Segment Your Email List
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Ben Shepardson is the founder of NoStop Content, a boutique writing agency focusing on helping small business clients take their websites to the next level. From social media topics to articles on niche industry issues, NoStop's articles are written with style, attention to detail, and with the client's audience in mind.

Email marketing is a robust weapon from your digital marketing arsenal. It has a 4300% ROI. You won’t see this amazing return from social media or snail mail. To get a healthy return, your email marketing strategy needs to be precise, sharper than the lance Ivanhoe skewered his enemies with.

Unfortunately, the reverse is often true. Too many businesses are still sending emails using the “spray and pray” principle. The hope is that the volume will overcome a lack of strategy, a lack of targeting, a lack of personalization.

That’s not how email marketing works. Irrelevant content frustrates your prospects. It results in abuse reports, unsubscribes and a loss of goodwill.

Some emails enrich your brand, some detract from it. Your prospects won’t bother reading your emails anymore if you leave a bad taste in their mouth.

Rebuilding a reputation doesn’t happen overnight either. You can’t correct dozens of bad emails with one super-personalized one. Your prospects’ inboxes are flooded. They don’t need much of a reason to tune you out.

That’s why email segmentation is vital. Email segmentation is sending customized content for various groups of clients. According to a case study from MailChimp, businesses that use email segmentation have over 14.28% more openings than businesses using non-segmentation campaigns, and 54.79% more clicks.

Here are seven ways to segment your email lists.

1. Gender

Gender segmentation is vital if you have different offerings for men and women. Companies like Nike segment their prospects by gender. They don’t want to send a man an advertisement for women’s shoes. Some men might be offended by the offering. Most of the others will deem the emails as irrelevant.

If you’re in an industry where the products are specific to gender, then collect that data promptly.

2. Age

This criterion is extremely vital. Psychologically speaking, interests depend on your subscriber’s age, and they are important if you want to relate to your fandom better. Asking your prospects to fill in the year they were born is a good idea. You can customize the content to adapt to their needs.

For example, let’s say you are a music retailer: People over 40 are more likely to buy albums from the past. On the other hand, teens tend to look for new songs. You can segment your emails to appease both groups.

Yet, age is still imperfect information. If a 57-year-old female bought the last two Selena Gomez albums, you want to market the upcoming release to her. Likewise, if a teenager bought a Frank Sinatra album, you want to send him news about the upcoming Best of the Rat Pack re-release.

Of course, this is a moot point for beginners. When your customers subscribe to your email list, they aren’t going to fill out a long survey, detailing their likes and dislikes. You may only get their email, and a few more pieces of information. You use everything that you have, but you’re always looking for more. You can collect more via their purchases, surveys, or even conversations with them. Email segmentation is living, not stagnant.

3. Location

When you know where your subscribers live, you have a powerful weapon in your hand. People are abreast of local news and local events. Let’s say you’re a comic book retailer that sells your comics nationally. Also, let’s say there’s a small comic book convention, and you plan to attend. You can send an email to your customers who live nearby, asking them to come.

Local events are an excellent way to provide value. Because they are niche, you can provide exclusive content easier.

4. Purchases

Segment your lists by looking at what your customers buy. The truth about selling is that some customers are much more profitable than others. They derive more value from your product. Your job is to keep delivering that value.

You can do that by closely watching what your customers buy. For instance, let’s say you sell phone accessories. If your customer buys a screen protector for the iPhone 6, then email them about a case for the iPhone 6 as well. Of course, targeting may start off more general. You can start off by segmenting iPhone vs Android. Segmentation is not all or nothing.

5. Shopping Cart Abandonment

It’s not just about what they bought. It’s about what they almost bought.

Shopping cart abandonment happens a lot to eCommerce websites. Baymard Institute discovered that, on average, 68% of shopping carts are abandoned before purchase. It’s easier to monitor and track people who have an account with you.

Send a reminder to their email. You can remind them about the whole cart, or just one item in the cart. Even if they remove the items from the cart, they may still be interested at a later date.

6. People Who Haven’t Left a Testimonial or Review

Good reviews are the lifeblood of a business. Social proof is a powerful tool that allows you to make more sales. Yet, reviews are typically one per customer. Once a person leaves a review about their experience, that’s it. Of course, one customer can review many items on an e-commerce site.

When you ask for reviews, you want to ask people who haven’t reviewed. If you have an e-commerce site, you may want to ask people who have reviewed an older purchase, but haven’t reviewed a newer purchase. These tactics will help you get more social proof.

7. Usage

Some clients are your fans, your ambassadors. These are people who love your website. They may even tell their friends and family about your brand. How you determine these people is up to you. Maybe they spend a certain amount. Maybe they’re active on social media. Maybe it’s a combination of certain factors.

Reward these clients with special coupons and lots of thanks. Let them know that you notice them.

Segmentation Never Stops

Email segmentation doesn’t just happen when a client fills out a lead magnet. You should always collect data about your customers so you can provide more value. Their inbox is saturated. Send personal emails and watch your brand grow.

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