Hit or miss? A practical framework to increase your email Hit Ratio

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Do you know the hit/miss ratio of your e-mailings? The better your email program, the higher your HIT ratio is. But what elements have a real impact on email marketing success? Here are three often overlooked tactics increase Audience Match with your messages and get a better email marketing Hit-Ratio.

The missed opportunity of smarter e-mail marketing

With all the love in the world we spend a lot of time on content creation and getting the message out there. Without really thinking through if it was the right message in the first place. We all want to hit the bullseye, but what could we actually do to increase chances of hitting it?

What would increase chances of actually hitting the bullseye?

* Train to shoot better (testing),

* Use a straighter arrow (lose clutter, improve design),

* Stand closer to the mark (customer knowledge).

But how about enlarging the bullseye itself?

Increasing the Hit Ratio of your messages:

We can increase the chance of hitting the bullseye by improving:

A Audience Match

B Brand relationship with the recipient

C Customer timeline and Time window

D Design of Offer & Message

I will go further into B, C and D in later posts. But let’s have a look at how we can increase Audience match.

Three original tactics for increasing audience Match:

The first things that come to mind when improving the match between your email and audience are segmentation and personalization. But that isn’t the only way to get a better Audience Match. Here are three Audience Match Tactics, that will improve the value of your messages.

Tactic 1: Increase audience match by adding Self-Selection:

In case of an entertainment retailer on fathers’ day email for instance. Instead of making a complete fathers’ day What are the interests of your recipient? Smart marketers ask for recipient preferences to build a profile. But there is a limit to how much you can ask. Even if not every detail is know, you can still create a message that resonates by letting the recipient choose for himself.

Instead of limiting the email about one type of gift, make it a self-selection:
In the case of a fathers’ day email, the email could contain links to pages for :

* Movie maniac dads

* Music loving dads,

* Do-it-yourself dads,

* The dad that has everything.

A retailer can have fun with these self-selection themes. Do-it-yourself might not be a real product category for a retailer. But it can be a combination of products that fit the theme. The complete seasons of Home Improvement, books on decoration, The best Music to play while doing DIY work. Thats how this is different than just copying product categories. It’s actually adding value by helping the recipient in his quest for an original gift.

Tactic 2: Increase audience match by Changing Perspective

Sometimes all you need to do is change the perspective. I’d advise to change perspective every now and then to keep things lively and fresh. It doesn’t always have to be “buy this item, it’s the best & cheapest”. There is a lot more to say about the way people use and get value from a product. Or maybe not focus on the product at all for once and just tell a compelling story.

Changing perspective can greatly increase your chance of an Audience Match. Try to shift away from just “buy this” messages and change the perspective. You could focus on the event at which the products will be used or product use itself.

In our father’s day example, you could make the email about:
* Things that you could do on father’s day

* The most asked for and given presents on father’s day

* Mother’s day versus Father’s day.

Those messages can also appeal to the people that receive the gifts or have influence on the purchase and add some entertainment value.

Tactic 3: Increase audience match by Using catch all’s

If your main message is that appealing to all recipients use a catch all. This is a lifeline to your website, that allows readers to find their way. Even if they are not interested in the message you sent. Catch-alls can come in the form of a navigation bar that links to more categories and topics on the website. It can come in the form of a “top 5 popular items” lists.

The smaller the Audience Match with the primary offer / message, the more attention should be given to catch all’s. If it truly too narrow, there probably should be a secondary offer included as well.

Tactic 3b: Turning a complete Match into a seemingly presonalized one

If you have a product that is available in every format, size, color, etc. A neat perspective switch can be made too.This would match everyone (for the intended audience), allowing you to communicate it as if it was a very tailored offer, just like Uline does here “Your size is in stock”, suggesting that they actually know your desired size and checked if it was in stock for you.

Email marketers have a lot more options for improving their messages than they realize. Try if you increase your Audience Match for your next campaign.

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