DMF 2011 | Segmentation & Targeting & Inbox Marketing

By Amanda Sides | Feb 4, 2011
More Articles by Amanda

Wrapping up the Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Forum conference here in Austin, the last sessions begin after lunch.  I am covering Nicholas Einstein’s presentation, Segmentation & Targeting: Leveraging Data to Drive Relevant, Valuable, Timely Inbox Marketing.

Nicholas Einstein is the VP of Deliverability & Strategic Services at Datran Media. You can follow Nicholas on Twitter at @othereinstein.

Email = Direct Mail on Steroids

A study performed by the Direct Marketing Association shows that in 2010, ROI from commercial e-mail is significantly higher on average compared to other forms of media including direct mail.

There are many different types of spam. All spam is essentially the same: any message that doesn’t resonate with the consumer.

Don’t spam your consumers. They should be engaged and interested in the relevant message that you are sending their way.

Targeted Messaging

When your messages are targeted to your audience, they will be more engaged and responsive to your emails.  As Nicholas references a quote from Seth Godin: “Treat different customers differently.” You don’t want to “batch and blast.” Personalize emails as much as you possibly can to have an effective email marketing campaign. The goal is to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time. You have to consider the data source, the content, location, demographic, device type, among other factors.

You have to be relevant and valuable.

Successful Email Marketing

One trend that I’ve noticed throughout every session of this conference, is the mention of Groupon.  Where most emails that flood into your inbox, you choose either to delete immediately, save to read later, or open and read it when you receive it.  If you have signed up to receive Groupon alerts, you are probably pretty excited when that daily email arrives in your inbox.  You can’t wait to open it and see what the deal is that day.

This is a company that got it right.  Their emails are relevant, sending deals in your city, and valuable, including some kind of great incentive.  The deals are time sensitive, since you can only purchase them that day.  This is a great  business model in the first place, which resonates even more via their email marketing campaign.


How do you decide how to segment? Data.  Most decisions in life are based on pieces of critical data.  This also applies for segmentation and targeting for email marketing.  You just need to determine what the most important piece of information is for you to acquire from potential subscribers.  The most important piece of data would be the email address. Other data points you may look at are gender, location, interests, etc.  Data for each business will vary based on the type of product or service that you offer.

Behavioral Data

How are your subscribers reacting to your messages? What is the open-rate? What is the response rate? Data like this could help shape your strategy with future campaigns.  Look at the response rate and actions that are taken by your readers, and adjust as needed.  Testing is a big factor here; as in paid search, testing timing, content, subject, etc. can make huge differences in actions taken.

Einstein’s Theories

Here are some of the things that Nicholas recommends as important information to gain (at the appropriate time).

  • Email Address
  • Opt-in Date/Time
  • Website Behavior
  • Response History & RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary)
  • Zip Code/Geography
  • Sex
  • Contact Preferences (ex: mobile version?)
  • Birthday (only if you have a GREAT offer on their birthday)

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