3 Best Practices For Email Segmentation

Getting your visitors to opt-in to receive your newsletter is the first step towards getting them to become a customer. But once you have them on the list, how do you get them to actually open the emails and view your messages? The truth is, you won’t convert all your subscribers into customers, but, with the right email strategy and messaging in place, you can convert a good number of them. The issue is getting your email seen in a sea of brand broadcasts that fill up a subscriber’s inbox. Segmenting your audience and sending targeted email campaigns is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement and drive more sales.

Without segmentation, you could be losing out on countless customer relationships and missing opportunities to turn your leads into customers. While there are a number of reasons why your emails aren’t as effective as they could be, email segmentation is a solution that will get you higher open rates, improved list engagement, and more clicks through to your site. Segmentation helps your messaging become that much more impactful and allows you to reach the right audience with a message that’s personalized and clearly intended for them.

Proper email segmentation and campaign optimization can be challenging, especially if you’re new to email marketing. To help you get started we’re sharing our top three best practices for making the most of your segmentation strategy.

What is email segmentation?

Your customers are unique. They all buy and use your product for different reasons, and they all have unique habits, behaviors, interests, and even demographics. So how you approach them with your marketing messages will also be unique. Segmentation helps you understand your customer’s behavior and send the right messages to the right reader at the right time. When you segment your contact list, you are essentially dividing your master list into smaller clusters of like-minded customers with similar needs and preferences.

Using various criteria, you can even break down those clusters into even smaller, more niche groups based on the outcome you want from the campaign. These sub-lists help empower your marketing team to better target various consumers into your audience with personalized content that will lead to increased engagement and ultimately increased conversions. Through segmentation, you can deliver content and offers that resonate with each sub-list, rather than blasting the same message to everyone.

Benefits of email segmentation

The reality of the digital marketing landscape is that consumers are tired of generic marketing. Effective communication is the best way to build relationships with prospective customers. Users want to be connected to brands that listen, learn and then implement what they’ve learned in a personalized way that appeals to their uniqueness. If they don’t connect with your emails, they’ll unsubscribe, and you may lose those customers.

With segmentation, there are numerous benefits of marketing to sub-set groups on your list, including:

– More engaged subscribers

– Expanded reach through email sharing

– Increased open rates

– Lower customer acquisition costs

– Higher lead quality scoring

– Lower unsubscribe rates

– Better deliverability rates

– Increased sales

– Increased revenue

– Improved click-through rates

– Higher customer retention

Perhaps the most effective benefit of segmentation is that you gain more insight into who your customers are and what they want from your brand. You also allow your customers and leads to learn more about who you are, what you do, and develop brand trust and affinity.

Start Simple

There are a number of different ways to segment your list, but trying to set up too many segments at once will overwhelm you and your team. You don’t multivariate lists right off the bat. You just need enough data to test your audience demographics and see what messages are resonating with your current subscribers. To begin with, choose about 2 or 3 segments that will make a big difference and build them out as thoroughly as you can without introducing too much complexity. Start small and work your way into a deeper strategy with more insights and data that you receive with time. Starting small also gives your team the opportunity to familiarize themselves with your automation tools. There will be a lot to learn as you build and test new segments, so leave plenty of room for experimenting and adapting as needed.

Create Messages That Resonate With Specific Segments

Once you have your segments created, you will have a better idea of what content and messages you need to send to that specific group. Your campaigns should be personalized and should target your subscribers’ different needs with unique value propositions that drive opens, clicks, and conversions. Use personalized marketing to tailor messages to your customers based on what you know about them. You can send content tailored for a specific audience segment based on shared characteristics or behavior. The key is to avoid using generalized email copy that doesn’t resonate with that group’s pain points, interests, or needs. What one group cares deeply about, another may not even bother to open. It may require more work to create several forms of a similar email, but it’s well worth the extra effort. A/B testing is also an important structure in your segmentation strategy. Test different keywords in your subject lines and email copy.

Keep Collecting Data

Pay close attention to the data and metrics of your campaigns and adapt as necessary. It is important that you keep gathering data about prospects and customers. No one gets it perfect on the first go-around. And that’s okay. Before you segment your email list, create benchmarks for engagement (open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, etc). Then, check engagement rates every week after you implement your segmentation plan to see how they compare. The more data you gather, the better you’ll be able to optimize segments and content. Over time, both your automated system and marketing team will gain a better understanding of who your audience is, what they respond to, and how to convert more of them into returning customers.

Bonus: Embrace automation

Automations ensure relevant messages reach the customer at the right time, automatically. The last thing you want is to have to manually create a segmentation strategy each week. Part of the appeal of email segmentation is that you can create a system which delivers relevant content to big groups of subscribers without too much work on your part. There are a variety of automated email tools you can set up. For instance, if a visitor signs up for your emails, you can send them a welcome email with a coupon offer, if a customer abandons a cart, then you can send an email that reminds them about it later on. Or, if you know your customer’s birthday, then you can ensure that a congratulatory email is sent out which includes a birthday special. Using marketing automations not only saves you time and effort, but it can have a big impact on engagement.

Here at Idealgrowth, we can provide you with a full-service email marketing strategy and implementation that segments your lists and helps you generate the most engagement possible. This includes fully stacked email campaign creation, strategic campaign development, and turnkey marketing automation. To get started, or to have your email segmentation questions answered, send us a message.