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Leveraging Location: Tips for Effective Geotargeting Email marketers have more options than ever to drive in-store traffic and boost online sales.

By Seamas Egan Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Email marketers are constantly striving to make their campaigns more personalized and targeted to effectively reach their subscriber base. One way they can do this is by utilizing geolocation to provide subscribers with content relevant for their location.

Geolocation is a tool email marketers use to identify where a subscriber is located and deliver personalized content or offers tailored to that user's area. Armed with information like a user's IP address, marketers can customize campaigns and content for certain geographic regions, modify delivery times and even track offline sales in a particular location. With geotargeting, email marketers can more effectively drive in-store foot traffic, attribute online sales to email efforts and redirect customers to dynamic landing pages specifically designed for target locations.

When working with geolocation data to amplify your email marketing campaigns, consider these best practices for an effective and targeted campaign:

Test your target markets.

Every email marketing campaign should begin with you identifying a target market and making some assumptions about your subscribers. Use A/B split testing to put your theories into practice by dividing your strategies and delivering these test messages to your user base. Collect feedback to determine which tactics worked and which ones were less successful.

Take advantage of timely events.

Use upcoming events in a particular area as a trigger to develop localized marketing campaigns. Is a nor'easter about to sweep the East Coast? For a local hardware store, this might mean promoting flashlights and batteries in that region as the storm is approaching. Are presidential candidates visiting the midwest? An apparel retailer might offer a one-day promotion with a presidential theme when the frontrunners are in town.

Geo-specific events are particularly impactful for boosting open and click-through rates. Leverage timely events such as these to keep your brand top of mind and part of the ongoing conversation.

Related: 3 Ways to Strengthen Your Email Marketing Impact

Don't cross the line.

Exercise caution when using location information to personalize your campaigns. A general rule of thumb would be to never reference a location more specific than your customer's neighborhood, even though you likely have data as specific as a street address. Offering deals specific to a neighborhood grocery store is incredibly helpful, but mentioning the distance of the store from your customer's home would be overstepping a boundary. Tread carefully so that your localized messages are relevant and helpful without seeming intrusive.

Related: Alive and Kicking: Why Email Marketing Is Still a Huge Tool for Business

Support geolocation with other marketing tools.

To optimize your geotargeting strategy, integrate your customers' geolocation data with your billing system, ERP or CRM platforms. These systems will provide additional context for each of your customers, giving you a more accurate, holistic view of their location and preferences. Couple your approach with A/B split testing and segmentation so your messages are customized along multiple categories.

Related: Visual Marketing and the Future of Geolocation

Geolocation can be an incredibly effective tool to help marketers add context to their campaigns. By using geotargeting effectively -- with A/B testing of target markets, leveraging timely events, using customer information carefully and integrating with other tools -- marketers can expect to see strong customer interaction, increased click-through rates and successful campaigns.

Seamas Egan

Associate Director of Revenue Operations for Campaigner

Seamas Egan is associate director of revenue operations for Campaigner email marketing. His experience in strategic development across multiple channels has resulted in working with small-business owners to global enterprises. Egan is particularly versed in digital media and email marketing.

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