What You Didn’t Know About Geographic Targeting In Email
Columnist Jason Warnock suggests ways to take your triggered emails to the next level with geographic targeting.
Consumers are inundated with emails — and as inboxes grow crowded, clicks and engagement decline. This makes personalization more important than ever.
Yet most traditional email marketing campaigns fall short due to lack of personalization. We need to go beyond simple demographics, behaviors and purchase history when tailoring email campaigns.
With trigger-based email marketing, marketers can automate the deployment of email campaigns with pre-determined triggers on a regional or local basis to coincide with popular sporting, culture, weather or geography-specific events.
For instance, during the New York City marathon, Starbucks could offer “buy one, get one” coffee drinks via email the night before race day for spectators to use during the race. Or, a consumer brand like Crest could wish runners good luck before the race.
This provides an added layer of contextual relevancy to brand emails, and the data show that it works. Real-time email marketing campaigns based on consumers’ current locations and major geographic events have 2.5 times more open rates and double the amount of unique clicks than traditional email campaigns.
How To Use Geographic Triggers In Real-Time Email Marketing Campaigns
There are many unique ways marketers can use trigger-based geographic email targeting to increase engagement, including:
Local Sports Events
Brands in every industry can deliver personalized email marketing campaigns based on local sports team wins.
For a retailer in the Chicago market, an effective email subject line could be, “The Bears Beat the Packers! Half off all Bears Merchandise Today.” You can do this for major professional sports games, or even local college teams or athletic events, like a triathlon or marathon race.
You don’t have to be a sports apparel or goods retailer to use this approach. Brands like Target, CoverGirl and Whole Foods can also offer relevant deals to coincide with a Bears win or big touchdown play.
The benefit of this approach is twofold. Brands generate more email clicks and engagement, while showing that they care about what their consumers care about, even if it’s not directly related to the brand.
Brands can send email marketing campaigns based on unusual weather patterns and conditions. When creating email campaigns and weather triggers, it’s important to use a weather trigger that is unique to the season and makes your email stand out.
If the temperature reaches below freezing in New York City, Starbucks could offer a coupon for half-priced hot cocoas or winter-themed espressos with the email subject line, “Time for Mittens and Half-Priced Hot Cocoa at Starbucks.” A department store could also offer discounted trench coats during a particularly rainy week with the subject line, “Stay Dry and Stylish with Great Deals on Coats at Nordstrom.”
Corporate social responsibility and charitable giving are mainstays of major brands and organizations. Most brands already participate in events and giving initiatives in the local communities they target, so why not take it to the next level through triggered email marketing campaigns to subscribers in surrounding areas?
For example, an organization with a presence in Portland could offer to match charitable donations from consumers running or supporting the annual Holiday Half Marathon race with the subject line, “We’re Matching Your Donations to the Holiday Half.”
Tying email campaigns to charitable events or opportunities is a great way for brands to connect to consumers without selling. Sales emails and promotions fill consumers’ inboxes, so focusing on a charity can set your brand apart and build brand equity.
Trigger intelligence technology significantly improves email marketing performance, clicks and conversions. This fosters real-time conversations between customers and brands with highly personalized content based on what the customer is currently experiencing.
When considering geographic personalization, be sure to capture the essence of the region. You need to build relationships with an individual, not generic group of people. Marketers must go beyond simple location recognition to truly understand the culture and personality of the consumer who lives there, and tailor emails accordingly.