Does your business have an email list? For most of you, I’m sure the answer is yes. Most businesses have a large collection of email addresses gathered from prospective clients, opt-in options and even from previous customers.
For many businesses, particularly those with a significant online presence, a mailing list is one of the most powerful and important tools for growing your business.
While many articles focus on how to best monetize your list, we want you to understand something even more important and actionable: email segmentation and the many ways it can personalize your email marketing interactions.
What is List Segmentation?
List segmentation is the process of taking the addresses on your master email address list and grouping them into subgroups based on specific criteria related to your business. For some companies, subgroups might be created based on information collected at the time of email collection, such as age range, gender, location or other demographic factors. For others, email segmentation might be based on user behavior, such as how people are responding to and working with previous emails. List segmentation is an incredibly powerful tool with many different applications.
Segmenting by Like Interests
How do you collect email addresses? For some companies, it happens at the time of purchase, through an “I’m interested” form on your website or when someone subscribes to a certain newsletter. Regardless, you usually know something about your customer the moment he gives you his email address through the information he provides in the form or the place on your website where the form is located. Grouping addresses by interest is a great option because it allows you to create content that is specifically tailored to a particular group.
For example, if you owned an ice cream shop and collected emails upon purchase, you could poll customers about their flavor preferences and group people together by favorite flavor. You could then email people in the “vanilla” group when you were having a sale on vanilla ice cream.
Email Segmentation by User Behavior
Have you ever heard of an onboarding campaign? An onboarding campaign is a unique campaign, often implemented over email, that is designed to boost customer satisfaction and retention. Through list segmenting by email behavior, you can target your messaging toward nurturing the new clients or rewarding your longtime customers with discounts, company information, product promotions and more. Many email programs allow you to set this up automatically, keeping your customers engaged and your time commitment low.
Let’s take two users, User A and User B. You send out an email telling your customers about a special offer—30 percent off their next online purchase. User A opens the email, but User B doesn’t. Through automated list segmentation, you can actually have User A added to one email list, a list dedicated to those who opened the email, and User B onto another filled with those who didn’t open the email. This helps you reach out to those who open emails more often and send more targeted emails to those who don’t. Email segmentation keeps retention up, unsubscribe rates low and customers happy.
List segmentation is an incredibly powerful, impactful way to manage your email sales funnel. It takes some time to set automation up, but after that, the process can actually run itself! You can use email list segmentation to do everything from emailing newsletters to only those who open them to obtaining data on what email topics garner the best open rates amongst different groups.
Email Segmentation Based on Site Behavior
This is an advanced tactic that—in order for it to be effective—requires integration between the actions users take on your site and your email provider. Has someone abandoned a shopping cart? You can email that visitor a coupon for 15 percent off his order. Is a user reading blogs about a particular topic? You can automatically send him an email when you post another blog on that exact topic.
The goal of these three types of segmentation is two-fold: helping your company convert better and providing more thoughtful marketing tactics. By being able to customize your email marketing in this way, you can increase conversion rates to those interested in learning more about your company and its offerings. You can also ensure that those who do not want as much information get only what they need. How many poorly crafted emails do you receive in a day? How many emails show up in your inbox from companies with an offer that is of no interest to you? By email segmenting, you ensure that your emails are less likely to be “those” emails, the ones that make people hit the unsubscribe button.
Do you have any tips for email segmentation? Let us know how you segment your mailing list below! For more information about how list segmentation can work for your business, contact us.