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There are many issues that a marketer must grapple with when it comes to email campaign management. One of the most significant is the basic question of whether it is better to simply send out huge email blasts or target email messaging to specific audiences. At first glance, the former may seem preferable. After all, the more emails you send, the bigger your audience, and the bigger your audience, the more potential customers you’ll reach. It’s also simpler and less time-consuming to just send out a huge mass email to a big audience, rather segmenting your audience and creating more targeted content for key segments.

However, as numerous industry experts have highlighted, targeted email campaigns tend to be more effective and more efficient than mass email blasts. Here are three reasons that is the case.

Better appeal

As a consumer, are you more likely to open, read and respond to an email with a very generic, mass-appeal offer or one that is particularly relevant to you based on your interests or purchase history? Chances are, you’re more likely to engage with the more relevant and targeted email. This is basic human nature and marketing strategy. Recipients who feel that a particular email message doesn’t relate to their needs or wants, likely won’t be receptive to the marketer’s message. The nature of a mass email is to appeal to as many people as possible. But in so doing, they typically become very broad and generic in their messaging, making it less likely to appeal to any particular individual.


Targeted messages, with their greater degree of relevance to individual audience members, are simply more likely to drive higher conversion rates and more sales.  Retargeting emails are a great example of this fact. Sending a recent site visitor an email promoting products they actually viewed will typically drive more responses than a generic ‘come back and visit again!’ message. This principle is the foundation of the entire retargeting/remarketing industry.

Efficiency and ROI

Simply deploying generic, mass emails may seem like a simpler and more efficient strategy for email marketers. Establishing target audience segments in your list, crafting relevant content for each segment, and then deploying multiple different email campaigns is obviously more time-consuming than the generic blast approach. However, it is important to factor email performance into your overall efficiency calculation. It isn’t just about the time spent on the campaign, it is about the performance it generates, in relation to the expense. There is certainly a point at which excessive targeting (like true 1-to-1 individual messaging, that isn’t driven by marketing automation) can become overly burdensome and will not drive enough incremental return to offset the expense. However, most marketers will find that a degree of targeting and audience segmentation is more than worth the effort.

…and one more advantage.

Improved reputation

Beyond actual performance and ROI, more relevant email can help support your brand reputation. Because they seem impersonal and generic (which they are), people tend to dislike email blasts. These types of marketing messages are the ones that consumers are likely to think of as spam. As a result, a company that regularly sends generic email blasts can quickly gain a negative, perception in the eyes of recipients. Even if this reputation has little to nothing to do with the products or services the company offers, it may still have a negative impact on the company’s ability to attract new customers and keep the ones they already have. By creating more relevant, targeted messages, a company can help develop and maintain a positive reputation with their audiences.

By: Tom Wozniak, Executive Director of Marketing