Why Email List Segmentation Is Important
Email list segmentation is important. Most marketers understand the importance of email marketing campaigns in their overall marketing strategy and practices, but not all of them place enough attention to list segmentation. Segmented lists will improve communication with your audience, and, of course, improve your email marketing campaign.
Therefore, it is really important to develop a mechanism that will make
a distinction between subscribers according to their interests, and then tailor the content of emails to satisfy needs of each segment individually. Email communications should be segmented in order to have successful email marketing campaigns.
Each type of customer has different interests, problems and needs, so they need to be treated differently. Even if you sell one product or service, same email campaign can't fit each customer type. Instead of sending the same message to all customer types, you better send targeted messages to each type that address their interests, problems and needs. That is much more effective. That’s why list segmentation is important.
If you already didn’t determined difference in the interest of your subscribers, now is a good time to do it. Once you figure out the method to use to differentiate your subscribers by interest, problems and needs they have, the process of segmentation will become an easier task.
I don’t know how big your subscribers’ database is, but when you identify just a few general groups, you made a good start in segmentation. Those few general groups may later be split into smaller, more targeted groups, but leave that for later, after you make some progress with general groups. As further you go with segmentation, your email campaigns will become more effective.
Email List Segmentation Will Improve Your Reputation
As you go on reading this post and thinking about benefits of list segmentation and how segmentation is important, you realize that targeted emails sent to your segmented audience will engage them more. They will engage them more because the audience will get the exact information they need. As you can see, all the signs indicate that segmented email is the much better way to go then general email.
If you are starting with segmentation now, it will not happen on your first campaign, but after some time, your audience will realize that you are consistent and that every time when they receive an email from you is worth opening and reading, because they will know that you send them information that interest them.
Your open rates and click through rates will increase, you will experience lower unsubscribe rates, and your sales conversion rates will increase too. Besides other benefits, you will establish a reputation, among your audience, as a worthy source of useful information, and they will look forward to receive your next email.
What Segmentation Means and How to Do It
The main contact list contains all of your subscribers in one place regardless of their interests, intention and the information on their reason to be on your list. So, at the basic level, segmentation means breaking up your contact list into smaller segments according to certain characteristics of the subscriber. These segments can be formed using one or more of those characteristics, such as:
- Organization type,
- Market niche,
- Job function,
- Education level,
- Content topic,
- Content format (e-book, article, video, podcast, etc.),
- Page views,
- Lead magnet (e-book, free report, etc. downloaded)
- Past purchases,
- Purchase interest,
- Buying frequency,
- Stage in the sales cycle,
- Call-to-action clicks, etc.
The contact data that you have in your contacts database is the information that your subscribers shared with you, either through opt-in form, or through survey. The most important data that you need for segmentation is about their interests, the pages they frequently visited on your website/blog, past downloads they made from your website/blog, habits, buying behavior, and call-to-action clicks, because with that data you know exactly what they are interested in.
Use marketing intelligence based on those data and your segmentation will be effective, and when you start separated email marketing campaigns you maximize the likelihood that your segmented subscribers will get engaged.
If you don’t have enough data to segment your list effectively, offer your subscribers a simple survey. With a survey you can collect vital data needed. Keep the survey simple and prepare a free gift to reward them for filling the survey.
Simplified Example Why You Should Do List Segmentation
Not all subscribers have the same interest, and they are not with the same purchase status. Subscribers who already purchased something from you have to be separated from those who didn’t yet decide to purchase.
This is simplified example why you should do list segmentation, but this method is important for various reasons. Besides, those two mentioned groups do not suppose to receive same content on an email. You can’t send offering email to subscribers who already bought that product.
Let say your email list has 1000 active subscribers. 250 of these subscribers are active buyers while the remaining 750 haven’t yet decided to purchase. List segmentation insures sending one email to those who have purchased and a different email to those who have never purchased.
An email to the 250 subscribers may include sales offer or discounts on similar products. The email to the 750 subscribers may include free coupons that encourage them to make purchases from you.
When developing targeted campaigns, it is necessary to take into account some factors to avoid sending wrong offers or wrong information to people. You have to provide relevant information to each group of subscribers.
So, while customizing your email marketing campaigns, take into consideration –
- Purchase behavior (frequency of buying, previous purchases, purchase cycles, etc.), and
- Demographic data (geographic location, gender, age, level of seniority, etc.)
The more detailed you segment your subscribers, the better response you will have from them. Segment your lists effectively and you will see the impact they will have on your business. This is another example why email list segmentation is important.
Segment for More Conversion
It doesn’t matter if you are emailing your subscribers compelling content, you will not get increased open rates as long as they are ignoring your emails. There are many reasons for that, but one reason is more than obvious – they don’t know what is inside the email (means – bad subject lines).
Tailor your subject lines very carefully for each group of subscribers. Your subscribers expect to receive emails that are relevant to their interests.
Email list segmentation will help you to determine which content is wanted by different subscribers. With subject lines done properly, your open rates will increase, therefore, the rate of conversion will increase (purchases will increase).
When incorporating list segmentation in email marketing campaign, it’s useful to develop a list of ideas on how to communicate with different segments. Then, select a smaller group of subscribers and test that group by sending them emails with different ideas from your list. Then observe their response and evaluate performance of each idea. Compare the rate of email opens and click-thoughts, and in your campaign use the idea that performed best.
Convert Your Customers into Affiliates
Further on the line, the focus should be on converting leads into customers. Once they buy your product or service, work towards converting them to promoters (affiliates) for the purpose of growing your and their businesses.
Satisfied customers will share information about your business to others. This way, more people will get interested in getting information about your products or services. They will connect with your circle of subscribers and will soon join your mailing list.
You see, through email segmentation, you can turn your subscribers into customers, and then customers into affiliates more effectively. You see how segmentation is important?
What to Do and What Not to Do
If your list is not much active and your email open rate is low, don’t get discouraged. Work on segmentation and it will improve.
Some people, even with lists of 500 subscribers, just throw away the whole list and start all over again if their lists don’t work as they expected. This is totally wrong, and you should never do this. You invested your time and effort in that list, so you need to see what’s wrong you are doing and correct it. Besides, those subscribers come voluntarily on your list, so they are interested in what you are doing.
Even, when you have subscribers that didn’t open your email for more than a year, put them in a separate segment and try to engage them by asking what they would like to see in their inbox. If they don’t answer that email, then you might start thinking of removing them from the list.
If you have subscribers that are pretty much engaged, means they open your emails on a regular basis, but never buy, send them interesting content that they can share with their social networks.
Furthermore, separate subscribers with different levels of engagement and adjust the frequency of emails sent, to decrease unsubscribe rates and to increase engagement.
If your subscriber is highly engaged, decrease frequency of sending your emails to them, and if your subscriber is less engaged, increase frequency of sending your emails to them. This is yet another example why email list segmentation is important.
List segmentation is important. The goal of email list segmentation is not to generate leads, it’s to generate customers. Sending relevant content to the right audience is the recipe for online marketing success. It will move your leads through the sales funnel and make new customers.
Let’s be clear on something. Email list segmentation is important, but is not an easy task, but when mastered and done properly brings great results. The big number of online marketers is complaining about the fact that they need to improve their email database segmentation process.
When talking about sales and conversion, figuring out what triggers buying impulses of your customers in various stages of the sales cycle is not an easy task. When you are at this stage, you need sophisticated email marketing tools to help you actually do segmentation.
Nowadays, segmentation is one of the first things on to do list among marketers that really do understand the importance of it. Marketers who take advantage of it and do it properly are getting better click-through rates, higher sales conversion rates, better email deliverability, and bigger smile on their faces.
Now you know why email list segmentation is important, so take your time and do it. Please share your experience in segmentation with us below!