Just five years ago, it was more common for businesses to dump all their email contacts into one giant database. After all, they all wanted the same types of info, right?
That was probably never true, but we didn’t know any better.
These days, email marketing tools have grown leaps and bounds, and it’s dead simple to segment your contacts into lists.
Why Should I Care About Lists?
Your customers and contacts aren’t a homogeneous blob that all buy identical products. So why would you email them as if they were?
Segmenting your audience helps you better connect with each individual subscriber by providing exactly what they’re interested in.
Let’s say you sell office supplies. You have some customers who only buy printer and paper and others who buy breakroom supplies. While there may occasionally be overlap between the two, most of the time, these groups only care about their primary purchase.
So if you send a promotional email about breakroom supplies to those paper buyers, what do you think their reaction will be?
Likely, they’ll feel like you don’t really know or care what they like buying from you. They might even unsubscribe from your emails.
If, on the other hand, you sent your paper/printer supply buyers a special offer for buy 5 packs of paper, get 2 free, you’ll see a higher clickthrough rate to your site and more purchases.
That, my friends, is why you care about lists.
How to Segment
As I said, technology makes segmenting easy. Dig into your email marketing program, and I bet you’ll find the capability to break your subscriber list into segments. You can even offer options in your website subscription form where visitors can choose what types of emails they receive.
If you use customer relationship software, you can segment based on past purchases. It’ll take some initial legwork, but will be worth it in the long run.
Sending Segmented Emails
Now that you have your list divided into smaller niche ones, it’s time to send highly-targeted emails. The more targeted they are, the better the results. Look at past purchases to see what’s popular. You might offer a discount on a less popular item to get it moving, or bundle it with your best seller to increase the average purchase size.
Keep your emails simple: focus on a single product or product category to avoid overwhelming your audience.
In a few months, look at the results. Are you getting more opens of your emails? More clicks to your site? More purchases? I bet so. Segmenting your email list can do all this for you.
Get more tips on using email with our free webinar, “How Email Can Help Your Business Thrive” on May 6, 2014, at 10 am Pacific and 1 pm Eastern.