeted value.

The primary rule of thumb in email marketing is to always offer something of value. If your welcome email merely says “thank you” and nothing else, your new customer may quickly learn to dismiss your emails as unimportant. To ensure your subscribers stay interested, make sure you offer them something worthwhile. For a clothing store, this could be a coupon, a sale preview or even helpful tips on next season’s trends.

To deliver an even higher impact, make sure the value you’re offering is relevant to your audience. For instance, the young adult segment might prefer to be sent to your website, while the retired segment might prefer to know about sales going on at your brick-and-mortar store.

Tip #3: Be consistent.

While it’s important to keep messaging new and interesting, you want to ensure each campaign always targets your segments adequately. As digital communications expert Tessa Wegert explains, “Nothing kills a marketing experience like a personalized ad that isn't personalized for the right person.” Prevent your email diversification from backfiring by carefully organizing the communications for each segment and planning out a strategy in advance.

Tip #4: Make sure you images are appropriate for your segment.

When choosing images for your email, make sure you’re considering your audience. Just as you alter the messaging for each segment, it’s also important to alter the images used to convey your message. For example, a bank may use an image of trendy young 20-somethings walking through campus to advertise student loans, but might use an image of an affluent middle aged couple on an exotic beach to advertise retirement savings accounts.

Additionally, ensure you’re including alt tags. Depending on the email client or device used to access the message, your image may not render correctly. In this case, the alt text will likely display. Instead of using a generic image name, like “father’s day sale,” use alt text as an opportunity to reinforce your message, such as “20% Off All Menswear.”

Keep in mind personalized messaging without data—or data without personalized messaging—results in little progress. To get the most from each campaign, be sure to utilize your data as well as your creative thinking.

Want to learn how TowerData’s Email Intelligence can demystify your audience and allow you to target your messaging? Check out this free guide.

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