Today’s email marketing tactics are sleek and sophisticated – and often considered “top secret” by those using them. However, a peek behind the curtain shows that most companies that are experiencing success with email marketing today actually use similar approaches. In fact, one of the most successful of all approaches boils down to simply grouping your email list – a process called “segmentation.”
In this post, learn techniques for putting email marketing segmentation to work in your email marketing campaigns.
What is Segmentation?
“Segmentation” in a nutshell refers to separating your master email list into smaller groups of individuals with shared demographics, interests, and goals. If you do a good job segmenting your master list into smaller groups, you can then design email marketing campaigns that really hone in on the needs of each individual group.
Tip #1: Start simple with your segmentation.
One of the simplest and most effective types of segmentation is simply to separate out your current customers from your prospects (i.e. those who have not yet made a purchase from your company).
Because these two groups often have different questions, concerns or needs, you can focus on converting prospects into customers through special offers and other perks, while upselling current customers and tapping into their social networks for additional referrals to new prospects.
Tip #2: Know what your segmentation options are.
There are a variety of additional ways you can segment your list. Age, gender, geography and life stage (student, homemaker, retired, et al) are some of the most popular distribution options. You may see these or other options forming within your company or industry.
One of the best ways to approach segmentation is through brainstorming. Gather together your marketing and sales staff and brainstorm a list of possible segments you could use for different types of email marketing campaigns. Keep this segmenting list handy as you evaluate campaign results so you can make changes as needed.
Tip #3: Behavior prediction based on segmenting.
Our email marketing software comes with a full suite of analytics and reporting tools so you can analyze and evaluate how a newly segmented group’s actions and reactions evolve over time. The ultimate goal is to develop your ability to deliver the perfect email to the individual that most wants to receive it. These may develop into static segments – segments that do not change from campaign to campaign.
As you get to know your segmented groups better through analyzing their interaction with your campaigns, you can begin to predict what they might do in Scenario A versus Scenario B (which, for our purposes here, might represent two different possible marketing campaign options). You can also get a sense of how frequently they purchase and how valuable they could be to your company over the long term.
Tip #4: Segmentation based on past history.
Finally, as you become more skilled at predicting the behavior of those receiving your email campaigns, you can begin to segment out super-specialized groups based on their past behavior when receiving a campaign.
For example, if you notice that a certain sub-segment in your group clicks frequently on a certain type of item or sale, you can segment those individuals out so they receive more emails containing items similar to what they are most interested in. This will boost the likelihood of them buying those items from you in the future.
By implementing these four tips, you can begin to extract the best value from your email list.