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Segment your Subscribers, Personalize and Target -- Effective email marketing is more complex then simply sending an email message to your entire list.  The effectiveness can be increased dramatically by targeting subsets of subscribers, personalizing the email message and performing follow-up marketing.

Segment

By offering multiple newsletter topics and allowing subscribers to choose their topics of interest, you will increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.  If you keep sending messages that are not of interest to your subscribers they will be more likely to ignore all the messages.  Send them only the ones they want.

For example, suppose you are a national web site selling concert tickets.  You might offer targeted email lists for country, rock, hip-hop, blues, jazz, rap, folk, dance, tribal, etc music types.

Personalize

Studies have shown that the greater number of personalization elements to an email, the higher the response rates. At minimum of course, personalization can mean addressing a recipient by their first name. Ultimately, however, true personalization means delivering emails that are tailored to the specific profile and preferences of each recipient.

Target

If you collect information beyond the basic name and email address fields, why not use it?  If you aren't currently collecting extra demographic information now would be a great time to start.

For example, suppose you are a national web site selling concert tickets.  Vital demographics you should collect include the age of your subscribers, sex, music preferences (country, rock, hip-hop, blues, jazz, rap, folk, dance, tribal, etc), state, city, etc.  Now, if Dolly Parton is singing in Dallas, Texas, you can send a targeted solicitation to all who are interested in Country music in the state of Texas.  You might send a more generic message to state residents and a more localized message to Dallas residents.

Send Follow-Up Information

A common technique in email marketing is to send a follow-up message based on specific actions.  For example, you might send a follow-up email to all who clicked a specific link in an email.  You might do the same based on those who clicked a specific link in the message.  Or, you might follow up to those who never opened the message.  Keep in mind that open rates are not effectively measured as Microsoft Outlook 2003 blocks such tracking pixels.

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