Target Customers to Segment Your Email List

I used to get daily emails from the flash sale site Gilt. At first the emails were for general sales, but as time wore on, they got really specific and highlighted my favorite brands. It was almost creepy how good they got at targeting my specific interests to get me to open the email, click through to the site and ultimately, buy something.

How did Gilt do it? They used an email marketing technique called segmenting. Instead of a one-size-fits-all email to everyone, they used data they had collected over time to create uber-personalized emails that catered to each customer’s interests. In my case, I stopped receiving emails highlighting shoe sales and received information about when my favorite nail polish would be featured.

Once you’ve established a quality opt-in email list and it’s hearty enough to endure some dicing and splicing, try segmenting the  list to increase the relevance of your campaign. By sending targeted emails with unique content that a select portion of your email list cares about, you’ll increase the opens and click-through rates which is the ultimate goal.

When you’re ready to segment your email list, think about how you naturally categorize your network. Is this person a client or a prospect? What products or services do they buy from you? Here are some of the most common ways you can segment your list to increase the impact of your email marketing.

  • Client vs. Prospect – Sending different information to clients and prospects keeps your newsletters from feeling spammy and cold. Prospects won’t care about an update to your software and clients don’t need to receive promotions for new users who sign up.
  • Location – If your customers are scattered across the country, segmenting them by location gives you the opportunity to provide unique content to them based on their location. Home Depot wouldn’t be doing themselves any favors by sending a newsletter highlighting snow blowers to customers in Arizona.
  • Purchase History – Purchase history can be a powerful segmenting tool if you have kept the data from previous years. In the case of businesses where customers make a one-time large purchase, this can keep them in touch with customers without bombarding them with offers for the same product. Take for instance an HVAC company – they could target customers who had purchased a new air conditioner from them in the last year with content on how important it is to get an air conditioner tune up each spring and an offer.
  • Demography –  Knowing your clients and creating unique content based for them can be as simple as knowing what they need. For example, we work with a veterinary office that sends newsletters specific to dog owners without bombarding their cat owner clients with information they don’t care about.

Segmenting your lists gives you the power to reach your email list on a more personal level and strengthen the relationship. If you’re interested in learning more about segmenting your list, give us a call, we’re happy to help.

photo credit: Bogdan Suditu via photopin cc