Email segmenting is one of the best things you can do to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. Data collected by MailChimp even shows that email marketing campaigns that have been segmented get around 15% more opens and 60% more clicks than campaigns that have not been segmented.
However, to get that level of results, you also need to ensure that you need to segment your lists in the right manner. In this post, we will look at a few categories you can segment your list into.
The first and most simple method to segment your list is to use demographic data. You can use information like age, gender, marital status and income level to create a beginner’s segmented list that will go a long way in getting your email marketing process more fine tuned.
What the industry that you serve, you should make sure you collect as much information as you can about your user base. However, based on your industry, you can ask for additional details that are relevant and will provide you more options for demographic segmentation. For a clothing retailer or a home products store, gender details are important. For a software developer, the client’s company/industry will be helpful.
Make sure you don’t become overzealous, however. Asking for too many details right out of the gate can leave a bad taste in potential customers’ mouths and may cause them to decide not to sign up. You can always start with basic details and then later, use surveys and the like to gather more details as needed.
Another relatively simple – yet incredibly effective – method to segment your lists is to use location data. Especially for businesses with branches in multiple locations, where the location will greatly influence potential customers’ purchasing decisions, geographical segmentation will go a long way.
The main idea behind geographical segmentation is that you can send relevant emails to people in the relevant areas. For instance, say you have an upcoming event in Singapore or a sale in your London branch. If you send emails pertaining to these events to your entire email list with subscribers from all over the world, all of your subscribers who are not in the aforementioned locations will ignore your emails, or worse, think you don’t send emails that are meaningful to them and fail to engage with any of your emails.
However, if you had segmented by using location data, you can send the emails only to people living in and around Singapore and London, which means that for the subscribers who receive the emails, you’ve sent relevant and meaningful emails and their engagement will increase. Those who don’t receive the emails will not affect your metrics negatively.
Additionally, there are other ways to use geographic data:
- Time Zones: Use the locational data to send emails to your subscribers at optimum times based on their time zones.
- Live Webinars/AMAs: You can send invites for webinars or AMAs you host with the right timing for your audience to log in.
- Personalized Directions: Based on the location of your business and your subscriber’s location, you can provide personalized directions.
- Preferred Physical Store: Some customers have preferred physical stores and you can use geographical data to send them promotions and discounts for that store.
- Location-specific Content: When you have news or content that is relevant to a certain area or region, you can use the customers’ location data and make sure your content is seen by the right people.
Email engagement is yet another straightforward method to use to segment your lists. When you’re doing this, the main metrics to be concerned with are open rates and click through rates, which monitor the most important elements of your email marketing campaign.
The idea of segmenting by using this method is that you can divide your existing list into two main categories: active users and inactive users. You can of course be more thorough and categorize your users by the level of engagement, but for the purpose of our example, just two categories would do.
By dividing your list as such, you can craft specialized emails to send to your subscribers. For the ones who are active, you can send out emails about upcoming sales, special events and such which will allow them to further engage with your brand and possibly get some sales. For inactive users, you can craft the perfect emails that will serve to re-engage them.
Another relatively simple yet highly effective ways to optimize your email marketing campaign is to segment by using your customers’ past purchases. With this, you can send emails recommending products that are similar or are relevant to purchases that they’ve made in the past.
For someone who buys a gaming computer, for instance, you can send emails about accessories like keyboards and mice. If your customer purchases something that requires replacement, refilling, or renewal – like hair gel or shampoo -- you can take an educated guess as to when it might run out and send an email reminding them to reorder.
Segmenting by looking at past purchases is a great and simple way to optimize your targeting. The easiest and most effective way is to begin sending email recommendations that would go well with the previously made purchase this could be similar items or accessories.
Your business could be selling products that range between vastly different prices, the amount your customers spend on your products can be a great metric to use when you are segmenting. You will have access to your customers’ shopping history and you can use it to determine which category your customers fall into.
While we can’t give you a fixed category – the ranges would obviously differ based on the products you sell and the prices you’ve set – we can give you a basic guideline to follow.
- VIPs – shoppers who have high disposable incomes
- Sales Shoppers – customers who tend to purchase when there are sales
- Price Conscious Shoppers – customers who tend to purchase low-price products
- Brand Shoppers – customers who tend to purchase a certain brand’s products
These are basic categories to consider, but by dividing your customers by the amount they’re willing to spend, you can make sure you are sending out the right email to the right customer.
For VIPs, you can send non-monetary offers, perhaps exclusive invites or chances to try out products earlier than others. For sales shoppers and price conscious shoppers, you can send discounts or details about any upcoming promotions. For brand shoppers, you can simply send any relevant emails about their favorite brands.
This is a tactic that is not as straightforward, however, if you’ve the right tools and skill at hand, you can do it fairly easily.
You can have unique user profiles for each of your customers, then ask them for their personal interests and save the data. You can gather this data when your audience is initially signing up and then later allow them to easily update their preferences as needed – you can, for instance, include a link in all the marketing emails you send out that allows them to change their preferences.
This method involves what is known as a ‘Preference Center’ and you can look into how Campaign Monitor does it to get an understanding of how the method works.
Segmentation Leads to Success
Email segmentation might seem like a daunting process, but it can be done relatively easily by anyone. Whether you are a start-up or an established business, you have everything to gain by segmenting your subscriber list.
With a little bit of forethought and creativity – you can, of course, segment your list in more ways than the ones we’ve listed – you can start targeting your audience with relevant emails. Then, you simply have to sit back and watch as your brand’s engagement grows and your company’s success increases.