Logan Ray

Why You Should Use List Segmentation in Email Marketing

Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Email marketing is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get in front of your customers/prospects, and is frequently recognized as the channel with the best ROI. According to research, 91% of consumers use email at least once a day, and 48% (which is probably higher now) of emails are opened on a mobile device – which means about half the time, your message is sitting in an inbox on a phone/tablet that is within arm’s reach. Now for the bad news, you’re competing for that valuable inbox-real-estate with an infinite amount of other brands. How do you make your emails stand out from the rest? Simple: Stop blasting your entire database with the same message!

Let’s say you run an eCommerce site selling photography equipment. You’ve be en doing a great job building you’re customer database and  you’ve got 34,574 subscribers on your list. It’s a pretty safe assumption that one subject line, one message, or one call to action isn’t going to effectively connect with all of them. So sending out a monthly/weekly/daily blast with a subject line of “Canon Digital SLRs On Sale!” with a coordinating promotional message isn’t going to be very effective. All of your customers aren’t interested in Canon, and not necessarily SLR cameras either. In this photography store example, here are some ways you might want to segment your audience and deliver highly targeted email marketing messages:

  • Brand/Manufacturer: Photographers are picky. Really, really picky. Nikon people don’t want anything to do with Canon, and vice versa. So stopping trying to sell a Canon 5d Mark III, it’ just not happening. You can utilize purchase history to segment these users. Next time Nikon releases a new camera body or lens, utilize the knowledge buried in your data and only email Nikon-people. 
  • Photography style: You probably have some professional photographers, hobbyists, videographers, and point-and-shooters as customers. Now that I’ve laid this out, it’s kind of self-explanatory. Your point-and-shooters don’t need a $3,000 camera body and your pros don’t care about the new Nikon Coolpix. Again, you can use purchase history for this segmentation. Alternatively, if you really want to get aggressive you could have that as a field on your form which would feed your email platform.
  • Based on activity: Assuming your eCommerce platform supports user logins, you can leverage this information by re-engaging customers that haven’t made a purchase in a given time frame. In this example, you could target professional photographers (making inferences based on purchase history; someone spending $5,0oo on lenses is probably getting paid to shoot) that haven’t made a purchase in 6 months. You’ve now narrowed your  audience by 2 highly relevant factors, and can now send them an email that they will more than likely engage with.

Email Segmentation

There are countless other ways to use segmentation to send better emails, the point is to put them to work for you. Sure, it’s going to take much more time to roll out an email program like this, but the efforts are well worth it. Your open and click-through rates will be much higher and you’ll probably even see some awesome things happening with conversions. People are far more likely to open an email that has a tailored subject line and even more likely to obey your call to action if the body content and promotion fits their needs.

All this seem a little complicated? No worries, our digital marketing team has more than enough experience and are more than happy to help you build killer email campaigns.