If you deliver content or services to different categories of businesses or sell products to a diverse customer base, you need to know two things:
- Email marketing is still the best way to get your marketing message to these customers
- Targeted messages are the best way to connect with, and motivate, your subscribers to action
To do this effectively, use email segmentation.
Why Does Email Segmentation Work?
First, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Admit it. Don’t you like it when an email message comes that knows your name and your shopping preferences or interests?
Let’s say you operate a home furnishings website and one of your best customers just made a purchase of a desk for his home office.
Wouldn’t it be great for this customer to receive an email that promotes your other home office accessories?
Or, better yet, what if you offer some great home office decorating ideas with links to an image-rich gallery on your website, which showcases the desk and your other products?
Not all customers are the same. They may be in different:
- Points along the sales journey
Or, they may have varying:
- Roles of responsibility in their organization
A good chunk of your subscriber base may not have even made a purchase from you yet!
Capture Additional Information
Most email list applications have a way for you to add additional fields on your list opt-in form. If you run brick-and-mortar stores, ask customers for their ZIP or postal code to customize and target future promotions.
You don’t want to overwhelm your site visitors with a long opt-in form; you can collect their ZIP or postal code, job title and a dropdown list of their areas of interest or even an age group selection if you market products and services for different target demographics.
Keep It Really Simple
When you first begin email segmentation, keep it simple!
Start small and think about your marketing and promotional goals. You want to collect a manageable amount of subscriber details.
Remember, one additional variable can result in huge results! You can create more list segments as you scale your sales & marketing efforts.
Ideas for Email Segmentation
Here are 3 ideas you can start using today to improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
1. Segment by Geography
This is a very powerful way to create emails to tell segmented subscribers of local happenings, news and events.
If you are inviting your audience to a live webinar, you can tailor the message to their location and adjust the times in the invite. The iCONIC 2016 reminder email below shows the event time displayed for our geographic location - Pacific Daylight Time.
You can use geolocation to tweak the messaging to customers in different regions. Let’s say you’re sending “Trample the snow in style” to your boots customers in the wintry East. You can tweak this for your southern audience that experiences warmer weather by changing the heading to "These peep-toe booties were made for southern winters.”
2. Segment by Activity - Non-buyers
There are many segments you can create with this grouping. You can segment by inactive purchasers, or prospects, and those who are active buyers.
Let’s focus on the prospects, the inactive audience or the non-buyers group. This segment of your list may constitute a large portion of your subscriber base. Your goal is to turn this inactive group into purchasers.
You want to gear these types of email campaigns to:
- Contain sales-driven content
- Have easy-to-find calls to action, i.e., link to activate a coupon code, Shop now button
- Educate prospects about your brand and what it stands for
- Provide success stories on how your services have improved other organizations
- Showcase buyer or client testimonials
- Link to case studies
Viyet.com uses a clear call to action in this marketing email with their ‘Shop Now’ button in the following email campaign example.
3. Segment by Industry
For business advisory and marketing agencies, collecting this information is vital for sending the right content to the many industries your contacts are a part of.
Entertainment artists interested in expanding their online music distribution channels won’t be interested in the latest case study for a shipping company you just completed.
The Key to Effective Marketing
No matter how you slice or dice it, the effort put into email segmentation will be worth the return on investment (ROI). Customers want to feel that you are talking to them directly, addressing their needs and improving their experience with getting to know your brand.