After you’ve been in the email game for some time, you may run into a pickle. You’ve got emails to send, people to send them to, but absolutely no organization. How are you going to relay the correct information to the right people?
Organizing your subscriber list late in the game can be daunting, but a little segmentation spice will do the trick and save you hours in the future.
Whether you’re catching up and organizing later or segmenting from the very start, it will become your email marketing superpower.
Getting your ducks in a row
Email segmentation is the art and labor of love categorizing email subscribers under specific “umbrellas” based on certain criteria. Under each umbrella are customers that have one thing in common. Better yet, it means your email to that group will have something in common with them—interest in what you’re talking about.
For example, if your company wanted to send an email about a local event, you could send it to those under “Los Angeles,” or even more specifically, “Southern California.” Some segmentation allows for super drilled-in specifics, like email engagement. Email marketing platforms, such as Active Campaign or Campaign Monitor, will trigger readers under appropriate umbrellas based on behavior. A prime example is moving those who haven’t read your emails in X amount of time into inactive status.
But, for those still reading along, you may be wondering why? Aren’t all of your emails relevant to every subscriber? This is possible, but we encourage you not to neglect that email segmentation can increase your open rates by 203%.
Divide and conquer
Is a list of segmentation options currently overflowing your thoughts? Well, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your perfect email marketing system. The most important part of getting organized is starting the journey in this long game.
Still considering that this is a long-term venture, revisiting segments is necessary in staying relevant to the right people. In many cases, a customer’s needs and interests aren’t fixed.
Once you become more familiar with the art, it’ll be second nature to update and evaluate what is or isn’t working. But, for now, start with GDP (geographics, demographics, and psychographics).
- Geographics — Zip code, city, state, and region make a great starting point. Even if your emails are relevant to every person, there is likely a way to make an email more personalized no matter their location. For example, if you sell tennis shoes, well—we can’t think of an area that never wears them. The question becomes, “how can I make my tennis shoes more relevant to people in the Pacific Northwest or the East?”
- Demographics — Now that location is covered, consider someone’s age, profession, income, or gender. Gender is especially telling when deciding what to email and to whom. It’s proven that men and women communicate differently and shop differently.
- Psychographics — These pieces of customer data are more difficult to pinpoint and may not be immediately attainable. Some opt-in email forms have “check-boxes” for people to provide an interest or two, but frequently, you’ll need to get to know your subscribers’ psychographics piece by piece. Asking for too much, too soon, can be overwhelming and prompt them to take a sharp 180 from signing up on your form.
Invitations to get personal
Like a face-to-face relationship with friends or family, each interaction is an opportunity to gather another piece of data about who they are and what they enjoy. But how can email marketers do this online without making subscribers feel like you’re all up in their business?
- Email preferences — What better way to gather information than a customer willingly handing it over? If someone just signed up for your list, try adding a “thank you” message alongside an “update your preferences now” button.
- Surveys — Not intended to be a lengthy, time-consuming task, but an occasional invitation for customers to tell you more about themselves for their benefit. A small incentive can go a long way. For example, an accountant might prompt people to answer three questions for a free “five tips for staying sane during tax season” PDF-value, value, value.
- A/B testing — Modifying the subject line, call-to-action, personality of the email copy, and pictures are a few details that will give you significant insight into what works. You may learn that some subscribers respond well to snark, while others desire plain and simple. Campaign Monitor is one email marketing platform that makes A/B testing a breeze.
Start now, or forever hold your peace
Too many businesses never start a journey to segmentation because of overwhelm. However, email marketing—really, marketing in general—is a marathon, and you should keep the end in mind.
When you need help getting started, get in touch with the Red Mallard team. We would love to take monthly emails off of your hands so you can focus on what matters most: running your business.