The definition of targeted email marketing

05 Jan 2024  |  by Olivia Parkes

7 min read

Email marketing is a great way to contact your customers, send them offers, tell them about new product or service launches, or simply remind them that you’re here. But, email marketing will only get you so far, and you may find that your efforts don’t have the return on investment that you’d expect. In fact, you may also face negative effects, with customers unsubscribing from your mailing list because your emails aren’t relevant to them.

This is why targeted email marketing should be a key part of your marketing strategy. Not only will it help you grow your email list, but it can also improve customer loyalty and increase revenue.

But what exactly is targeted email marketing, what are the benefits and how can your business start this effective way of contacting your customers? Below, we’ll look into exactly that, and give you all the information you need to become confident and proficient at targeted email marketing.

What is targeted email marketing?

Targeted email marketing is a strategy taken to contact a specific group of customers, otherwise known as a segment, who you know are more likely to engage with a specific piece of content, product or service, or an offer or discount.

Yes, if you send the same blanket email out to your entire mailing list it will still land in the inboxes of those same customers, but it’ll also be received by customers who won’t find it relevant. That means you’re at risk of lower engagement rates, customers unsubscribing from your email list, and a decrease in customer loyalty. In this day and age, when customer retention is more important than ever, businesses should do what they can to keep every customer on their side.

One of the key factors of targeted email marketing is personalisation. When a customer receives an email from your brand that is relevant to them, their goals, their needs and their interests, they’re far more likely to engage. And when customers are more likely to engage, that means they’re more likely to spend more money with you.

You can create customer segments using data your organisation holds about your customers, including purchase history, behaviours, cart abandonment, browsing history and more. So for example, if a particular segment has £100 of items in their shopping basket from a week ago, you could send them a targeted email offering them 10% off or free shipping. Or, you could send an email to every customer in the last year who bought a certain product an email to let them know a new attachment or add-on is now available that will help with a specific problem or pain point.

What are the key benefits of using targeted email marketing? 

We’ve already covered some of the benefits of using targeted email marketing above. But, there are plenty of benefits that mean it’s something you should definitely consider to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and ROI of your marketing strategy. 

Here are 10 benefits of using targeted email marketing:

  1. You’ll send more relevant content to specific audience segments that are more likely to appeal to what they like and need and may address pain points they’re already aware of.
  2. Thanks to sending segments more relevant content, customers are more likely to engage, which improves the efficiency of your email marketing.
  3. By sending them relevant content, your customer loyalty gets a much-needed boost, which can be hugely valuable to your business.
  4. When your customers engage more, that means they’re also likely to spend more money, which increases your revenue.
  5. With an increase in revenue as a direct result of your email marketing, it improves ROI.
  6. Customers who receive relevant emails from you are far less likely to unsubscribe.
  7. When you send targeted emails, the data related to engagement, conversions and open rates is valuable and helps you make improvements to future campaigns.
  8. A/B testing is simple and measurable.
  9. Sending your customers relevant content builds their trust and helps you remain compliant with data protection laws.
  10. It’s easily scalable, which means it’s something every business can do.

How do you create a targeted email marketing campaign?

When the time comes to create a targeted email marketing campaign, it doesn’t need to be a long and drawn-out process. In fact, if your organisation already sends out email communications to your customers, you likely already have everything in place to ensure it’s targeted.

Follow the below guide to make the first steps towards creating your own targeted email marketing campaigns.

Set targets

Before you begin putting your targeted email marketing campaign together, you first need to understand its goals. Is it to increase sales, boost customer retention, or re-engage dormant customers? When you know the goal you want to achieve – which should align with the overall goals of your business – you can begin setting specific targets that will allow you to determine the success of your campaign.

Gather your data

Gathering data so you can understand your audience is possibly the most important aspect of ensuring an effective targeted email marketing campaign.

When a customer agrees to sign up to your email list, you can use data you have related to their purchase history, browsing history and more to segment your audience so you can send them personalised and relevant communications.

You can also use data related to demographics, such as age, gender and location, and depending on the data you collate, possibly their profession and income as well.

If you have a strong omnichannel marketing strategy, you could also have data related to how your customers engage with you on other channels, including social media.

Segment your customers

Once you have your customers, you can segment them to produce lists that mean customers fit a specific demographic, interest, location or need.

You can also segment your customers based on behaviours. For example, you could send a different offer or discount to customers who haven’t engaged with your website in a while, compared to one who makes a purchase once a month.

Once you have your segments, you can use the data you have to understand what they want and when they want it, and what their common pain points might be. That way, you can think about what to send them and at what time to ensure maximum engagement.

Create personalised emails

Now that you know which segments of your customer base are most likely to engage with your content, it’s time to start writing some emails. As highlighted above, one of the benefits of targeted email marketing is that you can do some A/B testing, so you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket right away. Try out a few different methods to see what works, what doesn’t and what can be tweaked to increase effectiveness.

One of the most important things to remember when creating a targeted email marketing campaign is ensuring it's as personalised as it can be. No customers want to feel like a number, which is likely how they’ll feel if you contact them with content or offers that aren’t relevant to them. Always keep personalisation at the forefront when creating emails, which will help keep those all-important engagement rates up while keeping those pesky unsubscribe rates low. 

Analyse the performance of your campaign 

After every campaign, it’s important to collate and analyse data to see how it performed and whether or not it met its targets. Has your campaign contributed towards increased revenue? Have you seen a decrease in the rate of unsubscribes? Use all the data you have to determine the effectiveness of your targeted campaign.

Ensure you integrate your email marketing platform with other tools to help you gather data so you can analyse campaign performance and put together actionable insights. For example, Apteco Orbit is an intuitive platform that helps you manage campaigns and analyse data that allows you to make changes to your email campaigns to drive continuous improvement.

How should you support a targeted email marketing strategy?

Even with a strong targeted email marketing strategy, you still need to support it to make it as effective as possible. To do this, you should consider the following:

  • Build a quality email list that your customers opt into, which can be promoted on your website and social channels. An email list built with engaged customers will always perform better than one obtained elsewhere – it also ensures you’re compliant with data protection laws.
  • Create content that you know your customers will want to engage with based on data you should already have. Use visuals and copy to tell a story that your customers will want to engage with.
  • Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Almost half (49%) of emails are opened on a mobile device, so if your emails aren’t mobile-friendly you’re potentially alienating half your customers.
  • Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many emails. Even if every email you send is highly personalised, you’ll soon find your unsubscribe rates increasing if you land in inboxes too often. Consistency is key.
  • Use an omnichannel marketing approach so you can offer a seamless customer experience regardless of how your customers engage with your brand.
  • Nurture leads using sequences to guide customers through the sales funnel. This usually applies to large or expensive purchases or anything B2B.

Email marketing with Apeco Orbit

Now that you know more about the power of targeted email marketing, you can start planning your own to drive engagement and increase revenue. Learn more about Apteco Orbit’s email marketing capability and how it can boost your targeted email marketing services.


Streamline your email automation
Olivia Parkes

Digital Marketing and Media Specialist

Olivia joined the Apteco team in 2022 to boost the Apteco brand, improve the Search Engine Optimisation, create engaging content to push the Apteco platforms as well as sponsored advertisements. Olivia is CIM qualified and has seven years of marketing experience working in a variety of sectors.

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