Another Holiday Tip: Geo-Targeting To Boost Relevance

Quick thought and a how-to inspired by a reaction to our recent post on holiday greetings.

Over at her Net Profits Today blog, Rosalind Gardner made a great point about the lack of targeting that often plagues marketing campaigns (particularly those sent around this time of year):

I received an Inbox full of “Happy Thanksgiving” emails on or about the 4th Thursday of November. That would have been nice except for the fact that I live in Canada and we celebrate Thanksgiving on the 2nd Monday in October… so those greetings came about 6 weeks late.

Those marketers need to figure out how to parse their lists geographically and send their messages accordingly.

She’s absolutely right. Fortunately, it’s not hard for even the most basic email marketing campaign to do this.

“But I Don’t Ask My Subscribers Where They’re Located!”

Not a problem. You can target subscribers geographically based on their IP address.

Among other things, you can use this to target subscribers located in a specific country and broadcast to them, making your message appropriate for their location.

In the example above, marketers could have included Thanksgiving-related content (greetings, sales/coupons, etc) in messages they sent to Rosalind and other Canadian residents from late September to early October. Then, in November, they could shift that content into messages sent to their US-based subscribers.

See How To Target Subscribers Geographically

In this short video, I show you how to employ simple geo-targeting to segment subscribers by country. You can just as easily use this to segment by other geographic data like:

  • State (or Region)
  • Latitude and Longitude

Need to Know When to Geo-Target?

Check out our holiday email marketing calendar for ideas!

Use Geo-Targeting Responsibly

Now, IP-based geographic targeting is not perfect. It makes a judgment based on where your subscriber connects to the Internet, which may not match their exact physical location.

That said, in my experience it does a pretty good job of targeting subscribers, and it’s a heck of a lot better than not targeting at all. And it has the distinct advantage of not requiring your subscribers to fill out a mile-long signup form (and as we discuss in our web form seminar, the more you ask people to provide, the fewer of them will do so, and do so accurately).

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For the record: I’m still against sending empty holiday greeting emails, but if you’re going to reference the holidays in an email, geographic targeting can help you to do so more effectively.