I often write about how important it is to segment your lists and the many ways you can do that whether it is by demographics and purchase behavior, or by email stream or type. Today, there is absolutely no reason why you should be sending one, generic message to your entire list.  If you want to maximize ROI and response to your email, you need to segment and speak to your subscribers in a genuine, personalized, way. We say it all the time, but by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you will reach optimum results. The most effective way to do this is by segmenting your lists and sending them customized messages.

Personalization in Practice

I have received many different types of messages that have been targeted specifically for me—shopping cart abandonment emails, special deals based on past purchases, or reminders to activate my account for a social app, (let’s be honest, I’m easily marketed to) but just last week I got an email from United Airlines that I thought was a creative, different, way to use behavioral and action based targeting.

My husband and I are celebrating our ten-year wedding anniversary this August. We have been discussing taking a trip to celebrate and during a spare moment last weekend, I began daydreaming different options for a vacation. I have always wanted to go to Greece and I went to www.united.com, logged into my Mileage Plus account, and began searching for vacations to Greece in the month of August. I got distracted by other things and after doing my initial search, I moved on to different weekend activities.

Five days later I thought someone had read my mind when I received the following email from United:

The advantage of using my user behavior and the knowledge that I have a desire to travel within the email, created the perfect storm—a captive audience. As soon as I saw “Carly, Athens is waiting for you,” I was ready to read whatever they had to say, because I knew the message contained a certain value to me.

Once again, when the anticipation is met, the audience is captivated, the message is received in a timely manner, and the content is relevant, the only logical step from there is action. I immediately clicked on the call to action to search flights and guess what? My husband and I are booked on a 10-day trip to Greece in August!

Now, to be completely transparent, I didn’t end up booking our tickets to Athens with United. I did check on the United site and took the action they drove me to. However, I also did the same search on other travel sites. And while United may have offered me the lowest “United” fare, Travelocity gave me their lower fare, which was considerably cheaper. A lesson for all sending email, once you have perfected your email campaign, make sure that you drive your captive audience to take the action that will benefit you.

For more advice on how to segment your lists, check out our Email Segmentation Strategies guide here.

Carly Brantz
With more than 15 years of experience, Carly Brantz is an email deliverability and inbound marketing veteran. As the VP of Revenue Marketing at SendGrid, Carly empowers her team to transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator. With a key focus on funnel optimization, Carly leads the team responsible for content creation, lead nurturing, SEO/SEM, and website optimization. An accomplished speaker, Carly shares her email delivery and revenue marketing tactics as a headline speaker on SendGrid’s international roadshow as well as other Marketing conferences.