How much time per week are you spending on your targeted email marketing campaigns? An hour? Maybe even less?

Even if you’re spending 5 hours or more every week, not utilizing the right strategies your email campaigns might be falling right on their collective faces.

To be a targeted email marketing expert, you need to start thinking like one.

Consider the emails you receive that cause you to take action.

Was it a specific offer? Did it cause a positive emotional response? Did the email just happen to come into your inbox at the exact right time?

There are many different ways that targeted email marketing can increase your business revenue and solidify your branding.

In this article, we’re going to explore the top 7 ways that you can get huge returns from targeted email marketing.

1. Build a Quality List

This is where it all begins. It’s also the part that many businesses struggle to achieve.

Popups have become absolutely brutal while navigating almost any site. They are everywhere.

But when one pops-up saying something like “Join our email list to get new recipes delivered to your inbox every single day!”, what do you do?

If you’re anything like me, you immediately start looking at how to click away from the popup. Some pop-ups have become extra annoying. They don’t show you the “X” to click off of it, so you feel like you’re trapped. What to do then? Instantly leave the site!

This is not the way to build a quality email list. It is, however, a way to chase people away before they even explore your content!

Unless you have an absolutely ridiculous offer that someone will receive just for giving you their email (a free oil change, for example), skip the popups.

So how do you build your list? Here are some high-performing techniques:

  • After a sale, offer a substantial discount code for a customer on their next purchase for providing their email on this purchase. These emails will be extremely valuable.
  • Conversely, offer a discount code for providing an email on the current purchase if the customer hasn’t already given it to you.
  • Use your social media following. Set up a quick web form to direct them to for signup. Make it clear that only people on the email list will receive exclusive offers, products or discounts. Make the signup process quick and simple.
  • If you have a brick and mortar store, ask everyone at checkout if they would like to receive exclusive offers by joining your list. You’ll be surprised how many provide it.
  • Always make signup simple but make it double opt-in. This weeds out junk emails.
  • Always provide value (or a very high perceived value) when you ask for an email. “Getting our weekly newsletter” doesn’t cut it anymore.

Once you start building a quality list your targeted email marketing will automatically start to improve.

2. Make Sure All Emails Are Personalized

Personalizing each email with “Hi Jessie!” instantly engages the reader.

People like hearing their own name. It makes them feel unique, not just one of the masses that are getting sent this email.

The bombardment of emails we all get makes it hard for yours to stand out. By starting out with a personalized greeting, you have gained yourself a few extra seconds of the reader’s time. This helps them get to your message.

Once they get to your message, your first line better be powerful.

More on that later.

3. Emojis in Your Subject Line Helps You Stand Out

Look at your inbox right now. What do you see? Words, words and more words right?

Hundreds of words garbled together seems like a daunting task to get through. So what happens? You end of going through your inbox and deleting dozens of emails without even opening them.

We all do it.

Most of us use emojis in our personal conversations. It’s a fun way to express ourselves. When you incorporate a few emojis in your email’s subject line, it gets the reader’s attention. It makes them feel like it’s personal, and they are more likely to open it.

It also cuts through the overwhelming stream of words. Then they should see, “Hey Becky!” and you’re on your way.

4. Constantly Be Testing the Times of Your Targeted Email Marketing Sends

In targeted email marketing, it’s all about the time your emails hit. There’s no hard or fast rule on this. It varies based on your business type.

For example, if you’re a bar owner and want to announce an unexpected two-for-one night that evening, you probably don’t want to send it in the morning.

The best time to send would be about an hour before office people are leaving work.

Send your emails when it makes the most logical sense for your business. Remember, most people have push notifications on their phones when they receive an email. Make your message timely to get it opened.

In addition, always be testing. Separate your email list into 4 different groups and send the identical email at 4 different times.

Then dive into the analytics and sales results.

A major study of 20 million emails showed that 11 a.m. Eastern Time had the highest open rate. That may or may not be true for you, but I would suggest using that time for one of your sends and seeing for yourself.

A major key to targeted email marketing is always be testing your send times.

5. Have a Custom and Fully Responsive Email Template Designed

Yes, services like Constant Contact and MailChimp offer many responsive templates for free.

However, today’s consumers are very sophisticated. They know right away they are getting an email from one of these services.

It can make you look a little small time.

To stand out and look like a big player in your industry, have a custom email template designed. However, make sure that the template is fully responsive on all devices.

A whopping 66% of all emails are now viewed on mobile devices or tablets. If you have a template that doesn’t format properly on mobile, you’re going to lose the vast majority of those readers almost instantly.

Just like with your website, responsiveness is no longer an after-thought. It’s an absolute must.

6. Always Include a Direct Call to Action

Ending an email with “These patio sets are on sale now thru June 1st” is not going to be effective. All that does is tell the reader they have plenty of time to think it over.

Then minutes later, they forget all about your email.

An effective targeted email marketing campaign tells a reader why to take action now, and how to go about it.

“If you don’t click here by midnight Central time, this one-time offer will be gone for good.”

That directs action and creates more sales.

It’s also a great idea to include an instant call to action in your subject line.

“Open Me Before it’s too late!” would be an example of how to include a call to action in a subject line. I’m sure you can think of many more that make sense for your business.

Never assume a reader knows how to take advantage of what you’re offering. Always tell them what they need to do in a way that creates urgency.

For e-commerce sites, choose the best platform that makes converting the sale easy on the customer.

7. Write Good Copy. Pour Over Every Word. Test, Test, Test.

You’ve got the reader’s attention. They’ve opened your email.

Now, what message do you have that will get them to the next level?

The opening line of your email is where it’s at. Make it personal. Make it impactful. Use power words to get the reader to keep reading past the opening line.

When you do your testing, play with the wording of your opening line and again, segregate your list into 4 parts. After a few weeks of seeing what’s converting, it becomes much easier to write a great opening line.

Once you get past the opening line, get to your offer or message as quickly as possible. Make is short and concise. Avoid using too many words.

Write short sentences and paragraphs so there is a lot of white space. When people see 8 sentence paragraphs of words, it intimidates them out of reading your message.

After writing your copy, go back through and figure out which words you can remove.

For example, in the prior sentence, we had originally written, “After you’re done writing your ad copy, spend some time going back through it to figure out which of the words you can remove from it.”

See the difference?

Short and concise copy sells.


Make no mistake, targeted email marketing can and will bring you a world of success. But you have to spend the time to do it right.

If you’re in need of an experienced team with expertise in targeted email marketing, you need to get in touch and let us help you develop and deploy an effective strategy.

Otherwise, with these 7 tools, you’re well on your way to success!

Meet the Author:

Sam Shoemaker

Sam Shoemaker, Creative Services Manager

As Digital Strategist & Creative Director, Sam brings a balance of targeted creativity and analytical strategy to our client work. Sam's agency, non-profit, small business owner experience gives him a unique perspective on how marketing relates to both profit and workload. He’s passionate about building genuine relationships by asking the right questions and careful listening. He is a potter, arm-chair theologian, married to a wonderful wife, Megan, and has two retired greyhounds named Phoenix and Uber.