How sending emails to fewer people leads to higher success

February 1, 2018 - 5 minutes read

Before you hit send on that email to your company’s database, pause and think about who is on the receiving end. Are you blasting the message to your entire digital Rolodex or directing it to a select group of customers? With traditional media, we think the larger your audience, the bigger your success. But, when it comes to email marketing, business owners can be more successful if they reach a smaller group of highly-targeted users. To put it simply, just because you have 30,000 email addresses in a database doesn’t mean you should be sending the same message to every one of them.

The average American receives 121 emails per day in their inbox and almost half is considered spam, according to the Radicati Group. To break through the clutter, think about curating detailed messages aimed at focused groups of potential customers. Make it feel like the messages have been hand-selected for their interests. These could be fans of particular artists, shoppers likely to hit a local retailer or people who like to get great deals.

Believe us, this strategy works. Case in point: A locally-owned small market radio station recently crafted a promotion for listeners to vote for their favorite Halloween costumes. Despite heavy on-air promotion and a non-targeted mass email that went to their entire database of almost 20,000 people, the contest only mustered about 20 votes. As a top performer in the market, this station was surprised not to get a bigger turnout and they reached out to our digital experts for help.

When the FDS team took a look, we noticed they sent the email to their entire database, likely reaching many disinterested users. Click rates were low and participation was even lower. We parsed the database and narrowed it down to two much smaller groups, about 1,300 total that featured past contest entrants. We resent the email to the smaller batch and participated popped. In a few days, more than 200 users took action and voted for the photo winner. While the numbers are small, those who took action are active and engaged.

With email marketing, the goal is to entice the user to read, respond, engage and react. If your message seems generic, it will likely go unopened or into the trash. But if it feels personalized and relevant, the probability of a recipient taking action will soar.

So to unlock the real value of email marketing, try thinking smaller. With the Federated Digital Solutions tools, our system can identify users by name, email, date of birth, zip code, and dozens of other interest points. So, with an offer for car detailing, we could zoom in on potential customers in that retailers’ area, as well as men and women of driving age and who have participated in content that shows interest in automobile upkeep. The same goes for promotions, like contests and quizzes, where the ability to select users can dramatically increase participation.

This strategy can work for business owners and traditional media alike. For instance, to support a traditional media campaign for a local dentist, a local radio station sent an email promotion for teeth whitening services to a select group of users. The email contained a special offer, prompting many interested users to open it, and click-through rates were higher than 50%. While the overall number of respondents was small, they were engaged and very informed about the dentist and his services. That increases the chances they’ll call for an appointment.

Make email a central component of your next campaign and test out how a targeted message to interested users can spark engagement. Targeted emails have the capability to talk to the few and get them involved. Used correctly, email can be a powerful marketing tool for your station and your clients.