Email marketing has the highest ROI of any online marketing method. That alone makes it worth doing. But, did you know that you can maximize your ROI simply by segmenting your list?
List segmentation is considered an advanced email marketing technique. However, it’s not very complicated to do, and you can even ask subscribers to self-segment and eliminate the guesswork. Let’s talk about some of the ways to segment your list.
Segmentation Based on Behavior
The most common way marketers segment their lists is by tracking their subscribers’ behavior and using their actions as a guideline. Let’s look at some examples.
A clothing manufacturer that sells apparel for women, men, and children tracks customer purchases to determine what products they want to hear about. A woman who buys clothing for herself might receive only emails about women’s clothing. If she switches it up and buys kids’ clothes, she might start getting emails for those too.
A software company segments people who buy a certain product into a separate list. The people on that list then receive a series of emails designed to sell them on a complementary or upgraded product. Once they buy it, they’re then directed to a new list selling accessories or a related product… and so on.
These examples both illustrate ways that a marketer might segment based on behavior. Some basic email automation software doesn’t allow for list segmentation. But, most premium products do—and marketers who segment their lists get higher open, click-through, and conversion rates.
In fact, according to Mail Chimp, segmented emails outperform non-segmented emails across the board. They get:
14.31% more opens
100.95% more clicks
9.37% fewer unsubscribe requests
These statistics clearly illustrate the benefits of list segmentation.
The second option is to ask your subscribers to self-segment. You can do this at the point of subscription, or later. Here are some suggestions.
Self-segmentation at the time of subscription can be effective. However, you’ll need to balance it against the fact that including additional fields in your opt-in form may drive some subscribers away. If you choose this option, keep the fields to a minimum.
Another option is to ask subscribers to self-segment when you send them a confirmation email. That way, they’ve already opted in. Now, you’re just asking them to help you out by indicating which topics they’re interested in. It’s a good way to reassure new subscribers that you won’t be spamming them.
A third option and this is ideal if you already have a list, is to send out a link asking your subscribers to self-segment. Add a note about wanting to ensure they receive only the emails they want to receive.
If you select this option, you can either link them to a segmentation page on your website and connect it to your email automation service. Or, you can embed the form in your email, so they can respond without having to visit your website.
Whichever option you choose, make sure that you honor subscribers’ requests. This is not the time to bend the rules. The only exception would be if you’re sending out an email that applies to all subscribers. An example might be a store-wide sale or promotion.
Once your list is segmented, you’re likely to see an uptick in your key email metrics, including your unique open rate, your click-through rate, and—most importantly—your conversion rate. If you don’t, it may be an indication that additional segmentation is needed, or that your emails aren’t compelling.
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