What Is Email List Segmentation?
Targeting specific groups of customers or even individuals with email marketing is possible. To make the process easier, you must segment the emails before using those for the campaigns.
Segmented email campaigns show 50% higher CTR than untargeted campaigns.
Email list segmentation is splitting your email list into smaller lists based on criteria such as geographic location, interests, industry, company, etc. This is one of the common personalization techniques. Businesses & marketers use this technique to send relevant communications to specific people on a mailing list.
Why should you segment the email list?
Segmenting the email list simply results in better-quality emails. By sending relevant and targeted messages to specific people on your list, segmented email campaigns are designed to drive response to your email marketing messages. To create relevant messages that will engage the list members, you can split the list based on factors such as purchase history, age, geographic location, or previous email campaign interactions.
Reasons To Do Email List Segmentation
- Better connection with the audience
- Better open rate and click rate
- Lower the bounce rate and unsubscription rate
- Targeted campaigns and promotions
Email Segmentation Strategies
You can categorize your email list in many ways. Below are examples of different types of email segmentation.
Segmenting the email list by geographic location is a very effective method for personalized email campaigns. It can be performed based on various factors, such as location, time zone, climate, season, cultural preferences, language, and population density. This strategy works well when location is a significant factor in the purchasing decision. This method has some advantages like it’s easy to implement, highly relevant marketing, cost-efficient, etc.
Demographic segmentation tends to be more stable and predictable. The key focus is on the who, which means that your segmentation variables are gender, age, income, religion, and profession.
You can reach the right inbox with the right offer by creating segments based on your market segment’s demographics.
Demographic segmentation is the most straightforward way to split your email list. It’s because the information needed is usually easier to get and more readily available.
Psychographic segmentation is the most effective yet the most challenging segmentation. Because it dives deeper than demographical segmentation since it deals with the person’s thoughts and feelings, this segmentation revolves around the word “Why”. This is a more dynamic segment, unlike demographic segmentation. Even though it is purely based on buyers’ or subscribers’ interest, their interests and feeling might change over time.
This segmentation depends on previous actions or interactions. You can segment the email list based on certain activities like purchase behaviour, customer loyalty, engagement, etc.
Top 10 Ways to Segment Your Email List
1. Buyer Persona
The buyer persona is a detailed description of an imaginary person who represents the desired target audience. This is the first thing you must do before starting the email campaigns. Because it gives a broad perspective of the target audience, it helps you make email marketing plans easily. You can even narrow down the segmentation using the buyer persona. For example, age segmentation, location segmentation, gender segmentation, etc. The buyer persona is the base for further segmentation.
How’d you feel if you received an email saying to visit their local store in New York when you are living in California?
You should start with the obvious. A location-based segmentation offers many options and helps you send highly personalized emails. A city, a town, a country, or even an entire continent could be the location. A new geographic location may also be identified here that your business may wish to expand into.
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3. Time Zone
Your subscribers will not only interact with your emails differently, but they will also interact with them at different times. Depending on the group, you can stagger the send times for various campaigns to maximize engagement. Time zones vary worldwide, so this is especially relevant for global audiences.
The frequency of your emails to subscribers is another factor to consider. You can use preference forms to ask them how often they want to hear from you and then use segmentation to exclude those who want to hear from you less often from certain campaigns.
If done well, gender-specific marketing can be a very powerful tool, but it’s becoming increasingly important to consider your messaging.
It is important to tread lightly when using gender segmentation to avoid offending users with traditional gender roles or stereotypes. Make sure you are not exclusive when targeting based on gender. Offer both gender-specific and gender-neutral products.
Gender marketing isn’t about portraying stereotypes but providing clear, effective, and targeted marketing materials.
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If your product or service can benefit more than two industries, it’s always best to pitch the email for each industry separately. You have to separate the industries according to your product or service.
Consider the departments you serve – such as sales, marketing, customer service, or IT – when segmenting by job function. Also, consider the different businesses you work with – such as retail, hospitality, or banking.
6. Job Title
If you want to dig deeper, consider segmenting your lists by job title. You wouldn’t approach an entry-level copywriter and a VP of marketing the same way, even though they technically work in the same department. A VP is a decision-maker, while an entry-level copywriter is not. If you want to pitch with a super personalized email, segment the email list by job title and do the email campaign.
7. Product Interest
You can not sell every product you have to the audience on your email list. Segment the email list based on the interests of your subscribers. You have to pitch them by highlighting their interests.
Occasionally, customers will add an item to their online shopping cart but fail to complete the transaction. These shoppers can be targeted with a cart abandonment email to reignite their interest and encourage them to purchase.
Segmentation can also be used to boost sales via post-purchase emails. Cross-selling can suggest other items customers often buy together based on what they purchased.
Image source: salecycle.com
According to Litmus Email Analytics, 56% of emails are opened on mobile devices, which is significantly increasing.
Segmenting email lists based on their device helps to create a message length, text formatting, picture, etc., according to the device.
9. Purchase History
Past purchases will give you a rough idea about your customer interests. By identifying their buying pattern, you can promote products related to their interest are related to the product they have purchased.
Image source: ecapacity.com
For example, if someone bought organic butter from an e-commerce platform, that person might be interested in other flavoured butter. You can see in the newsletter above how a personalized email focused on prior purchases can be so relevant and effective.
This recommendation marketing makes up over 35% of Amazon’s business!
Segmentation based on engagement level helps reduce unsubscription rate and increase open rate and CTR.
Look at your email campaign metrics and separate less engaged contacts from the list. You can segment the highly engaged contacts and send them different contents to encourage them to open and read your emails. Also, you can segment the content you are using. You can easily eliminate the content which is not working for you.
Benefits of Email List Segmentation
- Reduced unsubscribe rates
- Increased ROI
- Increased open rate and click rate
- Increased customer satisfaction
Advanced Tools to Segment The Email List
The right tools are essential for leveraging segmentation, or you may end up spending a lot of time and ultimately dragging down your email ROI during the critical period. In the market, there are hundreds of tools; you must decide what you need and what budget you have to spend on them, and then choose accordingly.
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These tools help you to get behavioural data like engagement, purchase history, geolocation, purchase frequency, device type, etc.
Email List Segmentation Best Practices
- Keep it as simple as possible
Don’t overcomplicate list segmentation, even when you’re just starting out. Take 2 to 3 segments in the beginning. Always start with basic segmentation by using buyer persona, location, etc.
- Choose the right email segmentation tool
Before starting, do some research and choose a tool for list segmentation and for contact management wisely. Choose the tool according to your need and budget.
- Update the right contacts in your email list
Segmenting the email list will be difficult if your email tool does not have an up-to-date list of the right contacts.
- Remember user preferences
Pay attention to your subscribers’ preferences—only send them what they’ve requested, and don’t send them anything they don’t want. Take the effort to build segments for data collected based on preferred email frequency and email types.
- Label new contact
Starting segmenting your contacts as soon as they enter your CRM or email platform is one of the most important list segmentation best practices.
- Remove invalid emails regularly (Mandatory if you are doing cold email outreach)
Check your list and remove the invalid emails regularly if you are doing cold email outreach. You are not supposed to send emails to invalid users since it will decrease your email deliverability.
- Don’t forget to track the results regularly
Segmentation isn’t something you can set and forget. Set aside some time to evaluate and adjust your performance. For new segments, this can be more often, but once you’re up and going, it should be about once a month.
Email personalization plays a very crucial role in standing out from the crowd. To perform that, you must segment the email list accordingly and use those data wisely. These might give your audience a special feeling. You can pitch the audience at the right time with the right content. To know more strategies about email marketing, try our mastery course, where you will get to know all strategies about email marketing. I hope you got a detailed understanding of email list segmentation.