If you’ve been using email marketing for a while, you might have come across the term segmentation. It’s a marketing term that simply means, dividing people into groups based on information like interests, demographics or their preferences on products or services.
But why should you segment?
Sometimes, emails are not a one size fits all. One email might appeal to some people on your list while others need something completely different. The people who aren’t interested in emails might delete them, or worse, unsubscribe if they find that your messages aren’t relevant to them.
You can avoid this by segmenting your lists to target the right group with the right, relevant messages.
So how do you get started with segmenting?
1. Email lists
One way to segment or group your contacts is by using email lists and asking your subscribers to choose the lists they’re interested in. The Grafton Inn in Vermont sends emails about upcoming specials, music series performances, local events, and news about its Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center. They’ve created lists for those communications and subscribers have the opportunity to choose what lists they’re interested in. Subscribers receive information that’s relevant to them and won’t find unnecessary emails in their inbox.
2. Sign-up form
You can learn about your subscribers’ interests and preferences by asking them the right questions in your sign-up form. Young Rembrandts art programs ask for information like the school a child attends and their grade level. If they offer a class for a particular age group or neighborhood, a simple search by information field helps Young Rembrandts find customers who would be interested in those offers.
3. Audience behavior
Audience behavior is another great way to segment. Find out what your audience is interested in by using your email reports to see what they’re opening and clicking on. You can save those people to an existing list or create a new one.
You can also create lists for customers who purchased a particular product or service and send them emails about those items. The Festival City Theatres Trust in Edinburgh, Scotland, has 15 different email lists for the different types of performances they host. Subscribers choose from the lists when they signup. When someone purchases a ticket, they’re added to a list for that type of show also.
Some businesses and organizations have very distinct audiences that they communicate with. That’s why organizing their lists by the relationship they have with different customers helps them get the right information in front of the right people.
Fairy Dogparents, a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts, divides lists by events, board members, general information, people interested in specific initiatives, and volunteers. Donors can stay updated about how their contribution is making an impact and volunteers are notified when their services are needed.
And that’s segmentation in a nutshell. These four strategies will help you get started, and above all else, they’ll ensure that the right messages get in front of the right audience.