If you’re new to the world of email marketing, you might be unfamiliar with the importance of segmenting your email lists.
The best part about email segmentation? There are a ton of creative ways to segment your email list to run innovative and effective campaigns that customers and subscribers will enjoy, from geography and industry to content format and topic. The more information you collect about your email recipients, the more opportunities to tailor your emails to resonate just right.
Segment Your Email List for More Targeted Email Marketing
The whole point of segmentation is to provide more relevant content to your email recipients. To do that, you’ll have to take the time to craft targeted campaigns that take into account not just list segments but also lead data, and trigger events that help customize your email campaigns further.
Bear in mind that while some of these recommendations will work great on their own, many of them are at their absolute best when crossed with other segments, triggers, and lead intelligence data.
Knowing where your subscribers live can be seriously powerful information. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, you wouldn’t want to send in-store offers to out-of-towners, right? Or let’s say you’re a national franchise — you better be segmenting by zip code to ensure you’re not infringing on someone else’s territory, or worse, marketing to a location that your organization doesn’t even service yet.
People of all ages have access to the internet these days, which means you could be emailing a college student, a stay at home mom, or even a little kid. You may find knowing the general age range of the people on your list helpful to remove those not in your target audience, or to adjust the messaging of your email communications.
Be aware of all data and privacy laws including those of age-related content permissions.
Just as you’d speak to a stay at home mom and a college student differently, you might adjust your messaging and offers based on gender, too. If you have a wide product offering that extends across genders, consider segmenting your list in — and beefing up the segmentation with other demographic and psychographic details as well.
Speaking of demographics and psychographic , you should have buyer personas that include information of this nature, as well as more detailed explanations of what makes these irritated and why your solution provides value to them. Each persona has different needs and value propositions, they’re all going to require different email content for the best click through and conversion rates.
Do you sell to other businesses? Are they franchises? Non-profit organizations? Ecommerce companies? Real-estate companies? Small businesses? They all have different needs, and as such, their email content should be different — so segment your list accordingly.
If you’re selling to other businesses, you may encounter leads and subscribers across many different industries. Knowing your subscriber’s industry will allow you to add another level of personalization to your email marketing. Optimize your sending to maximize results.
As a B2B marketer, your email list could contain various amounts of different job positions– office manager, sales representative, marketers, accountants, developers, customer service, tech support … the list goes on. Considering the range of job roles within any given organization, doesn’t it make sense to segment your list accordingly?
You could segment your list based on how many degrees they hold, or how educated a lead or subscriber is regarding your brand and the subject matter discussed. If you segment your list based on the level of understanding they have on topics you write about, you can tailor your subscriber or lead nurturing content to speak at the right level.
There are different job roles, and there are different levels of seniority. Perhaps your subscriber or customer said they work in marketing, but is she the VP of marketing, or a marketing director? Those two contacts will differ in years of experience, salary level, pain points, decision-making potential, and vast of other differences that make segmentation critical for effective email marketing campaigns.
If a segment of your list has purchased from you before, use that information to send emails catered to that which interests them. Then make your bottom line bigger by identifying upsell opportunities with additional services or free products they’d enjoy based on their past purchases.
Providing that VIP treatment to customers or subscribers goes a long way in getting those professional results your company deserves.
You can infer someone’s purchase interests from past buying behavior, or you can simply just ask. A creative way to achieve this is with surveys such to create better-targeted emails.
Segment your email list based on how often someone purchases. Not only can you try to increase shopping frequency, but you can also reward repeat shoppers with an invitation to your loyalty program or reward system to make your brand even more appealing
Monthly, quarterly, Bi-annually, and Annual
Do certain customers come to you on a weekly, monthly, yearly, or quarterly basis? Perhaps they only need you at a certain time of year — a landscaper might see more service in spring and fall, for example. Segment your list based on customers’ purchase cycle so you can be there right at their point of need.
Subject of content
Here at Express ‘Em, we’ve noticed that some of our subscribers and customers are far more interested in certain content topics than others. There’s one segment that’s extremely interested in sales and marketing while another is far more interested in social remarketing. So it only makes sense that we segment our list based on the topics our subscribers or customers have shown interest in. Take a look at what content gets people clicking, and segment your list based on that.
You may find that specific content formats are more appealing to certain segments of your database — some enjoy blogs, others prefer audiobooks, and some may only show up when you put on a webinar. If you know how certain segments of your list prefer to consume content, you can deliver the offer content in your emails via their preferred format. Overall increase subscriber’s interactions to boost sales and brand awareness.
Level of Interest
Just because someone converts on a content offer, doesn’t mean they actually enjoyed it. Segment your list based on how interested subscribers or customers are in your content. For example, we might email a segment of webinar attendees that stayed engaged for 30 minutes or more with a middle-of-the-funnel offer to help push them along in the sales cycle, while those that dropped off before 10 minutes might receive another top-of-the-funnel offer — or even a feedback survey to gauge what specifically lost their interest. Knowing why we lost interest in customers or subscribers is a valuable tool so we can alter to their level of interest if deemed necessary.
Content Level Engagement Shifts
Have you noticed an increase or decrease in the number of times customers or subscribers are spending with your content? This is an indication of their interest in your company and should be used to either reawaken inactive subscribers or move subscribers along through the sales cycle while they’re at their height of engagement with your content.
Buying Behavior Change
Similar to a change in content engagement, a change in buying behavior can indicate a customer or subscriber is becoming more or less interested in your company. Leads that decrease purchasing frequency, for example, those that might need a little extra push– and thus, a dedicated subscriber encouragement campaign.
The stage a lead is in, the sales cycle should determine which email segment they fall in. At the very least, set up separate subscriber encouragement tracks for those on the top of your sales funnel, in the middle of your sales funnel, and at the bottom of the sales funnel.
Type of Email
There’s a lot you can tell by someone’s email address. You design your emails for different email clients if you’re really into sophisticated email design, or if they’re Gmail clients, responsive email design.
Many businesses use satisfaction indexes to determine how happy their customer base is — Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a very popular one. If you’re measuring satisfaction numerically, consider sending an email segmented based on your customers’ level of happiness with your organization. Those with higher NPS scores, for example, might provide opportunities to gather upsells, reviews, or even referrals. Those with lower scores, however, may get emails that give them access to educational materials that will make them happier and more successful customers. Overall our goal is satisfaction from paid to free customer or subscriber engagements.
Consider creating a list segment full of those customers who repeatedly send new business your way. These are your biggest brand advocates and should receive emails targeted towards reward programs, refer-a-friend discounts, even possibly trials for new products or services you’re releasing to get honest feedback before widespread rollouts.
Repeat business is great when your customers bring more business then something right is being done.
Customers Who Haven’t Reviewed
You should always be trying to get more positive reviews of your business, so why not create a list segment that targets those customers who haven’t written a review yet? You could combine this list segment with, those that are also social media followers or fans and have a high NPS score. Think about it … you know they follow you on Twitter and their NPS score indicates they enjoy your company’s presence.
Website Visitors vs. In-Store
If you have both a brick-and-mortar location as well as a website, segmenting your list based on where your customers enjoy shopping. You can give invites to in-store events to customers that give you foot traffic, while those that only visit your website might receive offers that should only be redeemed online. Both scenarios will boost engagement and overall build your brand awareness.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
On average, 68% of shopping carts are abandoned prior to purchase. If you run an ecommerce website, you absolutely must have an abandoned shopping cart email program, and you should be segmenting your customers based on this behavior.
Not an ecommerce company? You still have abandoners on your website (we call these form abandoners). If someone starts filling out some forms on your website and then loses interest, gets busy, has a lousy internet connection, or anything that could draw them away simply segment out those leads for engagement aimed at bringing them back to your website to complete the form. The offer was interesting enough at one point in time to peak their interest, so why not try to recover some of those form abandoners? Increasing interest to provide optimal results for your email marketing.
Whatever it is you offer, there are some customers who you could consider “power users.” (or Powerhouse as we call it here). These are the ones that totally get how to navigate your website, use every feature in your software, and make the most of their relationships with your service. Segment out the power users and the strugglers, frequent users, and infrequent users; then send email content that teaches them how to be more successful with your product or service. The more customers use your product, the more likely they are to stick around.
Does your organization host book signings, corporate, or even social events? Don’t miss the opportunities to reach out to leads and potential customers you’ve already made a positive connection with. Segment your email list depending on the type of event, topic or theme of your events, or even RSVPs who didn’t make it out. You’ll be able to keep inviting them to events while sharing relevant content offers based on what you learned about them from past events.
You can tell a lot about your customers and subscribers from their behaviors, and the pages they’re browsing are no exception. Are there certain blogs they’re reading or questions they’re asking when they come to your website? Experiment with lead engagement campaigns dedicated to different topics your website covers to appeal to your site visitors’ patterns.
A call-to-action is what takes your website content to the next level due to the fact it helps you generate leads and contacts. You can tell which types of language work on your subscribers based on what makes them click, or not click, on your CTAs. Are they more inclined toward time-sensitive offers to “act now” or “try this month,” or do they prefer more explicit offers of “free” or “discounted” products? Use these clicking habits to determine how to segment your email list, and what language you use when reaching out.