Performance Expands When Campaign Focus Tightens

This is week 2 of MDR’s Email Best Practices series

Wanted: Adult human. Interests: Everything I sell.

Would you respond to an ad like this? Or would you prefer one that speaks directly to you as a middle school science teacher and that clearly explains how a product will help your students?

Match Your Goal to Your Audience to Your Message

With educators, everything is about time, and how little of it they have. MDR has experience sending emails to educators on behalf of our clients every day. We know that to make an impact, you need to respect educators’ attention and be “Johnny on the Spot” with a relevant, targeted solution to their pain point of the moment. The formula below can help you develop campaigns that can achieve a specific goal by reaching the right audience with a relevant message.

Formula 

Defining Your Goal

Putting your product in every classroom in America can be a worthy goal. But you won’t get there in one bite. A targeted, relevant campaign starts with a specific, realistic goal tied to a unique audience. For example, an app on the constitution principles is generally relevant only to social studies and history classrooms at a certain grade level. Not every classroom would benefit from such an app. The more focused the campaign, the more you can learn from what does and does not work.

Key Takeaway: Make campaign goals specific, realistic, and measureable.

Segmenting the Audience

Similarly, a high school algebra teacher wouldn’t be interested in buying or even reading about a constitution study app for his classroom, though he may be interested in one that simplifies working through the quadratic equation. Understanding your unique audience ensures that your message reaches the right person. How do you know who that is? Think about who can use, buy, consume, or benefit from what you are offering and the data you can use to narrow it down. Everyone in a school district cannot be the right influencer or decision-maker for your product or service. Think about who benefits most from your offering to decide which administrators, principals, or teachers are the most likely to take action. Maybe it is a teacher at a specific grade level or a principal in a specific district. Does state matter? Get granular where you can and use all the information you have at your disposal to compile the most unique audience for your message.

Key Takeaway: Segment your list by narrowing to a specific unique audience.

Crafting the Message

Once you’ve segmented the audience to match your goal, it should be easier to develop messaging that speaks directly to what they care about. Educators always want to know, “What will this do for my kids?” Tell them. Relevant, useful information gets emails opened.

There’s a world of difference between “This product does X” and “6th grade science teachers like you found that using our product improved chemistry test scores by 40% within one month.” Focusing your message on relevant, useful, specific talking points is the kind of best practice that transforms a generic email into a persuasive message that generates interest, and therefore opens and clicks.  

Key Takeaway: Tell them how YOUR product solves THEIR problem.

Reaching the Audience

Now you have defined your specific goal, identified your unique audience, and crafted an appropriate message. Next step is to break your email campaign down into smaller, targeted deployments. MDR email specialists confirm: you’re guaranteed to get better results from a series of tightly focused deployments than one mass-blast that goes to everyone…but engages no one. Better to run multiple, highly focused campaigns you can learn from than one mass-blast that delivers little and teaches you nothing.

Chart.Week 2.v2

As MDR Vice President of Product Marketing Kevin Stein says, “In email campaigns, size does matter. We’ve seen that campaign lists smaller than 50,000 perform far better than those above that number. Sending 100,000-200,000 emails out to a prospecting list is likely to get your emails soft blocked, hard blocked, or get your sending domain blacklisted, especially in the education vertical.”

Key Takeaway: Less than 50,000 is the sweet spot in email campaign size. Segment until you get there.

Zoom in. Being focused in terms of goals, more targeted in your audience selection, and more on point in your messaging is the path to improved campaign performance. Remember…Deploy, measure, refine, and repeat.


About MDR: Build your brand, champion a cause and/or inspire a child by leveraging our suite of email marketing, market intelligence, creative services, database and technology. Deliver relevant content and create meaningful connections with millions of educators, parents, and children who can benefit from your organization with our unique connectivity to the market. Speak directly to your desired audience through our WeAreTeachers, WeAreParents and EdNET communities. Align your brand with the most trusted partner in education marketing, MDR.

Proof Point

See how segmentation works in real life. Learn how PBS applied targeting to improve email marketing results.

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