Smart Email Marketing: Using segmentation

This time we look at utilising the data you collect through smart segmentation, and how it can benefit your business.

Why use segmentation?

The practice of dividing your data based on subscriber interests and characteristics helps businesses to build detailed profiles of their customers in order to provide them with content that resonates with them on a personal level.Simply put, relevant content gets better results.

Businesses are losing out on sales

Consumers know that email marketers have the capability to send them content they’re interested in, so when a business continues to use ‘one size fits all’ campaigns, sent out to their entire database, their campaigns soon lose traction and customers.In order to retain subscribers and increase the chance of conversion, you first need to understand as much about your audience as possible.

Think of your customer base, and your offline interaction with the variety of personalities or brands you work with. Do you communicate with each of them in exactly the same way? Of course not, you speak to them on a personal level, and in doing so build upon the relationship you’ve established.In the same way, to build on the data you’ve collected and begin interacting with your subscribers as individuals, segmentation is key.

How to segment your data

Look at the information you currently have, the information you gathered during the data collection process, and see how you might group your list into relevant areas of interest.Your segments can be based on a huge variety of options, for instance:

  • Age: If you sell differently to various age groups, your email content should too.
  • Gender: Another basic way to start splitting your data.
  • Location: If you’ve collected postcode data, you could simply split your data into two groups – near and far – or break down further to send more detailed campaigns relating to their location.
  • Sector, business size and job title: A useful starting point if you’re in a B2B business
  • Purchase history: Separate customers from non-customers, frequent buyers from infrequent. You can even go as detailed as certain lines or products, or separate the big spenders from the bargain lovers.
  • Engagement: Subscribers who no longer open your emails can affect your deliverability, so by separating the engaged from the less so, you can avoid the SPAM folder and run re-engagement campaigns to recapture interest.

Building a clear picture

A great way to approach the segmentation process can be to create personas, and align yourself closer to your target customer by building up a complete profile of who they are. You can then assign segments to these personas, addressing them with separate content to the rest of your database.

Don’t stop there

Segmentation isn’t just a case of A versus B, think of it as working in layers. Once you’ve begun segmenting and sending tailored content, keep testing and pick out those who are engaging. Drill down further into these groups in order to learn more about them and how they engage with your brand.

This level of segmentation is the precursor to dynamic content – the true personalisation of email content. Every marketer should be implementing segmentation, with personalisation as a priority in their wider strategy.

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