At the end of 2011, we talked about reasons subscriber preferences should be top priority and asked if you’re marketing to the right audience. The reason for this was simple: you should deliver the most relevant content possible in order to get the best results. If you’re curious what other email marketers feel about this, we now have the answers.

2,735 email marketers contributed to the 2012 MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report. Not only did the stats show that targeting your audience is a successful strategy, but Sherpa devoted an entire chapter to creating relevant content.

Today, we’ll focus on what the report recommends doing in order to send relevant content to your subscribers.

Most Effective Test: Target Audience

Most email marketers do not test; 58% reported they don’t perform any testing, but the number who are testing has increased significantly over the last year. The most popular element to test is the subject line, but it’s only the third most effective.

The most effective element to test is the target audience. Take a look at this graph:

You’ll notice that target audience and landing page are neck-and-neck for the most effective.

Why is testing the target audience the most effective? If you’re able to determine your target audience, you’re able to create more relevant emails. More relevant emails means more engagement, and better subscriber retention.

Most Effective at Delivering Relevant Content: Segment Based on Behavior

When reporting on how they created relevant content, marketers said segmenting based on behavior and triggered emails were the most effective ways.

Take a look at this chart:

This makes perfect sense, since testing for target audience involves segmenting, and the reason that test is the most effective is because it helps you deliver relevant content. Triggered emails can be the result of segmenting based on behavior, such as moving someone from a prospect to buyer’s list, which also allows for more relevant content.

And It’s Not Hard!

It’s easy to talk about how effective certain tactics are, but doing them is a different matter. Segmenting based on behavior was determined to be one of the more difficult things to do, but AWeber helps make it easy for you.

You can:

  • Create a segment by using the search box to enter the parameters you’re interested in, then name and save the results
  • Check out the QuickStats on Broadcast messages, and save segments with just a click of a button
  • Easily select which segment you want to send a broadcast to when creating your message
  • Use automation to manage different lists based on subscribers’ actions

Want to Learn More From the 2012 Benchmark Report?

MarketingSherpa is a research firm that’s all about finding out what works and what doesn’t in marketing. They gather data from hundreds of businesses via case studies, surveys and lab tests every year. Join us at the 2012 MarketingSherpa Email Summit in Las Vegas February 7-10. You can also purchase the 2012 Benchmark Report here.

Stay tuned for more of our analyses on the 2012 Report!

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