Category Archives: targeting

Two Keys To Email Success: Relevance And Segmenting

Email’s an effective way to market. But what makes an actual campaign effective? Here’s a hint: it’s not how big your list is or what time of day you send your emails.

Two research firms surveyed small, medium and large businesses about their email marketing to determine the most effective tactics for a good email campaign. The two most important components they found? Relevant and compelling content and segmenting lists to target that content.

Compelling Content = Big Challenge

All the businesses surveyed agreed that compelling, relevant content is the most effective email technique for keeping customers interested and engaged. No one wants to stay subscribed to boring emails. And if your newsletter isn’t related to what they signed up for, your readers are going to feel spammed.



Your email content matters, especially with so many online distractions vying for your customers’ attention. The average online consumer spends about 51 seconds scanning over your newsletter. The actual content of your email matters for keeping their attention.

Despite naming content creation as the most effective email tactic, business marketers feel it’s also the most challenging. If you’re stuck for fresh email content, you’re not alone.

In fact, we wrote an entire guide just for you with some of the techniques we use ourselves to amp up our own emails. Download it to the right.

Key #2: Segmenting

It’s not surprising that segmenting an email audience came in as the second most effective tactic, since segmenting is part of offering relevant content.

Instead of sending one generic newsletter to your entire list, break your readers into smaller segments and send emails based on their interests.

Here’s a perfect example: you own a local shop and you also sell goods online. You get email signups in your store and online. If you create two segments – one for local customers and one for out-of-town online ones – you can send in-store sale announcements to your local customers and online sale alerts to your online customers.

You’re also keeping your emails relevant – your online customers can’t visit your store to take advantage of in-store sales, after all.

You can use more than just location for segmenting. Check out our free guide to the right for ideas on targeting your own groups of customers.

Do you agree with the survey? What are your top keys to email success? Share your own story in the comments!

Bad Practice: “Are You Sure You Want To Leave Before Reading This Post?”

It’s the last-minute sales pitch: “Wait! Don’t go! Don’t leave without signing up!”

And it often shows up on sign up forms – that pop up in a new window when you try to leave a website.

If you’ve encountered the needy exit pop up, you already know how annoying it is. Here’s why you shouldn’t use this tactic on your own list, and what you can do instead.

Exit Popups = Bad Last Impression

Nothing heats up a discussion like pop ups – marketers love them, consumers hate them and they’re known to convert amazingly well when used appropriately.

But an exit pop up that blocks a visitor from leaving your page leaves a bad impression of your business.

Think about it – you’ve browsed a website and decided that a product just isn’t for you. You click your browser’s “back” button – BUT WAIT! Are you sure you want to leave without signing up for our newsletter?

Yes, you’re very sure. If you’re not interested in their product, why would you want their newsletter? Can they please let you go and check Facebook now?

That’s the problem with exit pop ups. People leaving your site have already made up their minds – either they bought something from you and decided they want your emails, or they decided they’re not interested. And a pop up asking them to reconsider before they leave won’t change their minds.

Even if they give in and surrender an email address to leave your site, people who sign up from a pop up form tend to be less engaged with your emails.

But Aren’t Popups Effective?

They can be, when used appropriately. Even back in 2003, Inc observed that consumers didn’t mind pop ups in the right context.

Some of our own customers have seen explosive list growth by using pop ups on their sites.

Here’s the right way to try a popup form:

Use A Delay

Don’t display a popup right away. Let people get to know your site first. When they’ve warmed up to your content, they’ll be less bothered by your popup interruption.

How To Set Delays On Your Pop Up Form

Watch Your Wording

There’s a fine line between inviting and badgering. Don’t harass people with a hard sell for your newsletter. Explain the benefits with a gentler approach and test your wording to see what people respond to best.

Do Your Words Scare People Away?

Don’t Be Annoying

You don’t need a pop up on every page to grow your list effectively. You don’t even need to display your pop up every time someone visits your page.

Nikki McGonigal, an Etsy crafter, uses a pop up that only displays once every 60 days to people who visit her site. When a visitor closes the pop up instead of signing up, they won’t see it again until 60 days later. And judging from our case study on her, it’s been pretty effective.

How do you feel about pop ups? Are you guilty of any pop up mistakes – like the exit form – yourself? Share your story in the comments!