Successful Email Marketing through Audience Segmentation

Coffee-CupsInternet marketers tend to show some common traits.  From strange panda and pigeon jokes, to an excessive amount of coffee consumption- it is relatively easy to spot someone who works in the industry. With such a specialized group of people you might logically assume that their coffee orders would be somewhat uniform, yet we all know that’s not the case.  At IMI alone, we have iced coffee fanatics, mocha frap sweet tooths, stoic black coffee drinkers & free-lovin’ chai latte sipping hippies.

And that takes us to link building. (Really?)

Just think- if our specialized industry can’t agree on a cup of coffee, why would a list of webmasters and editors covering vastly different subjects, with different day jobs, living in different cities, share preferences on content and communication style when deciding which content piece to publish? Yet in 2014 internet marketers still pitch content using large email blasts, peddling identical pitches; and then cross fingers, and hope it works efficiently for hundreds of unique individuals. Do you see the set up for failure here? The truth is that the larger and more varied the audience, the lower the common denominator between them will be, and the less success you will see from your uniform outreach efforts. Here are 3 ways to get you started on a more successful approach:


Identify your influencers well in advance and follow them over social media. Re-tweet them and interact with them in a genuine way. It’s important to nurture this relationship a bit before asking for something in return (like a link).

Find the common denominator:

Customers-typesPeople love when other humans share their interests. Find something you have in common with every single person you are reaching out to, and cluster people together based on the interests you identify. Sports fans find deep comradery with those who support their team. The same is true with any hobby, profession, organization or interest- it’s a tribal mentality that surpasses logic and reason. If you can find a genuine interest you share with your target bloggers, your job will become much easier, and the results will be better.

Be yourself:

Are your pitches sounding genuine? If you’re doing a 100+ recipient email blast, they probably aren’t. The best way to form a relationship with an influencer is to actually be yourself, be real, and connect on something you share. Don’t try to sound overly sophisticated or pretend to be something you are not, it’s a tired shtick that has been tried a thousand times.


At this point, I will assume you are thinking “this sounds like a lot of work” – and it is. But so is any content marketing campaign- through ideation, creation, design, revisions, etc. it can take a team of people hundreds of hours to complete a professional-grade content piece. The promotion is the most important component. What is the purpose of great content that gets no exposure? An email blast is logical- you want to try to get the content shared by as many people and outlets as possible. But keep in mind, that the size of the audience you’re trying to reach isn’t the same as the size of the audience you’re able to reach. Going in a more personalized approach enables you to get quality links, a higher success rate, and maybe even a relationship you can use for the future.

Next time you go to send out an email blast- think of how you would feel if someone brought you a cup of your least favorite coffee variation, and think of how happy you would have been if they brought you exactly what you wanted.

One Response to “Successful Email Marketing through Audience Segmentation”

  1. Jesse

    Well stated Ross! I’ve always found outreach to be the most important aspect of link building. You can find all the link prospects you want and you can create all the intriguing content you want: if you can’t effectively persuade other authorities/influencers to link to it, all of your other efforts are (mostly) for naught. It’s much easier to build links with grade A outreach for grade B content than the vice-versa.


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