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Why List Segmentation Matters in Your Email Marketing

Posted by Chris Winter on Mar 4, 2015 5:55:00 PM

Why List Segmentation Matters in Your Email Marketing

Customers are Not All the Same

As a marketer, knowing your audience should be your top priority. There is no one-size-fits-all. In fact, there are usually several “ideal” customers for any given business. These customers live in different cities, have varying interests, and may not be at the same stage of your sales cycle. Your challenge is to send messages that are relevant and timely to every one of your subscribers. The question becomes how do you treat groups of people differently?

Why you need Email Segmentation

The age of batch and blast is over. There's an increasing demand from consumers to receive personalized content. Experian states that personalized emails generate up to 6x higher revenue than non-personalized emails. Statistics also show that contextual emails (such as transactional and trigger-based campaigns) have an average open rate of around 50% compared to general newsletters with an average open rate of about 22%. According to a recent survey conducted by eMarketer, marketers saw delivering the right content to the right segment as the number one tactic that would improve their email marketing program.

How Email Segmentation Works

Implementing basic segmentation to personalize emails is a great way to begin achieving relevancy - and relevant campaigns get better results. Data is king as itenables you to better segment and target your customers, producing smarter marketing campaigns. Rather than maintaining simple 'lists' of customers, you can build individual profiles for each of your subscribers so you can target your audience 100% of the time. According to a recent survey by MarketingSherpa, the most popular ways to segment your list include:

  • 55% of marketers segment by email engagement behavior
  • 53% of marketers segment based on purchase history
  • 38% of marketers segment by location in the sales pipeline
  • 38% of marketers segment by user-declared personal preferences
  • 28% of email marketers segment by email device viewing habits

Getting Started

Most email automation software like Inbox Marketer’s Connect Email Platform makes segmenting your campaigns pretty straightforward but, there are a few fundamental steps that you should understand before starting.

Step 1: Break your list down into popular segments

What kinds of segments should you create?  Your segments should represent the different buyers you commonly come across in your marketing and sales process. Example segments may include gender, location, purchase history, email activity, date added, or a custom field. It’s up to you to figure out what is most important to you and your business goals.

Step 2: Identify Your Typical Consumer Lifecycle

Lifecycle stages refer to where in the buying process an individual currently is. How you communicate with different subscribers should be largely dependent on their lifecycle stage. For example, the conversation you have with a new lead should be very different from the kind of conversation you might have with a long-time established customer.

Step 3: Start With a Single Segment

Now that you have defined the various segments within your database you can begin to target these specific groups. Start small - begin with a single segment and grow your segmentation as you become more familiar with the process and your subscribers.

Step 4: Track Subscriber Behaviour

Segmenting your email marketing lists has an overwhelmingly positive impact on the engagement of your subscribers, but it needs to be constantly refined. Continue to track subscriber behaviour to increase message relevance.

Step 5: Establish a Preference center

When it makes sense, establishing an email preference center where subscribers can indicate which types of information they want to receive can help with relevance. Link to this page from every email you send and also encourage subscribers to indicate their preferences in a welcome email.

Step 6: Leverage Your Sign-up Process

Ask your subscribers to indicate their content preferences right away on your registration page. This page should mirror your preference center in order to collect corresponding data.


Message Relevancy for the Win

According to ReturnPath, 17% of email marketing campaigns globally fail to reach consumers, likely going directly to the junk folder. Every email that fails to make it to the customer’s inbox is money left on the table. Message relevance plays a significant role in this. The more relevant a message is to a subscriber, the more likely they are to engage with your emails. The more a subscriber values your emails, the more likely they are to find their way into the inbox, giving them an opportunity to engage with your business and grow your bottom line.

Learn more about CONNECT and how it can help you take your email programs to the next level.

Topics: Email Marketing, List Segmentation, Segmentation

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