How Email List Segmentation Helps Your Business

Carmen Rane HudsonGeneral Online Marketing

email marketing segmentationSmall business email marketing is important, but it’s also important to realize that not all of your customers are the same.

That’s why it’s a bad idea to have a “one-size-fits-all” strategy for your subscribers on your email list, or even for your content. Fortunately, even with the easy email content method I discussed in my last post, you don’t have to.

You can use list segmentation to talk to all of the different types of customers that you deal with. This feature comes standard in nearly all email marketing programs.

This makes sure that the customer only gets the content that the customer is most likely to be interested in. That means you don’t annoy your customers by sending them anything that’s irrelevant to them.

Here is what the segmentation feature looks like inside of Aweber, a commonly used email program.

As you can see, it’s a simple drop down menu where you choose different options that describe the customer you’re trying to talk to.

Some Useful Ways to Segment Your List

One good way to segment your list would be to separate your B2B customers from your B2C customers. Many small businesses have both.

You might also need to separate the customers further depending on who you serve.

Roofers, for example, might serve big commercial buildings and homeowners. A homeowner’s roof maintenance tips are going to be very different from the mall owner’s.

While both types of content may be on your blog you’ll want to use the segments to call special attention to the content that’s most important to each type of customer.

That way your homeowners get the email that points them towards your blog post on checking the house’s roof after a storm, while your mall owner sees tips for commercial roofing evaluations.

Imagine what would happen if you tried to send both of those emails to both customers. They would would feel disinterested, left out, and annoyed but one of your messages.

By segmenting, you allow each of your customers to feel valued and specially targeted.

You can also segment your customers by past purchases. For example, customers who routinely go after the lowest price want to hear about specials and deals, whereas customers who consistently purchase the high-price-point items want to hear about quality and longevity.

You should also consider segmenting buyers vs. readers. Some people on your list are customers who you want to convert into repeat customers. Others are readers who have yet to buy.

You might well want to offer things to the former that aren’t offered to the latter. They might well be interested in different offers or promotions that are tailored to them specifically.

Segmentation Results

Segmentation may sound like a pain, but it does deliver real results.

According to the marketing blog Hubspot, segmentation creates better open rates and lower opt-out rates. Hubspot reports that 39% of the business owners who use segmentation enjoy better open rates.

They also report that 28% of these businesses enjoy lower opt-out rates. 24% of all business owners report that their emails do a better job of passing spam filters, too, which means they get seen in the first place (always a concern).

The reason is simple: as mentioned before, segmentation prevents you from annoying your customers with content they simply do not care about. Instead, you can get laser-focused on their needs, which makes you stand out. Most businesses just throw everything at the wall hoping something sticks.

Today’s Action Items:

  • Segment your subscribers and write emails specific to each segment.