• Vertical Audiences: How To Optimize Engagement

    Targeted communications to a specific audience of prospects can be very effective. Over the last eight years, I have worked on vertical (financial/government/education/healthcare) lead generation email programs and learned quite a bit about what drives engagement and performance, and more importantly, what doesn’t. The information below is from an internal presentation I gave to our Performance Marketing team on how the vertical emails were doing.  Outlined are a few tips to apply to your vertical audience engagement.

    People are Nosey

    The two best performing vertical marketing efforts include content that focused on:

    • Salary surveys featuring information about their roles
    • Research that listed the top jobs in a specific market

    Why? It’s simple – people are typically curious (okay, nosey…) about what people with their same job titles are making in the industry, or what people the next step up are making, and they also want to see what other jobs are out there. Admit it, you’ve always wondered what your coworkers might be making, and salary surveys feed that thirst for knowledge.

    For most marketers who are used to marketing their products or writing about technology it may not be  intuitive to create content about career and job issues, but this is an effective way to build databases and “top of the funnel” efforts in specific vertical markets, quickly and effectively.

    More Ways to Engage Your Vertical Readers

    In the vertical markets, salary and job research assets trump all, but other types of content have been strong performers. Disruptive technologies such as “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD),  and tips on the hottest technology in the markets.  For healthcare, the best performers are anything to do with Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Meaningful Use (especially with Stage 2 on the way).

    What Doesn’t Work?

    One would think that people who work in the government would be interested in security topics since emails and information in the government is very private, but I’ve found that to not be the case. In fact, government emails with security in the subject line were the worst performers for that vertical. In addition, filters at the government email level can block emails that contain the word “Security” in the subject line.

    How to Get Started

    To jump start your vertical efforts, work with your research team or contract with a media or research company to partner on a job or salary survey or craft a research survey around the hottest technologies in the market. Then, create reports or papers you can utilize as valuable content to bring people to your site to find out more.

    Mary Hart is Senior Marketing Content Analyst at UBM TechWeb, the global leader in technology media and business information. UBM TechWeb Marketing Services deliver integrated marketing campaigns and programs including media solutions, lead and demand generation, events, online communities, content development and custom solutions.

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