Consider this: The reason why 40% of email subscribers mark email as spam is not because they did not know who sent it, but because what was sent was irrelevant to their needs.
With such high levels of email being marked as spam the need for well segmented email marketing lists is clear. In order to get the attention of your recipients you will need to give them something relevant to their personal situation, goals or challenges. After all, when you have put so much effort in to building your email marketing database through inbound marketing, it would be a shame to then be marked as spam and blocked.
Finding ways to segment your list can sometimes prove to be difficult so follow these five methods to get the ball rolling.
Along geographic boundaries
One of the easiest ways to segment a list is by location. This is an absolute must if your business is geographically restricted and can only service customers within a certain region (e.g. a healthcare company only dealing with UK clients). If this is the case for your business you should segment your audience into UK (potential customers) and others (outside the UK, therefore with no-potential sale). You may be tempted to think it isn't worth continuing to engage with people who are not within your jurisdiction but these people can become strong brand advocates, so don't stop sharing your content with them.
Alternatively, think about how location can influence a buyer's purchasing decision. A few examples of how that might be include:
- Special events that are held in a physical location (e.g. a seminar in Manchester ought not be promoted to people in Hong Kong)
- Regional sales events that have specific geographic limitations (e.g. 20% off to all UK residents)
This is especially relevant for B2B companies who serve multiple industries with different needs and requirements. A company selling interactive smartboards might sell to school, construction companies and creative agencies, each of which has a different challenge or requirement. Segmenting according to industry allows you to return to your buyer personas in order to target content that is relevant to that audience.
There is a lot to be said for people's browsing habits as companies such as Amazon know all too well. Segmenting lists according to the content that people have consumed on your site is a solid and reliable way of ensuring your emails to them are relevant and pertinent to their needs.
A simple starting point for such a segmentation would be to segment all the people who downloaded a whitepaper related to a specific topic. Let's call the segment topic x and put the people who downloaded the ebook into this segment. This acts as your benchmark for saying this person is interested in topic x and you can maintain their interest by sending related content to them in future.
If someone has visited your website 30 times and downloaded much of your premium content, you would be reasonably safe in saying they know more about your brand, your business and your services than someone who has visited twice. At the very least they are more engaged with your brand which means that you communicate with them in a different way to those who have visited just a couple of times.
Implementing behaviour-based segmentation requires a good grasp of analytics data and marketing automation software so make sure you consider this before trying to introduce this type of segmentation within your email marketing campaigns
By Martin Broadhurst