Email Thursday – The Importance of Targeting



One thing that is often skipped over in Email Marketing 101 is that you need to make sure your content is always relevant to your users. Now, this can be accomplished in more than one way: you can make sure that your message is appropriate to all of the users who will be receiving it, or you can make sure that you only send to users to whom the message will be appropriate.

In my experience, I tend to see the first tactic employed more frequently where the sender makes sure the content in the email is relevant. But sometimes, we all make errors. In this case, I’m not sure how the error cam about but the above message was sent to a man I know. This seems slightly off since the “Girls Night Out” theme, reminiscent of a Sex In The City kind of approach, doesn’t really have that much appeal to men. Had it been “Cold Beer and Sports: A Wednesday with the Guys” the recipient might have been more inclined to pay attention. Heck, his wife hasn’t even been to Uno’s in a few years. So how did this happen?

By not having demographic information such as gender or even first name, this is an easy mistake to make. By having INCORRECT information, this is an easy mistake to make. By not paying attention to your segmentation strategy, this is an easy mistake to make. By not caring about branding and quality, this is an easy mistake to make. I think you get the point. In many organizations that see email as a tool to simply reach your entire audience, this is a very good example of the kind of error you may see.

The thought may be “well, at least we’re getting our brand in front of them” or “maybe they’ll be able to forward this to a friend or their wife” if this example is received by a male. But what might not be considered is the damage to the brand in the long run. What this kind of tactic says is “we don’t really care about who you are, we just want to send you emails whether they pertain to you or not.”

And THAT is a bad thing to do. This will result in higher unsubscribes for the wrong reasons, SPAM complaints for what is otherwise a legitimate send, or simply leaving a bad taste in the users mouth (not from the pizza either). In general, it is wise to make sure you are targeting your audience appropriately for their gender if you are sending an email that is VERY gender specific.