List Segmentation: Why It Matters and How to Segment It

  • Since the very beginning when it was first introduced as a marketing concept, segmentation has remained at the heart of all the marketing activities undertaken by marketers across industries. It has successfully transitioned itself to the digital age without any difficulty, whatsoever. People still relies on this tool. Even email marketing experts use this to improve the effectiveness of their campaign.

    Email list segmentation can ensure that your emails target your recipients more precisely.  Email segmentation involves the organization of your list into specific groups.  This allows you to create content that is tailored specifically to each of those groups’ interests.

    Why Segmentation?

    As mentioned in the introduction, segmentation is relevant to email marketing as well. It helps a marketer understand the nature of people on his list, which he can use to make different niche subgroups in the mailing list. It will help him customize the message for each group, which will subsequently increase the ROI – the ultimate goal of any business enterprise.

    Segmentation can also help your deliverability. People are much more likely to open and click-through emails that have relevant information. Plus, they are less likely to get annoyed and mark your emails as spam.

    And the good news is that the technology and tools available today make the customization and sending of your segmented emails easier than ever. So once you’ve determined how to segment your list, the rest is relatively easy.

    How to segment your mailing list?

    There are a number of different ways to segment your email audience. For a segmentation strategy to work, however, it needs to reflect two things:

    • Your core business strategy
    • What you know about your typical buyers’ purchasing decisions.

    Here are 5 list segmentation strategies to enable more tailored effective mail communications.

    Geographic Segmentation:

    Segmenting by geographical works best when the location of a buyer plays a significant role in his or her purchasing decision (e.g. with events and other invitations). Here is a quick list of instances when you should segment by geography.

    • When sending invitations to special events
    • When your company or service has geographic limitations
    • When your connection to a town or region is strength. For example, with local landscaping companies, cleaning services, or restaurants.

    Segment Demographically:

    If your subscriber lives in New York, why are you sending her specials about flights between Texas and Alaska? Or if your subscriber is a 25-year-old woman, why are you sending her emails for specials on “Fashions for Mature Women”? You get the idea. Take note of demographics, and your relevant emails will give your subscriber the impression that you are listening (which you are) and will help garner the results you seek.

    Segment Using Behavioral Data:

    Using behavioral data to segment your list is another important way to help improve your ROI. The following are some examples of behavioral data categories:

    a. People who have opened your email

    b. People who have opened and clicked through to your Web site

    c. People who have opened, clicked through, and made a purchase

    d. People who have not opened your email

    Personal Interest Segmentation:

    In the initial stages of email marketing, you will most likely begin with a list of subscribers consisting of email address, and first and last name. In a situation like this, there is not enough information to allow for database segmentation, so it’s best to focus on personalization. To make up for this lack of knowledge about your subscribers, work on improving your email list by gathering additional information.

    Personal interests van be captured by allowing your subscribers to manage their preferences through an

    Email subscription centre. Make sure you provide compelling reasons for registration and be careful with the amount of information you require.

    Purchasing Habits:

    If you know that a group of subscribers spends the majority of their money on certain products at one of your stores, you can send them email notices of promotions going on at that store

    Once you have segmented your lists (no matter how extensively), it’s vital to keep the categories up to date. Schedule a regular date to review your segments, annually or bi-annually (at least). Look at what campaigns each customer is opening and consider re-categorizing them, if necessary. But before you re-categorize them, ask them—in an email—what they are interested in, and let them choose their own categories.

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