Last week, soulpepper’s own Katherine Field introduced you to the fundamentals of effective email marketing, beginning with how to choose your Email Service Provider and configuring it to address your particular needs. In Part 2, Katherine reveals some little known ways she gets open rates to jump and revenues to skyrocket.

Email Marketing Strategies for CEOs

Segmentation and Personalization

Segmentation and personalization is all about finding out who you’re talking to, and then talking to them separately, in a way that’s meaningful to them as an individual. In other words, segmentation is breaking your email list into groups and personalization is sending targeted emails to each group. It’s about thinking of your subscribers as real people, not just numbers on your Analytics Dashboard. Then intentionally tailoring your promotions, creative and content to reach them. The magic happens when you’re doing that for 100,000 people, all at the same time.

The more you segment, the more your open rates jump

There are some very effective ways you can segment your users by purchasing behavior. If you’ve got a hardware company, for example, you might segment based on a tool they’re using. If someone’s only interested in garden tools and another person is only interested in paint, then you can segment along those lines to keep both actively engaged. The more you segment, the more you’ll see your open rates jump. Guaranteed. It takes a bit more time, but it’s worth it because it’s based on real world purchasing behaviors.

Conduct regular RFM Analysis and watch your revenues skyrocket

RFM stands for the Reach, Frequency and Monetary value of each customer. Here’s how you do it. Assign customers rankings as a way to sort them. Break them into four groups based on how frequently they open your emails. Then segment those into four categories based on the value of their spending (typically their last spend), and four categories based on when they last purchased from you. Now you can accurately segment them based on behavior and preferences. When you’re done, your list will typically look something like this:


These are the people who buy most frequently and spend the most money. Use your email campaign as way to reward them for being your best customers.

Loyal Joes

They may not spend a lot of money, but they always buy. This is where seasonal emails are very effective.

Discount Hunters

These people only buy when there’s a discount. So give ‘em a “buy four get one free” to engage them to take action and boost your overall sales numbers.

Never Mores

These are people who used to be awesome but never buy anymore. Or they might be people who used to be awesome who are moving to never buy. It’s critical you interrupt the pattern before they unsubscribe, when you’ve lost them forever. For this segment, it’s useful to engage in a conversation. “Hey, we miss you!” or give them a special “Because we love you offer” to entice them back. Any kind of customer feedback at this point is gold, so don’t be afraid to ask. Then act on their feedback.

Post purchasing campaigns guarantee more sales

Another effective tactic is what we call post purchasing. There are lots of different conversations you can have with someone who has just purchased something from you. How was it? Did you like it? Have you told anyone else about it? Suggest accessories or maintenance purchases. If they are a good customer, you can try to upsell them to purchase another product. That’s what a really effective post purchase campaign is about. And the beauty is that it’s all automated.

The often overlooked replenishment campaign

Replenishment campaigns are an exciting variation of the post purchase campaign, but employed further down the line. It’s a great way to promote maintenance purchases related to an earlier purchase at relevant intervals (like oil every six weeks for a lawnmower purchase). Think about what additional products or services your customers might be inclined to buy that either extend the life, value or convenience of their original purchase. Heck, they may even thank you for continuing to think of them after the sale was completed.

Don’t forget to say thank you!

Thank you campaigns are a simple and easy way to recognize and connect with subscribers. Simply thanking them for signing up so that they’ll be happy and stay on your list serve for the long term takes zero effort but can pay big dividends. Politeness, courtesy and letting your customers know you genuinely care and value them, can go a long way in establishing a roster of active clients for a lifetime.

Be sure to check out next week’s installment when Katherine shares innovative ways to test and optimize your email campaigns to guarantee outstanding returns.


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Written by Rik Klingle-Watt

About the author

Rik Klingle-Watt is a soulpepper and the writer of Not Business as Usual, an award-winning documentary about disrupting the business quo.

soulpepper is a digital marketing agency on a mission. We help companies that are up to something good, increase leads, attract more customers and drive more dollars to their bottom line. Check out our newsletter for more great ideas on how to build your e-commerce empire.