If you could only send one more marketing email, what type
of email would it be?

Would it be acquisition? Retention? A bit of cross selling perhaps? Let’s face it,
the options are almost endless! If you’re like me, you probably want it to be
the one that makes the most money.

That makes sense doesn’t it? Why waste time on emails that
don’t work? So it would need to be highly targeted, sent to people who want to
receive it and sent to the people most likely to buy now.

So how does the marketer find that segment of people? What
differentiates these people from the rest of the list? And what can marketers
practically do to add this email segment to their campaign programme?

Email is undoubtedly one of the most effective types of push
marketing you can get today. But to get it to work properly, you need to know
what to send and to whom.

If you look at the email addresses in your list, they
will all vary in their potential value to you as a marketer. The ones who
haven’t brought anything at all, or not visited the website or opened an email
in a long time, are probably right at the bottom of the pile in potential value, but those who are visiting the site regularly, choosing products, going
through the buying process, sit well and truly on the other end of the spectrum
in terms of value.

These regularly active users, even if they haven’t bought
yet, are close to buying, increasing their value as a customer. And arguably,
the further they get down the conversion funnel the higher the potential value
they have.

Ultimately a user will buy, or not. And it’s these ‘nots’ that represent some of the biggest opportunities in email marketing.

The recent Conversion Report from Econsultancy and RedEye found that of the 35% of
organisations who DID target these ‘nots’ (people who abandon their online
baskets or shopping trolleys), 84% of them had seen improvements in conversion
rates. 

So targeting abandoners makes sense. But there are still
quite a few organisations happy to leave this type of email to their
competition (53% of those surveyed!) and the cynic in me can’t help thinking
that one of the elements that makes targeting abandoners so successful is that
so few are currently doing it.

The future of email is changing; it’s not that the
technology is changing, or that new applications are making email easier, it’s
that customers are changing their attitude to marketing. The DMA recently
published research (Data Tracking Study 2010) which suggests the highest
changes in attitude to unsubscribing had come under the ‘irrelevant or over
communication’ banners.  

This shows it’s even more important to get your targeting
right; and if I could send only one type of email, I would want it to produce
the best result as far as revenue is concerned and also improve my relationship
with the customer.

And what better way to achieve this than a customer service
email
, focused on helping the ones that got away come back to my website and
buy my product.

Contrary to some popular opinion, this type of email doesn’t
always need to contain more money off as the customers were pretty close to
buying the first time. And while they are merrily surfing around, comparing
prices and products again, it doesn’t take too much of a nudge to get them to
come back, to take another look and have another go.

If email campaigns were chosen on ROI and value to the customer experience,
then this is a good place to start. Every email marketer can easily send out
broadcast emails, but we all know where that leads eventually.

Everyone knows
that sending highly targeted relevant emails work and choosing ones that are
based on the customer’s web behaviour are a good place to start. The easiest of
these is the cart or basket abandonment email and once this is in place, you
can begin looking further up the conversion funnel to find other pots of gold.