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Why are email marketers still not using segmentation and targeting?

Chart of the Day: We all know we should send targeted email marketing - so why aren't we?

"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it."
― Agatha Christie

From being young we are given good advice like, "don't eat mud", "fire is hot" or "don't eat too many sweets". I don't know about you, but I still ate mud, burnt my finger and binged on sherbert. Now we are adults, we are still given advice and email marketing is no different. We know that targeted marketing has a better Return on Investment (ROI) and engagement rate, but why don't we all do it?

In the below chart, we see that a plurality of companies across almost all industries still have no targeting and everyone gets the same message. Publishing and media seem to be the worst, at 56%. Whereas Online Advertising Network has 28% using all available segmentation and targeting methods and the lowest non-targeting score of 22%.

It's normal and healthy to question any advice given. But why do we not listen when the advice actually works? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Time - it's quicker to send a generic message out than targeted.
  • Cheap and outdated systems - if you have no investment in email marketing, you probably won't have a sophisticated Email Service Provider (ESP) that can do segmentation (although to be fair, most do)
  • Inexperience - you may feel overwhelmed, not sure where to start or used to the outdated way of email marketing
  • Outdated processes - if the company has outdated processes and doesn't fully understand the damage or advantages to targeting it can be difficult to start by yourself.

Some advice is easy and quick to change, but others are more difficult. And like much in this world, only you can change them. After my early experiences, I no longer eat mud, I'm careful around fire but I still eat way too many sweets. Oh well, 2 out of 3 isn't bad.

Email segmentation and targeting

By Kim Greenop-Gadsby

I am the Email Marketing Manager for Smart Insights. I manage all our email marketing and our automation platform. I get very excited about all things email because I'm just a #EmailGeekUK. I was born and bred in South Africa and have over 16 years experience in web development and digital marketing. When I'm not being an email geek, I spend my time with my husband, two sons and our menagerie of pets.

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