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Improving Email Engagement with List Segmentation

Email Marketing and List SegmentationAchieving relevance in your email marketing efforts should be your number one priority. Why? Because email marketing is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s apples vs. oranges, hot dogs vs. hamburgers, and puppies vs. kittens. Your customers have needs and interests, and they want you to communicate with them based on those preferences.

For example, when you know that your customer Mary prefers oranges, is a vegetarian, and loves baby beagles, you can send Mary personalized messages based on what she wants to hear. That way, you increase the opportunity of engaging with her—and you decrease the possibility that she’ll hit the unsubscribe link.

And that’s where list segmentation comes in, which means that you’re organizing—or personalizing—your email messaging based on cues from your customers. Whether you want them to make a purchase, read a blog article, or download a white paper, your goal is to engage them by sending a targeted, relevant email message.

So how do you personalize your emails so that your customers will open, read, and act upon them? The answer is easier than you might think. . . .

Let’s look at three types of data you already have at your fingertips that can help you segment your email lists effectively:

  1. Email Behavior
    After you review the email activity from a recent cosmetics campaign, you see that some recipients clicked on “lip gloss” and “hand lotion,” but passed on “perfume” and “lipsticks.” Based on this information, you can deduce what those recipients are most interested in, and you can target their interests more specifically in your next email.

    And if the recipients didn’t make a purchase after opening your first message, you can segment them into an “opened only” category and follow up with a compelling subject line to help drive an immediate purchase: Buy One Get One Free Lip Gloss on Sale Today Only! Your targeted response can mean the difference between capturing a purchase and missing an opportunity.

  2. Purchasing Behavior
    Based on the purchases your customers have made in the past, you can deduce what kinds of products they’ll be purchasing in the future. For example, some of your customers recently purchased a 60-day supply of one-a-day vitamins. So what does that mean? In 45 days, you should send them an email that reminds them their supply is getting low and they’ll want to reorder now to avoid running out.

    And don’t forget the power of the upsell. If a customer recently purchased a pair of ballet shoes, you can suggest a leotard and a skirt to complete the outfit. Here’s one subject line that can help you incentivize: Order Any of the Featured Products in This Message and Receive 10% Off Each Item! A little savings can go a long way to increasing the value of the order and clinching that next sale.

  3. Demographics
    Even without acquiring additional information about your customers through custom Web forms and surveys (which are, by the way, a great way to acquire more detailed profile information), just knowing their shipping states or ZIP codes can help you target the right recipients with the right products.

    Let’s consider the upcoming campaign that will be advertising your newest line of snow boots. Although you wouldn’t want to send your email message to your surfboard customers in California and Florida, it would be the perfect promotion for your outdoor enthusiasts in Vermont and New Hampshire. When you target your customers based on their demographics, you’re showing them that you’re paying attention to their individual needs.

As you can see from these examples, segmentation doesn’t need to be complicated. By leveraging the data that you’ve collected from your email marketing activities and by using some creative strategies, you can design email campaigns that have greater relevance, and thus the potential for greater response. Once your customers see that you’re tuned in to their needs and interests, they’re more likely to engage with your email messaging and help you achieve the ROI you’re looking for.

Related articles:
Want to Build and Maintain a Loyal Customer Base? Try Email Marketing
Email Marketing: Get Your Subscribers’ Attention at the Subject Line

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Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson

Latest posts by Michelle Johnson (see all)

Michelle Johnson


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