Maybe you’ve entered a giveaway before to win some amazing prize and part of the entry mechanism is to subscribe to a few partner’s email lists. Great, but now you keep getting emails from these brands and you’re really not into it. It’s not really a business you need or want to receive emails from so you unsubscribe.
Ever been there? I’m sure we all have.
How can we use email marketing to get to know our audience better? Having a large list of subscribers may seem great, but you want to have an engaged audience that actually buys your product or makes use of your services. This means you need to find out who your target audience is and at the same time give them what they want and expect.
If this sounds like a mammoth task, don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Let’s clarify what a target audience is.
A target audience is a certain group of people or individuals that your campaign is aimed at, but above that it is the ideal audience that you want to reach that will be interested in your product or service. Your ideal customers = people who are most likely to buy from you.
Something to keep in mind is that your target audience might not be exactly who your products or services are meant for, for example if you are selling baby or kids goods they are meant to be consumed by babies or kids. The buyers however would most likely be parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.
How do I use my subscriber list to understand my audience better?
Have you ever thought about who your ideal customers are? In marketing terms you’d want to create some buyer personas. Buyer persona’s are mini bios of characteristics your ideal buyers have. They can be simple or complex but are usually based around real clients and what you know about them. Using buyer personas gives you the opportunity to “humanize” your audience and tap into what they are interested in.
Once you have buyer personas you are able to target an audience based on what you know about them and develop your content around this.
Your existing list
Using your existing list is a great way to get to know and understand your audience. It all starts with your subscription form. The information you get from people who subscribe to your list is really important as it can help you segment (or group) your subscribers to better create unique engaging campaigns for them.
Segmentation isn’t as complicated as it sounds. You can start segmenting your audience from when they sign up to your list based on info they provide. You could start to segment based on demographic information your subscribers provide like:
Creating a list of subscribers based on the above demographics means you can send unique, targeted campaigns based on the above. For example, let’s use location. If you create a list based on the location your subscribers have provided, you could send targeted campaigns to that list based on local events, weather patterns in the area or special offers.
Another segmented audience you can create might be based on the industry your subscriber is in. You could include this as a dropdown form field that someone can select pre-sign up. Something you really need to keep in mind though is that your form shouldn’t feel like a medical form. Don’t overdo it in terms of the amount of fields on your subscription form.
An often overlooked segment is engagement. Using the information you gather from your campaign engagement can help you segment your audience. You can choose to create campaigns based on open rates or based on people who always click on your links. Campaigns could be geared towards asking them to join your loyalty program or getting customer surveys from this subset of your audience.
You could also use your inactive subscribers as a segment. Here your campaigns could focus on re-engagement campaigns to help move them into the active group. Looking at your inactive subscribers also gives you a chance to clean your list.
Purchase info and your existing list
If you can get information about which of your subscribers have purchased products from you recently, you can create a segment for this audience too. That means you can create unique campaigns in specific product verticals that these subscribers might also be interested in.
It may also be worthwhile sending reminders out for products that have a certain timespan. For example if you have a product that is used within a month or another set time frame, you could send reminders to tell these subscribers that they might need to stock up again on the product. This adds value to your audience’s experience as you are helping them remember to stock up.
Product purchase data can also help you get more reviews, using the purchase history can help you send out campaigns to get product reviews.
Do you always send your campaigns on the same day and time in the week? You could start looking at when your subscribers open your emails to ensure you are reaching your audience at a time that is convenient for them.
If you find a lot of subscribers open your emails in the morning, this could help you schedule demos or sales calls in the afternoons. Seeing when your subscribers open your emails, gives you further insight into their behaviour.
Email marketing offers you the opportunity to connect with your subscribers but to also learn more about them. If you want to engage and establish long term relationships with your subscribers, using the information you have available to you to create segments is a great way to enhance what you offer and keep building your email efforts.
How do you use email marketing to get to know your customers better?