12 signs it’s time to implement a targeted CRM campaign strategy

02 juillet

Every company is different – from organizationational structure, goals, and challenges, to product lines and customer behavior… When it comes to CRM, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Then, how do you know when it’s time to consider targeted campaigns?

First off, let’s quickly define “targeted campaigns”. I don’t mean “automated triggers” (like abandoned cart) ; I mean one-off promotional campaigns that you would send to a fraction of your customer list (20%, for example) instead of everyone.

If you need a more in-depth explanation of these terms, check out this glossary!

Now, setting up a targeted campaign strategy is admittedly a little more work than just shooting out “Batch & Blast” newsletters… but it’s actually easier than most people think! (Stay tuned – our next piece on the topic of targeted campaigns will go over the best way to get started!)

But, how do you know when it’s time to start?

1. You’re not happy with your email engagement metrics

And I’m not talking about open rate, let’s get this out of the way. Open rates are about to get annihilated by Apple’s recent move on user privacy (and we can only expect more players to follow suit) – so if you’re tracking open rates to measure the effectiveness of your email program, you’d better have a backup plan up your sleeve.

No, I’m talking about actual engagement metrics: clicks and conversions. If they’re decreasing, or if you feel they’re not up to industry standards, then it’s time to look into targeting. Sending more relevant emails will have a significant impact on engagement, that’s a guarantee.

2. You’ve implemented efficient triggers, but you’re still struggling to meet your monthly revenue goals

First of all, congrats on implementing effective triggers! But if you’re still behind on revenue, it probably means you’ve hit the dreaded “automation ceiling”. There are only so many abandoned carts or browsing sessions that triggers can respond to. The next significant driver of CRM revenue growth is the implementation of a targeted campaign strategy.

3. You’re doing Direct Mail or SMS, but the costs are getting too high

Direct mail and SMS can drive amazing results, but they come at a higher cost than email. “Batch & Blasting” direct mail means paying for print and postage… at scale! On top of being more customer-centric, targeted shots will also help reduce campaign cost. If the idea of better conversions and decreased production costs sounds appealing, then it’s time to consider targeting your campaigns.

4. You’re worried about your email unsubscribes

Batch & Blasting means a sub-optimal customer experience, which will translate into unsubscribes. And even if the unsubscribe rate seems low, it compounds at each campaign! You’re probably right to worry – every marketer should worry about unsubscribes. Targeting your campaigns instead of batch & blasting will provide a much better customer experience, leading to increased customer engagement, loyalty, conversion, and fewer unsubscribes.

5. You’re not worried about your unsubscribes

See (4).

6. Your email deliverability is decreasing

This is what happens when you don’t worry about unsubscribes… at some point, the consequences become really dramatic. Improving deliverability is doable with careful targeting.

7. You want to reactivate inactive customers

Most marketers exclude inactive customers from batch & blast campaigns, and they’re right to do that! You don’t want to risk alienating an inactive customer even more by sending them a generic message. However, carefully targeted campaigns have been shown to be successful in bringing inactives back into the fold… no discounts required!

8. You’re struggling to give exposure to all your product categories

If you have a large catalog, a few batch & blast newsletters per week won’t be enough to give enough exposure to all of your product categories. Are category managers knocking on your door to complain you never feature their category in campaigns? You definitely need to start targeted campaigns!

9. You’re launching a new category and need to do everything you can to give it initial success

This is a specific case of (8), but with its own challenges. Your customer base is loyal to you for a certain type of product. If you choose to diversify in a new category, promoting it in batch & blast campaigns will mean poor engagement and high risk of unsubscribes. A good targeting method will ensure you only promote the new category to customers who will actually engage with your campaigns and convert.

10. Your promotional emails are really long

This is often a by-product of (8). Can’t send more than 5 emails per week, and I have 50 categories to feature? Fine, I’ll just send “skyscraper” emails! (a.k.a.: reeeaaally long emails).

Sure, but nobody ever scrolls to the end of these emails, so skyscraper emails don’t really solve anything. Here’s the right move: split the skyscraper into 2, 3, or 4 campaigns that you’ll target to different audiences. At least now each category will be seen!

11. There are voices in your organization saying you need to start using personalization

This is a good one. It means that your organization has identified that your CRM practices need to evolve towards more customer-centricity… However, they have identified the wrong solution.

Personalization never holds its promises, but a lot of brands do fall for it, especially because it sounds “easy” (“I’ll just create one newsletter and it’ll magically adapt to what my customer wants”). (More about this here: link to article)

Don’t fall into this trap; steer clear of personalization and set up a targeting strategy.

Fun fact: a lot of marketers think targeting is “complicated” (“We’ll need to create segments, we need clean data, we need data science, pressure management will be a headache…). It’s actually not true! There are solutions on the market that deal with the complexity under the hood to provide both marketers and their customers with an amazing experience. (Read: Splio is one of them 🙂 )

12. You want to create a more respectful, sustainable CRM marketing practice

This had to be the first, or the last, item on this list. It’s a really important one, and, at the end of the day, maybe a good summary of this whole piece.

As consumers, we all are bombarded with ads and emails all day long, and it’s only getting worse. The battle for customer attention has never been harder. Which is leading a lot of brands to the realization that they should put the “Relationship” back in “CRM”. Meaning, trying to create a more balanced, engaged, bi-directional conversation with their customers. If this is the current state of mind at your company, then it’s the right time to start progressively replacing generic, batch-and-blast emails with targeted campaigns. You’ll see results earlier than you think: increased customer loyalty, brand equity, and revenue.


Do any of these 12 signs ring true for you and your team? Then you should look into setting up a targeted campaign strategy. And here’s some good news:

  • It’s actually easier than you think
  • You don’t need a CDP or clean data to get started
  • You don’t even need to create segments (Actually, it’s better if you don’t – here at Tinyclues, we’re deeply convinced that segments should not be used for targeting CRM campaigns)
  • You don’t need more resources – the right tool will take care of everything for you.
  • We encourage you to look for the targeting solution that is best suited to your company.

While some ESPs and CDPs do offer targeting features, they are usually not as efficient and not as easily actionable as those of best-of-breed solutions, but it will of course depend on your specific context. Retail, ecommerce, travel and hospitality companies with a great diversity in offerings and upwards of a couple hundred thousand customers typically see great success with Splio: contact us!