“Know your audience” is a mantra every modern marketer lives by, but what does it mean exactly?

More specifically, how can you apply intimate knowledge about your target market to your email marketing effort? When is personalisation too personal? When should you err on the side of caution?

This blog post assumes that you’ve got a pretty good handle on your audience, but it also assumes that you’re unsure about how best to approach it.

With that in mind, I’ve picked out four examples of emails that clearly know their audience well enough to tempt recipients to click-through to those all-important landing pages:

1) Firebox

How many emails did you receive this week with the following emoji in the subject line?

Very few – if any – I’d guess. That is, unless you happen to be a member of Firebox’s target audience.

The online retailer knows that the people who buy their products aren’t easily offended, like a laugh and are inclined to buy presents for their friends that will be the talking point of parties for years to come.

That’s why they can get away with this header image:

…and the following featured products:

They’re clearly not afraid to go for the jugular when it comes to email content if it means precisely targeting just the right people for the campaign.

2) Epsilon

Now for something entirely different.

The following email from Epsilon is the polar opposite of our Firebox example above. In comparison, it’s cold, uninspiring and ready for nothing more than the trash folder – unless you happen to be an aspiring marketer:

Once again, they clearly know their audience, and even if you happen to be fond of a Firebox purchase at home, your marketing instincts at work will still kick in if you receive this email on the same day thanks to an inviting subject line and clear call-to-action.

3) Gorillaz

It’s encouraging to see that the music industry still values email marketing as a significantly important channel for publicising new releases.

This email from Damon Albarn’s pet project, Gorillaz, shows how important design language is when tuning an email for the desired audience:

There’s very little text, with the focus instead on furthering the band’s image by adorning the email with what one could safely assume is the album cover.

The reason for this is simple: the marketers behind the email understand that fans of the band need nothing more than some enticing imagery and simple instructions on how to purchase any new material. And boy does it deliver on that front!

4) Izotope

Now, let’s look at a niche market. Izotope develops and supplies products for music producers, and with a relatively small audience base to hit, it’s vital their message is on point and capable inciting immediate engagement.

They start with a header image that assumes the recipient will understand the lingo and appreciate the gesture of an offer (who wouldn’t?):

So, should we expect a lengthy email extolling the benefits of the product on offer? Not at all! Because the audience is likely to be expecting specific benefits and features, that’s exactly what the rest of the email focuses on delivering.

The body copy is therefore somewhat technical for the uninitiated, but just what potential customers will want to read:

The takeaway

The examples above illustrate the importance of maintaining great email subscriber lists, but they’re also a timely reminder that unsubscribes will take place and shouldn’t be feared.

Get the content of your email just right, and the best customers will come flocking to your door, while those who are simply clogging up your lists and muddying the metrics will disappear for good.


Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

Follow me on googleplus Google Plus