Imagine you sign up to receive emails from a pet store because you’ve just bought a puppy for your family. If you start receiving emails about exotic snake habitats and reptile food, you’re going to be pretty confused and maybe even a little annoyed. This might prompt you to unsubscribe from those emails, or at least will establish them in your mind as something that isn’t relevant to you, making you more likely to ignore them in the future.
Another company you receive emails from keeps sending you information about their amazing new Gold Package, stating the benefits of signing up and giving you incentives to do so. But, you have already signed up for this package, so there is no reason for you to be receiving these emails. They are just cluttering up your inbox, so you decide to unsubscribe.
These are just two scenarios where lack of accurate segmentation in email marketing could result in unsubscribes or loss of interest from people who are genuinely interested in a brand. They might still remain as customers, but those brands won’t be able to communicate with them in the same way and inform them of their latest promotions, products, or services. The amount these customers spend will likely drop in the future by missing out on these marketing communications.
One size does not fit all
Segmenting your mailing list allows you to send more targeted emails to your audience. By only sending information that is relevant to the individual, they are much more likely to open, read and click on your emails. This increases the lead generation potential and return on investment of each email much greater.
By creating buyer personas for your target audience and collecting as much information as possible on the people that make up your mailing list, you will be able to segment your list according to a number of factors. Different sets of criteria will be relevant for different businesses. It may be as simple as splitting your list in two: men and women, or small and large businesses. You could also divide your list into a number of segments.
Take the pet shop example from above. You could have a different email going out to owners of each different type of pet, so that dog owners see something different than cat owners, and cat owners see something different than snake owners. You may only need to change a few details of your email, or the content might need to be entirely different. If you are sending content that is relevant to pet owners in general, you might just need to change the products listed at the bottom of the email. If you are sending content that is specific to dog owners, though, this should only be sent to dog owners or those that have shown interest in dogs.
Segmentation can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, and email marketing software generally provides all of the tools you need for segmenting your list easily. The result of segmentation is more targeted and effective email campaigns.