A Short Introduction
"Pease porridge hot, Pease porridge cold, Pease porridge in the pot, Nine days "Pease porridge hot, Pease porridge cold, Pease porridge in the pot, Nine days old."
A classic example of One Size Doesn't Fit All. This rhyme points at likings or preferences, highlighting the fact that different individuals have a different outlook towards things (products and services in this context). What does the audience need? This is the very aspect that marketing strategies often revolve around. The likes and dislikes, the choices of the audience often determine the pitch, the approach, and the overall messaging. Grouping the audience who have similar interests, choices, hobbies, or fall within the common age bracket or other have similarities, makes email marketing more targeted and responsive. And the process of grouping the email database/subscriber list is known as email segmentation.
In formal terms, Email list segmentation is an email marketing practice, wherein the subscriber list is segmented or split on the basis of various predetermined conditions. Email List segmentation allows the creating of personalized and more relevant messages for different groups which in turn increases engagement and improves customer retention too.
The Subtle Modifications
Email Marketing is a powerful platform. However, the power lies in sending the right messages at the right time and personalization plays a vital role here. What makes segmentation essential is the need to create personalized messages for different kinds of audiences to whom the product or service or promotional activity needs to be reached out to.
Every buyer is different, while they may look at the same product, the purpose of purchase and the impact of it in their lives can be entirely different. Take, for instance, a Pen. Pen for students is a must-have gear, while for office workers it is a status quo or just an additional object, whereas for the elderly it can be the assistive object that records daily logs. The sales of the Pen depend on how it is sold to different customer groups by focusing on the problem and solution it offers.
The reason to segment the list is to provide only the relevant information with the customers and to begin with you essentially need a list. The lead list or the user list is ideally the audience who have given you permission to send information and promotional messages on a regular basis. List segmentation prerequisites also include the availability of user data associated with the email address, for instance, the favorite brand, gender, or other general information. A good Email marketing tool has analytics to help you gather all the relevant information like location, age, etc. This data in turn provides the inputs to create segments. Email list segmentation can be done in many ways, the most popular ones are as listed below.
There is no point in sending emails to people who live in various geographic locations unless your store or service is actually accessible there. This makes the location a primary factor for segregation. This kind of list segregation helps in sending Time-based email messages to customers in different time zones, in promoting regional or localized products and services, in sending invites for webinars or online meet and greet, and various other location-specific emails.
It is a known fact that a thing that appeals to the hexagenerians may not always be appealing to teenagers or even middle agers. It's the same with gender. Many products and services may need a gender-specific approach, say for instance clothing or jewelry. Segregation based on gender and age can help in creating a narrower more targeted list to work with.
There can be a major difference in messaging created for long-term customers and new customers, be it in terms of product selection, customization options, or discounts. For instance, Newer customers are often welcomed using emails that do not have to spam the inboxes of customers who have been associated with you for a long time. Similarly, new clients may need more information about products, which the repeat customers may already be well aware of.
The central theme of the rhyme shared in the beginning; preference can be the specific factor based on which email list can be segregated. Collect information through surveys or questionnaires to understand what customers wish to see in the emails, how often they expect the emails to drop in, and the kind of message they expect to receive. As a good practice, it is important to give the subscribers an option to unsubscribe anytime they want to.
In a post titled, Getting Smart With Email Marketing Segmentation, Jordie van Rijn, an independent email marketing consultant at Email Monday shares some expert insights on email list segmentation. Here's a gist. He states that Email marketing segmentation is the art of thinking in groups. And that better email marketing segmentation depends on looking beyond what is obvious.
Segmentation factors can be anything from:
Jordie emphasizes the utilization of behavioral data and suggests to use different segments in combination for better marketing.
"Email marketing segmentation doesn't stop at selecting group A or B. Once you start layering segmentation criteria, the possibilities are almost endless. It is only limited by the available data. That is why we create segmentation models. All the data in your database – or even combined, derived or external data – can be used to create these segmentation models. There are what I like to call the Pillars of Segmentation – these describe the types of Data and Segmentation that can be used and then combined to create your models."