Marketing wisely with email in today’s environment

In a down economy, email marketing can be both a B2B marketer’s friend and enemy. As cuts are being made and marketers look for ways to increase sales, they must not lose sight of the fact that while price and selling are important, value — or the perception of value — is equally important.

On the B2C side, marketers can deliver value in the form of discounts and loyalty rewards — keep in mind, a $200 camera sold at $150 is still valued in the customer’s mind at $200. On the B2B side, the same principles hold true. B2B companies can deliver value through free consulting services, knowledge sharing, priority/VIP company event access, and relevance. Yes, relevance. Your customers and prospects are getting bombarded with offers from companies trying to win their business — and that’s where email could work for or against you. On average, each customer receives 121 emails every day! That means, if you don’t take the time to develop a relevance strategy, your emails will get lost in the inbox.

Marketers know email is a cost-effective means for getting their message in front of customers and prospects quickly and easily. According to the DMA, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.

The temptation in a down economy is to increase the frequency of email in the hope of increasing response. However, the reality is that relevancy outperforms frequency, and the more relevant the email, the more value it holds for the recipient.


The average email open rate is 20.81%, but emails with personalized subject lines generate 50% higher open rates?
(Yes Lifecycle Marketing)

And that by adding videos to your email you can increase click rates by 300%.
(Martech Advisor)

The e-mail industry has proven that targeted, relevant emails deliver better initial response and engagement over the long term. At the same time, customers have little patience with irrelevant emails and will quickly become disengaged. Marketers who embrace the targeting power email affords will realize greater returns and avoid falling into a sea of white noise with all the other marketers out there who are bombarding those same customers with irrelevant offers and messages.

So how do you improve your relevance?

Segment your lists

There are many ways marketers can segment their lists to increase the relevance of their emails.

Here are some examples:

  • Industry
  • Role/title
  • Sales cycle
  • Interest/behavior

Behavioral segments offer a lot of options, from insights into interest to understanding who your most engaged subscribers are and inversely who the dormant subscribers. Sending to a list full of subscribers who never respond will not only drag down your response metrics, it can also hurt your sender reputation, so you’re going to want to address those non-responders. At Movéo, we work with our clients to implement automation programs built on dynamic lists that look for dormant subscribers, attempt to re-engage them, and move those who do not reengage out of the subscriber list and into a suppression list.

Use automation to trigger emails based on behavior

According to Epsilon, open rates for trigger emails can be as high as 49% (95% higher than traditional email open rates), and the average click-through rate (CTR) for triggered emails is more than double that of traditional blast email. Additionally, emails that are triggered by an action perform 3X better than timebased emails. By combining segments and behavioral triggers, you automate delivery of emails that deliver your most relevant content exactly when it’s most needed.

Personalize your messages

A study by Experian found that personalized emails deliver 6X higher transaction rates, and according to LiveClicker, personalization can increase ROI by $20 for every $1 invested. Personalization can be created in a number of ways; here are a few:

  • Insert the customer’s first name into the subject line
  • Use dynamic content functions to insert relevant creative into your message based on subscriber profile or behavior
  • Send targeted promotions, such as cross-sells of products and services that are related to purchases made

Preference Centers

One of the best ways to create a more relevant and personalized experience is to use Preference Centers. Preference Centers let your customers and subscribers dictate the terms of communication, allowing them to tell you how often they would like to be contacted and what content is most relevant to them.

Don’t forget creative relevance is also key.

The aforementioned segmentation drivers help define the audience and the topic of “conversation,” but it’s the offer and the message that drives action. The more specific marketers can be with their subject lines, the higher the open rate. Similarly, the more compelling the offer, the higher the conversion rate.


The more specific marketers can be with their subject lines, the higher the open rate.

This may seem obvious, but in this economy, marketers should take nothing for granted, and focusing on relevance will help you cut through the clutter, deliver more value, and ultimately strengthen the bond between your customer and your brand.