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Email marketing is a very important part of your overall online marketing strategy. When it comes to email marketing, one of the most important things you can do to improve response rates is to segment your list. If you don’t segment yet, keep reading to discover how and why you should be segmenting your email marketing lists.

You have to remember that while your over all target audience shares certain characteristics they’re not really all the same people. Your customers will have similarities but they need to be segmented based on differences and actions. When you can segment your customers and potential customers better your email marketing content will become more relevant to them and you will improve your results because people like feeling important and as if each email is sent just for them.

The first step to segmenting your email list is to create buyer personas. You can start with the simple fact that some of your email list subscribers are already customers and some aren’t. Make that your first important segmentation. No one wants to get emails over and over again to buy something they already own. Those who have not purchased yet don’t need to get emails asking them how they enjoyed the service or product that they’ve not bought. After that, you can come up with other ways to segment your audience such as who clicked through, who opened, who responded — or not. Testing out various ways to segment your list is an important part of finding out what works best for your situation.

By keeping in mind that your email list consists of people who are at different points in your product funnel you will be able to create more relevant and impactful email marketing messages. You will know for instance, that you are speaking to someone who has purchased product A and now you want them to purchase product B. Your email to them will be completely different than your email to the segment who has not purchased A but instead purchased B.

Segmentation will automatically give your list subscribers a better overall feeling about you. Sending targeted, relevant email to your list subscribers gets easier when you’ve segmented them in strategic ways. All your copy will be much more relevant and focused when you know exactly who the people on a particular list. You know they have or have not made a purchase, and you know they have or have not taken various actions based on previous emails. Most importantly, when the customer or potential customer reads the email they will feel as if it’s more relevant and their estimation of you will go up. Their trust of you will go up each time they receive a targeted, relevant email.

Research shows that market segmentation within email lists is an important component that improves return on investment exponentially. You’ll experience higher open rates, more clicks, higher transaction rates, and more involvement with your market when you learn how to segment so that you can send more relevant and focused email marketing messages to them. What’s more, if you start segmenting, you’ll be ahead of the game since most email marketers don’t bother.