S • Segment. Market research and data analysis heavily inform this first step. You can also use marketing personas and the like to help. Your primary aim with this step is to identify differing customer needs according to relevant markers (e.g. demographic, behaviour, occupation, interests...). You then divide your market into ‘segments’ according to these needs.
Whenever possible, add a personal element to your emails. Most email tools allow you to enter shortcodes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out. Emails from Treehouse Co-Founder Ryan are always fun and personal. The subject lines are creative, messages are sent "from" Ryan's email address, and the content is personalized. If you reply to the mail, you'll even get a prompt response from Ryan himself!
Two particularly important groups for our purposes are customers with a one-time purchase and customers who have purchased multiple times. A customer is sometimes not considered to be loyal or repeat customer until they have purchased two to five times, in which case the single purchase segment is more akin to a warm prospect than a loyal customer.
You can assess the interests of individual list members by monitoring which pages they land on, and where they go from there. The process is explained by this example from Airbnb. They use click behaviour to ascertain the destination preferences and travel styles of customers and base their follow-up emails on those preference profiles. It's intensely specific, but it gets results!
You can add a little post-script to the end of your email copy, such as "Not responsible for your company's social media? Feel free to forward this ebook to a friend or colleague using social media marketing." Link the call-to-action to a pre-made email, complete with subject and body text. That way, all someone has to do is enter their associates' email addresses and hit "Send."
Technology has a significant impact on consumers’ expectations, and those expectations impact how subscribers engage with your email marketing. Brands need to continually demonstrate that they know their customer, which can make it a challenge to stay on top of the evolving context of marketing. An email strategy can make all the difference between building a relationship with your customers and sinking without trace.