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Successful email marketing personalization isn’t rocket science; it’s essentially an exercise in relevance. If you send the right message to the right person at the right time, your email campaign will have a far greater chance of success.

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to personalize your campaigns is to send them based on previous purchases.

Start Early with Best Practices

This means starting early with best practices like careful email marketing segmentation.

Don’t fall into the lazy trap of thinking you’ll build your list quickly and worry about segmentation at a later stage when you’ve reached a critical mass of emails. This approach will ensure your marketing strategy is never really relevant and guarantee reduced success.

Note: If you have built up a sizeable list without segmentation, learn how one iContact client was able to segment a large percentage of his list by asking a simple question.

Laser-Focused Sends

The deeper your segmentation, the more relevant your sends will be. For example, a retailer selling footwear might want to segment its lists by gender and age. A simple breakdown of the email list into men’s, women’s, boy’s and girl’s shoes will enable the retailer to build specific campaigns that will be fairly well targeted.

But if you really want your email to work harder and smarter for you, you need to go much deeper. Breaking these segments down into brands, styles and individual shoe sizes will enable the retailer to deliver much more granular and therefore highly relevant campaigns.

Note: Some segments are more fluid than others. Kids’ feet get bigger every year. There is no point sending a campaign for shoes that would suit five-year-old children when they are approaching their teens. More sophisticated email marketers’ campaigns grow with their target audience.

Send More Emails to Fewer People

Remember, it’s better to send a well-targeted campaign to a smaller group of people than to send a mostly irrelevant campaign to a large group of people. Even if you only have 10 or 20 people in a particular segment, it’s worth creating an email campaign especially for them because it demonstrates your commitment to them as valued customers or clients. They are also much more likely to make a purchase based on such a highly targeted offer.

It also worth remembering to cut subscribers out of sends if they do not fit into the profile you want to target. For example, the shoe retailer wouldn’t want to target people with a particular style of shoe if they it out of stock of their individual sizes.

Easier Than It Sounds

Because email marketing is largely template driven – meaning specific offers can be copied and pasted into predesigned templates – personalized campaigns can be created and sent in just a few minutes. This means you can react in a timely fashion to your individual business’s needs.

If you need any support in creating new email marketing design templates or segmenting your lists in a more granular and targeted fashion, iContact has a team of email marketing professionals standing by and ready to help.

How do you ensure your marketing campaigns always hit their target and engage your subscriber base? Share your comments below:

This article originally appeared on iContact and has been republished with permission.