Tim Stevens
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Why it’s about who you Target, not the content you send

Why It's about your target market

We are seeing many businesses pause or reduce their email marketing communications due to the Covid-19 outbreak or at the very least, their regular emails are being reviewed and repurposed to ensure they are appropriate.

If you’re finding you’re sending out regular marketing emails which seem to be well received and popular, but which don’t have a click-through rate as high as you’d like, you’re not alone.

Could it be that you’re focusing too much on what you are sending, and not enough on who you’re sending your content to?

That was certainly the case for the highly respected Wokingham-based direct marketing guru Drayton Bird, described by Ogilvy & Mather founder David Ogilvy as knowing ‘more about direct marketing than anyone else in the world’.

Drayton Bird’s company’s target list for emails comprised mainly copywriters, and a comparatively low proportion of business owners. So, while the copywriters were being complimentary about the content sent, and took an interest in it, they weren’t the ones making the decisions, resulting in the low click-through rate.

It was only when Bird realised this, and focused on the list rather than content, that he began to see the results he wanted. We couldn’t put it better than the man himself (after all he creates content for a living) when he says:

“Your list is always going to be more critical than your copy. Or, in plain language, targeting matters more than creative.”

Reach the decision makers

Given the length of time it can take for an organisation to make a decision, not least a significant one, even the best creative content will represent wasted effort if it doesn’t end up in the hands of the right decision-makers.

Your email won’t receive a reply and will be lost in the endless digital noise unless you’re lucky enough to reach someone at the same time as they happen to have an urgent requirement for what you’re offering.

The blunt reality is that your list and targeting are always going to matter more than your creative copy. Targeting genuine potential clients will always yield better results than the strongest email ever written if it reaches an irrelevant recipient. It’s simply not enough for your marketing emails just to be read with interest if they don’t ultimately lead to a sale.

In particular, the present circumstances and upheaval caused by the pandemic mean people are working reduced hours, or potentially being furloughed, or ultimately may not return to their old roles at all. Accuracy of contact data has rarely been more important.

Who's on your list?

So, who is on your list? How do you make sure you’re targeting the right people with up-to-date, compliant data?

EMEA data specialist i-4business offers unlimited data queries so you can refine your contact lists to be precisely targeted across the EMEA region. You also have the option of an unlimited 14-day free trial of the EMEA enterprise contact database, further enabling marketing teams to check they’re targeting the right audience before incurring the cost of a full mailing.

If you already hold a contact database there is also the option of a free data audit from i-4business, to check the quality in terms of possible inaccurate targeting that is reducing the effectiveness of your mailings.

To book your free data trial or audit, please get in touch with one of the i-4business team today.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 but has been updated to better reflect the changed B2B market as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.