Why Your Ecommerce Business Should Send Targeted Emails

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By Miva | January 19, 2018
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Not all shoppers are the same. So, not all shoppers should receive the same marketing email, right? That’s correct. Some might argue that sending an email to a massive list of potential customers can increase visibility to your brand and products. Sure, this is partially true, but mass emailing can also devalue your brand by earning you the reputation of a spammer if the content distributed is not relevant to the recipients.

Targeting is the latest trend sweeping email marketing in an effort to increase conversions. Online marketers are slicing and dicing email lists by user behavior and demographical information to create a narrowed-down database of customer data. More studies are being conducted to show the undeniable value in email targeting.

We’ve compiled a quick list of tips and key benefits of email targeting your ecommerce business can implement to improve their marketing efforts for 2018.


One of the biggest benefits of email targeting is identifying segments to categorize your customers. These customer profiles can then be used to develop specific messaging, tailored to your different customer segments. Consumers are more likely to engage with and ultimately convert when messaging resonates with them.

Businesses can identify a variety of factors and characteristics to segment customers like user behavior and demographic information. Online businesses must have a stockpile of customer data in order to properly segment customers.

Segmentation Types

  • Demographics – Age, gender, industry, job function, and location.
  • Past purchases – Products customers have previously purchased and might be interested in.
  • Amount spent – Some customers are worth more than others. Segmenting by ‘amount spent’ shows you how much a particular customer spends on average, per order. This can also be used to determine the customer lifetime value (CLTV).
  • Frequent buyers – Create a list of customers who purchase from your ecommerce store regularly.
  • Time since last purchase – Create a list to show the last time customers made a purchase. You can use this data to reactivate customers who haven’t purchased recently.


Marketing automation service providers typically charge a premium based on the quantity of recipients included on each email send. Pushing out an email to a general distribution list can cause your business to incur a significant amount of wasted expenses. Creating defined, segmented lists can reduce needless expenses and increase profitability by only communicating with qualified leads.

Different points within sales cycles. Your roster of potential customers includes leads that are in different points within your sales cycle. In other words, some customers may be more ready to buy, while others have still not received the information needed to connect with your brand and convert. That said, not all customers should receive the same messaging. For example, a customer that is further along in your sales cycle should not receive marketing emails with introductory jargon used to appeal to new customers. Instead, try persuading them to convert with messaging that incorporates with more technical product features.

Frequent Communication

Customers generally don’t mind frequent communication from brands they purchase regularly from. Recipients are also less likely to unsubscribe or mark emails as spam when the information received is relevant. However, frequent email distribution should only occur when appropriate. Not all email content needs to be shared frequently, and you don’t want spam to jeopardize sales.

When to send frequent emails

  • New products
  • New promotions
  • Special events
  • Seasonal products
  • Limited-time sales

Better Results

Engagement increases when targeted emails reach the right people. Studies have proven that targeted emails deliver better open rates, increased clicks, and better ROI. Targeted emails also add more value to metrics by generating more accurate results.

“14.31% higher than non-segmented campaigns” (MailChimp)

Miva technical partner and leading marketing automation provider, MailChimp, created a reference chart to show benchmark engagement and campaign statistics by industry, see chart here.

Businesses can be slow to adopt email targeting strategies because of challenges in harnessing new technologies and having the internal resources to manage big data. However, now is the time to start segmenting customers as the value of customer data continues to increase.

Implementing these tips and recognizing the benefits of email marketing are just the first steps to building a foundation for a successful email marketing strategy. Follow up the initial steps with email metrics analysis. The findings should identify opportunities to adjust messaging and frequency to determine what will be most helpful in getting customers to convert. It’s important to remember that email marketing is an ongoing process, and it does take time.

Learn how to write captivating marketing emails in this free guide.


About The Author

Katy Ellquist

Katy Ellquist, Miva’s Digital Marketing Strategist, is an accomplished writer, marketer, and social media analyst who has created sophisticated content campaigns for a broad range of professional clients. She brings to Miva a complex understanding of ecommerce trends and techniques, building upon extensive digital agency experience and a prior role as direct liaison to Miva’s top accounts. Katy is a regular contributor to the Miva blog, covering essential ecommerce topics like design & development strategy, site optimization, and omnichannel selling, with the goal of increasing the actionable knowledgebase of the entire Miva community.

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Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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