Blasting out emails to a list that hasn’t been segmented is essentially the digital equivalent of sending a message in a bottle. Properly segmenting customers into component email lists can take time, but it pays off by helping companies convert leads into customers more efficiently than they ever thought possible. Getting started may not even be as difficult as it sounds.
Email List Segmentation Tricks to Get You Going
Demographic data is where you probably want to start, especially if you know at least a little something about the people who buy from your brand. The age, job, and even income level of a prospective sales lead can tell you quite a bit about their needs.
Companies with more demographic information about individuals who sign up for their email list segmentation tend to do much better in this regard. Still, you don’t want to ask for too much information, or you’ll scare some customers away.
Asking for a person’s age and interests usually is a small deal, especially if you represent any kind of specialty eCommerce firm that deals in products not sold through regular distribution networks. Customers looking for these items won’t normally have any problem mentioning that to companies that deal in what they’re looking for.
General retailers and insurance firms might have more of a difficult time with their email list segmentation workflows. Still, there are a few simple ways to collect a lot of information on the kinds of people most interested in what they’re selling.
Quizzes and surveys are probably the most fun way to do this, and they’re also disarming to most potential customers. While people might take exception when asked to fill out a long form about themselves, they won’t normally balk at answering a few survey questions.
Marketers and business owners tend to use surveys to gauge public opinion, so your followers may see this as a rare opportunity for them to have their voices heard. If that’s the case, you might get a huge deluge of statistics that could be potentially difficult to read. Those dealing with too much information instead of too little might want to start with a simple geographical sorting technique.
Try Email Segmenting to Customers by Geographic Area
Drawing basic geographic blocks around your customers can be a good idea regardless of whether you only do business in the States or attract a truly international clientele. Businesses with various customer bases across a wide area will want to sort out all the addresses they send emails to based on which distribution center they’re closest to. Depending on the nature of your business, you could also try segmenting messages by service region.
That’s a good idea for companies that must dispatch technicians or repair personnel for their business operations. It’s also good for purely online operations that manage subscription boxes or other tangible goods that have to get delivered to their end-users regularly.
Monitor where your customers shop, if that’s possible, given your organization’s specific business model. You could send out targeted emails whenever there are events in specific locations.
Invitations to live webinars are always a good idea as long as you adjust the timing of such events based on the current hour in your customer’s locales. In some situations, you’d want to tailor each of your promotions to the clock in the town each of your clients calls home.
Time-based messaging is a good idea if your organization operates nationally or worldwide. Send emails at times that make sense for your consumers’ zone. Pay close attention to any existing metrics you have regarding this.
For instance, if your research shows that your customers are more likely to open messages during a given part of the day, you might want to blast them out at that time. However, be careful about conducting research since too much can lead your segmentation efforts astray.
Collecting Metrics the Right Way
Web beacons and tracker pixels have long been a hotly debated topic, but they’re often seen as the only way marketers can figure out whether or not someone opened an email or clicked on a link once they did.
Figuring out if someone read an email message may constitute a breach of privacy rights in the eyes of some netizens, so it might be best to figure out other ways to do this. Perhaps the simplest method is including a full image in every email as opposed to trying to track a single pixel. Images posted inside of emails could provide value to a customer, which means that any information collected from them would be viewed as far less of a problem than it might be from something that serves no purpose but to track users.
Business owners who work primarily in technology may even want to segment their lists based on how different individuals feel about these kinds of issues. Some users may appreciate the ability to get put on a list that doesn’t collect as much information about their whereabouts, and they might even be more willing to purchase if they feel your brand is working hard to protect their privacy.
Regardless of what kind of information you’re collecting, be certain that you store it through an encrypted service that isn’t going to fall victim to data breaches. As soon as you have this sorted out, you can consider things in terms of dollars and cents instead of abstract concepts.
Looking at the Amount Shoppers Spend
Purveyors of multiple high and low-cost items can quickly get a feel for how much money individual consumers are willing to spend. By using the expense history of each shopper, you can figure out which ones only want to purchase affordable items and who might be a bit more willing to open their purse strings. Send out targeted emails featuring products that seem to be within each customer’s budget.
Some recipe box companies have come up with various market segments using this method, ranging from budget meals to premium foodstuffs that you’d only ever have on a special occasion. Nearly any type of business could try this method, though it’s especially effective for those who manage subscription box services.
Eventually, you’ll come across some shoppers you can never convert into sales. That’s because these customers are very low in their overall journey through your sales funnel. Put these potential clients in the same segment as your newest arrivals, and then send them personalized emails to help them feel welcomed into your brand.
Customers who’ve been with you for a long time have probably demonstrated some interest in a particular aspect of your business operations. You should have placed those contact details in a special address book segment by that point. Hence, they only receive laser-focused targeted emails tailored to their particular interests.
Chances are good that they’d never even open up a marketing email if it seemed to have a generic headline that everyone subscribed to a certain email list would receive. Consider tracking page views and the specific types of emails these customers open the most. If they’re regularly avoiding a certain kind, you shouldn’t feel bad about dumping that series. After all, eliminating irrelevant messages could be the key to bringing back consumers you could have otherwise lost.
Figuring Out the Time Since a Customer’s Last Purchase
Perhaps no other metric is as important as when an existing customer has last purchased an item. You’ll want to create several different segments based on this measurement alone.
Frequent buyers are loyal and might respond well to being upsold on product upgrades. They may also be the most likely to reply to promotions of new services that they’d have a special first shot at joining in on. One-time customers should receive an entirely different focus since they may need personalized discounts before ever doing business with your brand again. You can also send them renewal messages if the one service they subscribed to is going to expire soon.
Assuming they’ve been happy with the service thus far, this alone might be enough to jog their memory and get them to purchase another year or two.
Everyone between these extremes could easily fill out two or three other segments, which should be tailored to your specific industry. Give some thought to the way that your shoppers act. Not everything can be boiled down to stats and numbers, so you should trust your judgment as you segment your mailing list and get ready to dramatically improve how you attract new business.