Segmentation is King

May 24th, 2010 | By Anthony Schneider | 1 Comment

Email Segmentation -- Fork in the RoadEmail works best when it maps the message to the recipient. Unlike a television commercial or direct mail piece, it’s pretty easy to segment email marketing efforts.

It’s surprising that more companies don’t achieve proper segmentation in their email marketing. For example, a recent study found that 70% of travel companies don’t track customer behavior or subscriber preferences to develop more appropriate email marketing. (StrongMail)

Does it work? You bet. Marketers who segment their email messages based on customer behavior achieve an average email deliverability rate of 90.2 percent, and saw a 10% increase in open rates, while marketers who do not segment email communications saw open rates stay flat or decline. (Aberdeen Group)

Email Transmit has seen segmentation increase open-rates and propel conversions in fundraising campaigns, B2B emails and B2C marketing efforts.

Depending on your audience, brand, product and service, you may want to segment by audience dimension (demographic, behavior, etc.). Once you have worked out email segments, map your core message to those segments (creative, subject line, offer, frequency, etc.). Finally, measure and compare so that you can track effectiveness and refine your campaigns.

Segmentation data:

  • demographic data
  • survey results
  • subscriber action

You may be sitting on more segmentation data than you think. If you’ve asked for demographic data in user signups, or have conducted surveys, then you likely have a lot of powerful information to help you segment better.

Segment by:

  • customer preference
  • demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
  • behavior
  • market segment

For example, we’ve seen a lot of success in using segmentation data to tailor messages to new subscribers, active subscribers, inactives, the “sleepers and peepers” who are infrequently heard from. You want to court and woo your new subscribers who don’t know you very well. On the other hand, don’t bore your active users or give them repeat offers. Our fundraising efforts segment by age and donor level, although we group all non-givers together regardless of age.

Segmentation elements:

  • creative
  • subject line
  • offer or call-to-action
  • sender/from email address
  • content
  • frequency

Once you’ve determined the data to use and divided your list into discrete segments, you’ll find that you can tailor your messaging. Think about the creative, who the email is coming from, how often users want to hear from you, how long an email they want to receive, and what’s the best call-to-action.

Finally, measure and revise. Open rates and conversions will tell you how your segmentation strategy is doing, and you should use that data to modify your strategy.

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  • email marketing

    The more you have about the behavior and demographics of your target, the more relevant your campaigns can be. I have found that frequency is not as important when dealing highly relative content and information.

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