According to some experts, less can sometimes mean more. Especially when it comes to e-mail marketing. In a BusinessWeek interview with Karen Klein, Chris Baggot and Morgan Stewart of ExactTarget, an e-mail marketing company, aruged that smaller e-mail lists can be more beneficial to companies. By breaking their lists into segments based on their customers’ interests, companies can ensure that their clients are receiving e-mails that are relevant to their situation.

Baggot and Stewart explained that companies can conduct research to determine what segments their clientele fit into. They can do this by monitoring their clients’ purchasing habits or by conducting surveys asking customers about their interests/concerns. By targeting e-mails to specific audiences, the company can ensure that those individuals who may be interested in a particular event/product will receive their message. This can mean more business for the company.

Individuals are more likely to pay attention to e-mails they believe are tailored to their specific interests. Baggott gives the example of one company that he rarely receives e-mail solicitations from but he knows we he gets one, it’s relevant to him so he pays closer attention. My own personal experience with e-mail marketing proves this point. There are several companies that are always sending me e-mail messages. Some companies send more than three e-mails per week. I stopped reading the messages after awhile because they do not tailor to any of my interests or concerns. Now they go straight to the trash can. I am sure I have missed some messages that I may have found useful but since the companies haven’t taken the time to figure out which segment I fit into, there’s no need for me to waste my time going through each message. Therefore, I am in agreement that companies should target certain audiences in their e-mail marketing campaigns. Especially since they are usually competing with messages from other companies, friends, family and colleagues. They have to find a way to stand out and get the reader’s attention.