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4 Ideas for E-mail Segmentation

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If you're planning spray-and-pray e-mail campaigns to boost sales during this holiday season, consider a more strategic approach that could provide better ROI and keep your opt-out rate from skyrocketing.

In a fall webinar hosted by Target Marketing, titled 60 Minutes to Accelerate Holiday Sales, Huw Griffiths, marketing director at Campaigner, an e-mail marketing services firm in Montreal, offered the following proven segmentation tactics designed to supercharge your e-mail marketing efforts in the fourth quarter and beyond.

Interests—Consider targeting your message according to categories in which customers have made purchases or by collecting a little data that also provides for a targeted message. For example, House of Magnets asked its contacts for their cities and football team preferences to demonstrate how its magnet products could be customized; timing the campaign launch to coincide with the start of training camp gave the effort urgency while providing a big enough window to maximize sales.

Location—If your business operates in the retail channel, ask for e-mail registrants' ZIP codes (or code e-mail sign-up forms handed out in stores to collect this data element). Send these customers and prospects special offers and event invites related to the nearest store location (or locations, in case more than one might be applicable). For example, West49 invites registrants to store grand openings.

Gender—If your product or services line can be segmented according to gender, you could try more targeted promotions where the offer and/or incentive should appeal more to one group than the other. Of course, you need to be comfortable segmenting your e-mail file, too.

Spend Level—This approach can be leveraged to either keep offerings in line with customers' past purchase levels or to promote deals that help increase the average order value, such as percent-off discounts and free shipping on orders that exceed a specified amount.

By Hallie Mummert, editor-in-chief, Target Marketing

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