Every great email program is utilizing some form of segmentation. At this point, it’s a necessity. The full subscriber list email blast is an antiquated holdover from yesteryear..
Hopefully, that’s a thing of the past for your email marketing channel as well.
Basic segmentation consists of the division of email subscribers into smaller groups (segments) based on select criteria. In a nutshell, segmentation is a process used to deliver more relevant and personalized email marketing to your subscribers based on a specific number of customer behaviors and sourced data.
Every user is different, in the way they interact with your brand, the way they use your products or services and in the way they like to be communicated with. Their overall usage patterns contributes to their uniqueness. A uniqueness that you can’t afford to ignore.
Email segmentation doesn’t just make the customer happier. It also makes your email channel more dynamic.
Service provider, MailChimp, conducted a test in its database and found that segmented campaigns drastically out-performed non-segmented campaigns. The following increased metrics included:
- Opens: 14.31% higher than non-segmented campaigns
- Unique Opens: 10.64% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
- Clicks: 100.95% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
This makes a lot of sense. The more relevant a message is, the more likely someone is going to open it and act on it.
For brands that want to drive more revenue and increase engagements from their email channel, segmentation is key. The ability to scale segmented campaigns to thousands and millions of users via your email channel is a power that can’t be beat.
There a number of ways you can segment your email list to run dynamic and engaging campaigns that subscribers and customers will love and interact with. Here are five of these email segmentation best practices you can start implementing today.
Segment by audience behavior
Once your customers are plugged in and opted into your database and email list is when the real fun begins. Audience behavior is one of the best ways to segment. Figure out what your audience is interested in buying and log what they’re looking at, clicking and purchasing. Information gathered from user behavior can be funneled into a custom segment list.
For example, say a customer bought something that needs to be refilled or renewed on a certain basis. You can send out time-based targeted emails based on their needs. Companies like Amazon use this strategy when it’s time to repurchase things like printer ink or stock up on household consumables.
Gather the right demographics
There is always some minimal information you receive when a subscriber first signs up. Many email marketing segmentations take this into account and split up their list by demographic data.
Information such as age, gender, location and income are some of the most fundamental facts to start searching for a customer’s needs and interests.
Decide which metrics are most important for your business and gather this data somewhere in the subscriber onboarding process.
For example, if you’re an Ecommerce fashion brand, knowing your customer’s gender would be an important demographic. Likewise, if you’re a software vendor, it’s important to know what company and role your lead occupies if they’re interested in getting a demo.
Outlining basic demographic data will assist you in developing more complex segmentations that are completely unique to your business. The fastest way to segment demographic information is through your sign-up forms.
Create an easy way to collect customer information
Transparency goes a long way on both sides. That is, both for the customer and the brand. A lot of websites never ask for anything more than an email address when to sign up to the mailing list.
If you’d like to go beyond that, there are two main sources you can use to get more self-reported information from subscribers.
The first is to include a signup form that has a few more fields in it. This might include some business-specific checkboxes for what the customer is interested in. It could also be a list of different preferences and individual tastes related to your brand.
Past the signup form is the subscriber preference center. Giving your subscribers a choice about messaging frequency and topic selection not only helps your segmentation strategy, but also improves email deliverability.
If you have a steady email cadence going with engaged subscribers, you can always try your luck and send out a survey or quiz. Make sure to log this information in the backend and add it to any custom segmentation lists.
Monitor and act on email engagement metrics
A majority of email service providers give you the tools to view your most basic email engagement metrics. This is one of the most effective and easiest ways to segment your lists.
Take open rates and click through rates as an example. These are the main metrics that get your subscribers in the door. If they’re not opening or clicking, they’re not doing anything else.
Segment subscribers by activity. Active versus inactive users. The latter could be someone that hasn’t opened any of your emails in the past two months. Create a campaign that specifically targets this group with the intention to re engage them.
The same method goes for subscribers who are more engaged. For example, if you’re rolling out an upcoming promotion, everyone that clicks that link could go into a segment called “interested.” A new campaign would then be sent to this group.
Don’t cross out your inactives from your list just yet. Try sending the same email to non-openers with a different subject line. You might be surprised at what you’ll find by playing around with engagement based segments.
Create buyer personas and product based segments
Nearly every company out there has a premier product that they want to push to the forefront. Creating segments around a particular product is a great way to drive sales and engage in more cross-selling activities.
You can create lists for customers that bought a certain product or service and then give them blog post resources, guides, how-tos and related product recommendations. They’ll enjoy the extra attention and will be more apt to stay engaged with your brand. Product based segments are also an excellent way to form the bedrock of a rewards program.
Obviously, there are a lot more factors that go into buyer personas and product segments, such as pricing, type of product and purchase timeframe. However, separate segments for specific products offers you further data to test out new promotional opportunities to existing and future customers.