You may have heard that email marketing is the way forward, and with 93% of B2B marketers using email to distribute content, you’re not alone.
As a reliable form of communication between brands and customers, email is often a very cheap but effective marketing tool. In fact, according to HubSpot, email generates $38 for every $1 spent. That’s a staggering 3,800% ROI.
But you can get more out of email marketing. You just need to segment your lists.
What is segmentation?
Email segmentation has been proven to steadily improve engagement rate, click-through rate, and improve the performance of email marketing campaigns in general. But what exactly is it?
Segmenting your email lists means creating small groups of subscribers into “segments” that have something in common. It could be based on demographics, for instance, age and gender, or it could even be based on activity level. The point is, each segmented group has something in common so that you can send tailored messages to individual groups and that content will be relevant to the vast majority of the group’s members.
Consumers love it when they are made to feel like an individual and not just another number. So by segmenting your lists and sending tailored content to small groups, rather than a splatter-gun approach of sending a general email to everyone that ultimately appeals to no-one, you’re more likely to make your audience feel special which in turn, encourages more engagement.
1: Make me feel special
As we touched on above, consumers love to feel special. That they as individuals count and aren’t just treated by brands as another number. The more you segment your audience, the more you can toiler your messages and content.
Let’s say you’re a retailer who sells books. You want to send an email promoting the latest romance release by a #1 best selling author. But the chances are, at least half of your email list just isn’t going to be interested because romance isn’t their preferred genre. You’re not making the readers who love crime feel like individuals. Or those who like autobiographies. Or cookbooks. The list goes on.
So what you can do is segment your list. If you segment based on interests or preferred genre choices, you can send specific emails with a hugely tailored message to the group most likely to care about it. You can change the messaging within your email content to really make it feel like you’re talking to an individual.
2: Tailored promotions and campaigns
Like we just touched on, the more specific you can get with your segments, the more tailored you can be with not only your messaging but with the campaigns you run and the promotions that you offer.
But don’t think that this can only apply to segments based on interest or demographics. If you don’t currently offer a loyalty scheme, you could look at setting one up based on activity. To do this, you would segment your lists based on activity level, rewarding those who engage with your emails and enticing the most inactive with special offers. But rather than sending out the same general 10% off offer to everyone, you can tailor the message to appeal even more on an individual basis.
In other words, you can use the same offer for multiple groups but make it appear different based on the messaging you use within the email itself.
3: Help identify active subscribers
If you’ve had your email list for a while, or you’ve changed what services/products you offer overtime, you may find that you have a lot of inactive subscribers in your list—those people who did once opt-in but for some reason, no longer interact with your emails but haven’t unsubscribed.
By segmenting your list into activity levels, you can identify those who regularly engage and those who don’t. Having a segment for inactive subscribers could be useful for a number of reasons, including the ability to conduct A/B split testing to see whether you can convert them into active subscribers.
Another option, to help clean up your database if it’s getting on the larger size, is to send an email to inactive users asking them to reconfirm that they still want to receive emails, or their address will be purged from your database. Don’t be scared of removing inactive addresses; a database of 1000 inactive email addresses isn’t worth more than a database of 100 active addresses, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
4: Instantly improve open and click-through rates
Not all of your subscribers subscribed to your email newsletter at the same time or for the same reason. Each individual will have their own problems, pain points and need from your email content. By segmenting your list, you can tailor your emails which increases the appeal of them, which in turn increases the number of people who open the email, and click through on the call to action you provide within the email.
When you’re talking to a niche, with similar needs and pain points, it’s much easier to persuade them to follow a specific call to action. It may mean that overall you’re sending out more emails, but you should see a significant increase in open and click-through rates for each email providing you get the segmentation right.
5: Decrease unsubscribe rates
When it comes to email marketing, there are really only two metrics we want to decrease—bounce rate and unsubscribe rate.
The bounce rate can be handled using the suggestions we mentioned earlier regarding inactive subscribers but unsubscribes is harder to control.
There are many reasons why somebody might want to unsubscribe from your email newsletter. It could be that they receive too many emails, or that they don’t feel that the content is relevant to them. These are things that we can avoid using segmented lists.
Instead of sending 10 general emails to all of your subscribers in a week, you could instead send tailored emails to each segment twice a week. This way, you won’t have people unsubscribing for bombarding them with emails, and the chance of an email being seen as irrelevant is significantly reduced.
Don’t miss out
With 99% of consumers checking their email daily, and with 73% of millennials choosing email as their preferred method of contact, email marketing shouldn’t be ignored. It can be hugely beneficial to your marketing efforts, in fact, 40% of B2B marketers claim that email marketing is critical to their content marketing success.
And with 59% of consumers saying that marketing emails influence their buying decision, it’s a low-cost but extremely effective tool. According to HubSpot, marketers who used segmented email campaigns saw as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
If you want a marketing partner that is passionate about helping you grow your business then get in touch. It’s what we’re best at.