Targeted email marketing is a proven tactic for growing your leads. Building a relationship with your recipients with highly-customized and personalized emails is powerful.
Bulk outbound email is, likewise, a proven, powerful tactic. At first glance, it seems that these two methods are polar opposites. How can you create messaging tailored straight to the recipient if you’re sending to hundreds of thousands of contacts at once?
That’s exactly what we aim to show you in this post.
First, let’s take a look at what targeted email marketing is. Understanding the fundamentals is the first step to implementing a successful targeting strategy with your outbound email.
In a nutshell, your goal is to make your emails feel less like marketing and more like a message from someone they know. People are far more likely to engage with an email that feels like it was written specifically for them.
It All Starts with Data
If you’re going to tailor your emails to each recipient, you need to know the right things about them. Collecting emails via a signup form is the best place to obtain the information you need.
If you’re working with cold contacts, like a purchased list, you’ll have less information to work with so, you’ll have to make the most out of it.
Useful pieces of information to obtain are:
- First and last name
- Company name
- Company industry and size
Anything else you can find out is worthwhile as well, but that list – especially those first three items – are crucial. You can’t personalize if you don’t know who you’re talking to.
First and last name personalization has a proven track record of increasing email marketing CTR. It’s not hard to see why. People are much more likely to pay attention to a message that’s directly addressed to them than to something generic.
Have you ever had your name come up in someone else’s conversation and it jumped out at you? We’re wired to react to our own names, and that’s something marketers can take advantage of using email personalization.
Company name is similarly effective. In the B2B world, solutions aren’t targeted at specific people, but rather aim to solve problems for companies. What’s more effective: the subject line “Improve Your Website Design” or “Improve Acme Inc’s Website Design”?
The same way that using the recipient’s name makes the email feel more personal, using their company’s name makes it seem like the email is made specifically to solve the recipient’s company’s problems.
Their industry and size aren’t something you’re likely to use as a personalization token, but it’s still very valuable information. If you know what industry your target audience is in, and how large they are, you can more easily identify concrete pain points they experience. And then you can solve them.
What About Cold Lists?
If you’re working from a cold or purchased list, you might not have been able to decide what information you have. You have to work with what you’ve got.
Generally, you’ll at least have the first name and company name of your contacts. Luckily, those are the most important pieces of information.
If you’re looking to purchase a list, you should make sure you get your data from a reputable provider. Here’s a great list of the top 20 B2B data providers provided by The Sharper Pixel.
You also need to make sure you choose the right email platform to send from. Clickback is designed to enable businesses to send powerful personalized cold email campaigns that hit the inbox.
Personalizing Bulk Email Subject Lines
With a 1-on-1 email, you can (and should) design your entire email content to resonate with that one person. With bulk emails, you need to find a balance between creating content that feels like a 1-on-1 email, and content that will apply to your entire audience.
It’s definitely a challenge. Let’s break down the email into separate components and look at each individually.
First of all, the subject line. It’s the shortest piece of your email, but it’s arguably the most important – and the most difficult to perfect. There’s an endless number of tips, guides, and articles about writing “the perfect subject line” out there, but it boils down to one thing: testing.
In terms of targeted email marketing, that means testing different approaches to personalization. Test out using a first name or company token in your subject line, for example.
When writing a subject line, make it powerful and meaningful to your recipients. It needs to stand out from all the other emails in their inbox, and it needs to make them want to open it.
To do that, it needs to convince them that the email’s content is worthwhile and that they’ll get some form of immediate value from opening it.
Avoid lazy personalization. “[First Name], get a great deal!” won’t do you any favors – it’s obviously a first name token attached to a generic subject line. Instead, try something that tells them that you’ve got something to say that they’ll want to hear.
For example, “Cure [Company]’s Slow Website Speed” has a few immediate effects on the reader.
It also makes the recipient curious – did you actually go and test their website’s speed? What made you send them that email? All of these things are factors that push them to open your email.
Body Copy Personalization
That’s a lot of effort to write around 30-50 characters, but it’s worth it, because without a strong subject line, it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your content is.
Your email content needs to be as personalized as you can get it while still applying to your entire recipient list. This is where that information you gathered comes into play.
Don’t be too formal (or too informal). To strike the right balance, write as though you were addressing a coworker. “Hi [First Name]” is a good middle ground for a greeting, if you choose to include one.
Include their name in your greeting, but otherwise leave it out. Over-use of personalization tokens is a great way to turn your warm, friendly email into a transparent piece of marketing.
Use their company name in your copy where it feels natural. To continue our earlier example, “I noticed [Company]’s website isn’t loading as fast as it could be” doesn’t feel like the company name is forced in just for the sake of personalization – it’s a sentence you might actually say to someone.
If you know their industry or company size, you can use this information to create compelling copy that feels like it’s written specifically for the recipient. For example, if you know the companies on your list are all small businesses, you can write something like “We created [your product] to help small businesses grow their website traffic”.
The same idea applies if your list is made up of companies in a particular industry. Chances are, if that’s the case, it’s because you have a product or service that is targeted at that industry. Make use of that knowledge – those companies probably have the problem that your product solves.
Sentences like “Increasing lead growth is a challenge every marketer faces” give the reader confidence that you know what you’re talking about. Especially if you then hand them a way to solve that challenge.
For a more in-depth look at creating great content, check out our guide on cold email copywriting.
An often overlooked factor when it comes to targeted email marketing is the importance of social proof.
This is the difference between telling someone “Hey, we can do [x], [y], and [z] for your company.” And showing them that you’ve already done that for other companies just like theirs.
This shows that you understand the industry that you’re sending your emails to, that you’ve done your research on a pain point your contact might be experiencing, and that you’ve helped other businesses in a similar position.
To continue with the earlier example, something like “At [your company], we’ve helped companies just like yours improve their website speed by [x]% and we think we can help [companyname] too.” By linking to a page with examples of companies you’ve helped, you’re providing immediate social proof that backs up your claims and makes you a much more appealing option.
Sending Targeted Email Marketing
Your subject line is magnetic and your email is well-personalized. What now?
Even though it doesn’t sound like a cold email, it still is, which means you need to use the right software to send it.
There are a whole lot of factors that impact how well your campaign performs. For a detailed step-by-step walkthrough, read our guide on how to send mass email successfully.
What it boils down to, though, is that your email needs to hit the inbox so your awesome subject line and content can do their work.
The best tool for that is Clickback. It’s an email sending platform designed from the ground up to ensure your cold emails get delivered to inboxes, not spam folders.
Want to see exactly how it works? Book a free 1-on-1 demo with one of our experts.