Why Is There a Bra Sale in My E-mail Inbox?

August 5, 2011 | Written by Dusty Dean E-mail Targeting

One of the first and most fundamental lessons of e-mail marketing is that it’s a privilege to have someone opt-in and allow you to e-mail them.

When a customer completes your sign-up form, they’ve agreed to allow you into a special place. A place where only their friends, colleagues and family members can message them. It’s up to you, as a marketer, to deliver the most relevant and timely promotional e-mails.

I recently received a promotional e-mail from that is a great example of what goes wrong when a company doesn’t segment and send relevant messages to their subscribers.

A few weeks ago I created a profile and shopped on their website. I viewed men’s shirts and men’s underwear and even placed these items in my shopping cart. I never converted, or purchased these items.

You can imagine my surprise when yesterday I received an e-mail promotion from them stating that it’s the “Last Day for $8.99 Bras & Free Shipping Offer”.

So, in an instant, has wasted my time, sent me an irrelevant message and lost a conversion. Most importantly though, they eroded my trust in their ability to send me relevant messages.

This type of blind targeting is all too common in many e-mail marketing campaigns. Fortunately, it can easily be prevented with a few simple tweaks.

Here’s three things that can do to make certain I get more relevant promotional e-mails in the future:

    • Segment by Gender

By simply adding a gender field to their sign-up form could easily segment their e-mail marketing lists and develop ad copy separately targeting men and women.

    • Segment by Behavior

By using behavioral targeting measures could have detected that the last items in my shopping cart were from the men’s section of their website, ergo it’s more likely that I would be interested in products targeted toward men.

    • Segment by 3rd Party Data

And finally, by using 3rd party e-mail data services like Rapleaf, can cross reference their current database of e-mail subscribers with Rapleaf’s gender and demographic profile. This would allow them to quickly segment their existing e-mail subscribers and increase relevancy.

It’s a win-win when companies take the time to carefully segment and send relevant messages to their customers. The customers win because they receive relevant messages and the companies win because these customers are more likely to convert when the messages appeal to them.

August 5, 2011 | Written by Dusty Dean

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