News and tips from the industry leaders in email compliance.

Email Marketing Tip – What is Negative Targeting?

One of the biggest benefits of email marketing is the ability to deliver very targeted content to specific recipients. This is achieved partly by developing an effective audience targeting strategy. Audience targeting can take on various forms and be fairly broad or very narrowly focused, depending on the needs of the marketer and the complexity of their audience.

One of the biggest challenges in executing a successful audience targeting strategy is actually figuring out the best way to identify various audience segments within your overall database. In some cases, you know they are in there, but you may not have an easy way to identify them, based on the data you have collected. The standard approach to audience targeting is to identify some defining characteristics of your target audience (demographic, psychographic, behavioral, etc.) and then connect that to a piece of data you have collected from your audience that would easily identify them as belonging to your target. 

This method works well for many basic demographic data points (age, gender, geographic location, etc.) but particularly when you want to focus on certain behaviors, it can get more challenging. It may be easy to identify people who have made a previous purchase or otherwise responded to a marketing campaign. But, in many cases, it may actually be easier to identify people who don’t fit into your target audience within your database and suppress them from your list. Here are a few quick examples:

Targeting Non-Responders
You may want a campaign targeted toward recipients who have never engaged with any previous email campaigns, with some updated messaging or a special re-engagement campaign. It may actually be easier to identify this audience of non-responders by suppressing or negatively targeting every recipient who has previously responded. Responders are typically easily identifiable in your database and can then be used as a suppression file to effectively target non-responders.

Targeting Non-Customers
Many marketers work to ensure that aggressive acquisition offers are only received by prospective customers. There are many benefits of this approach, but the most common is that current customers may not qualify to take advantage of an acquisition offer. So, exposing customers to these offers that are typically much better than they are currently paying simply creates a negative customer experience. This can sometimes lead to higher customer churn, as previously satisfied customers now are unhappy with their status. So, pulling a list of all customers and using it as a suppression file on these types of campaigns can be a great way to maintain current customer satisfaction, as well as reducing mailing costs.

For more info on leveraging negative targeting, you can check out this recent blog post we contributed to Only Influencers or in OPTIZMO’s Guide to Suppression List Management.

Share This