Email list segmentation is the one of the simplest and most critical practices to improving marketing email performance.
Marketing emails are an important part of lead nurturing: They can make or break whether a lead becomes a sale. So marketers spend a lot of time and money thinking about how to perfect their messages.
While many marketers focus on better design, higher frequency, or perfect timing as a means of increasing open rates and click-throughs. But, really, one of the best ways to improve the success of your email campaigns is through list segmentation.
And when I say success, metrics like click-through and open rates are part of that. But, there’s more. In fact, marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.
What is email list segmentation?
Email list segmentation simply means separating the contacts in your database based on certain criteria. For example, you can create separate lists for different buyer personas or for contacts in different industries or sectors.
The more specific you can get with your list segmentation, the more you can personalize the content of your emails — and the more relevant they will be to your recipients (which means they’ll be more likely to engage with them).
Other list segmentation ideas include:
- Company size
- Content downloaded from your website
- Purchase history
- Content consumption (which blog posts they typically read)
- Interest level
- Purchase channel preference (online, via sales rep, etc.)
How does it work?
Most CRM or email platforms make list segmentation easy. But how you collect and determine criteria for segmentation is a little more complicated.
Collecting prospect information via forms on your website is one way. You can ask for name, email address, business name, interests, budget, demographic information, etc. Of course, the more fields on the form you require — or even allow for — the more prospects will turn away. It’s a delicate balance of encouraging form submissions while getting all the information you need.
Sales representatives can also enter information about leads as they communicate with them. Also, platforms like HubSpot collect information about contacts’ browsing history and content consumption that can be very helpful in determining what kinds of content they prefer or products they might be interested in.
Once you determine how you want to segment your email lists, it’s important to devise a different strategy for each list. What are your goals for each type of customer or prospect? Based on your existing data, how does that particular persona typically move down the sales funnel? How frequently should they be contacted? Answering these questions will help you build an email marketing strategy for each list that improves your chances of success with each.
What are the benefits?
Segmentation allows you to send the most pertinent content to the right people at the right time. And B2B buyers want and expect relevant content when making purchase decisions.
That sounds obvious, but I bet examples of companies violating this practice abound in your life. For instance, say you subscribe to the vegetarian plan of weekly meal-delivery service. Despite the fact that the company has a very valuable piece of information about your preferences (you’re a vegetarian), they send you a marketing email about upgrading to premium meats. Not only are you probably not interested in this offer — and are maybe even annoyed (or disgusted) by it — it leaves you with the feeling that the company doesn’t understand or value you as a customer.
It’s the same in B2B: 94% of B2B buyers say they chose a particular vendor because they demonstrated the strongest knowledge of the company and its needs. If your shipping business sends an e-commerce cookie company information about a special on shipping reefs and corals, you lose credibility in terms of how well you know and understand that customer.
But recall a time when you’ve browsed a company’s website and received an email shortly thereafter with FAQs about the exact products you were researching. Or, you have been in talks with several businesses about a major purchase, and just before making a decision, one sends you information helping you calculate ROI. That’s the kind of timely content delivery that can sway you in a particular direction.
Hyper-targeted marketing emails will give you the most success with your lead nurturing email campaigns. You’ll deliver the most relevant and pertinent information to the right people at the right time, encouraging them to move down the sales funnel and to make purchases.
- 4 Email Marketing Stats that Prove You Spend Too Much Time Creating Emails
- The Holiday Email Marketing Push: Is It Worth It?
- The Next Big Trends in Supply Chain Marketing