• By Minal
  • 3rd March 2017

What is email segmentation and why should it matter to small business?

Email segmentation for small business

What is email segmentation and why should it matter to small business?

You may have heard marketing folk, like me, talk about email segmentation or segmenting your email list and often wondered what all the fuss was about. There’s a really great reason why you need to know how to segment your email list and why. I’m going to break it down for you, and give you some examples of how you might segment your list. Once you’ve read this post, you’ll be ready get started and will see an improvement in your email marketing results.

What is email segmentation?

Simply put, it’s when you slice up your email list into individual segments. It helps you organise your email list into groups with similar interests so that you can send them information that’s relevant to them.

This means you can target your list with the things they’re interested in, rather than sending everyone the same thing. The beauty of doing this is that you’ll be improving the chances of your email being opened and the content read and clicked on. But the most important thing is you increase your chances of your audience acting on the thing you’re asking them to do.

Why is segmenting your list important?

Think about why you ignore emails you get. I bet it’s often because they aren’t relevant to you. Now think about how relevant your emails are to your readers. Are you alienating some of your audience by not sending them content that is relevant?

Whilst you may have certain people who regularly open and click on your emails, take a look at those who aren’t reacting. By segmenting your list and giving them a reason to open and click, you’ll be reinvigorating your list.

How can you segment your list?

If you’re already using an email marketing tool, then there will be inbuilt features to help you segment your list. Before you start, you need to understand the members of your email list so you can segment them effectively to help you achieve your objectives. So, think carefully about the people on your list and what their interests might be. Here are some ways you can get some insight:

  • Look at past email reports and figure out the types of content people click on the most.
  • Pick a sample of your email list and give the people on it a call to discuss their interests.
  • Send an online survey to your email list asking them what their interests are.
  • If you sell products, look for patterns in what people buy.

Once you know a bit more about your list, use the tools in your email marketing software to help you segment it.

Why will your readers love it?

Think about when you receive a hand-written note. I know they’re few and far between today, but how did that make you feel? You felt appreciated and, let’s face it, special. By segmenting your email list, this is how you can make your readers feel. They will love the fact that they’re receiving information from you that’s targeted at their interests. They’ll open and read your emails more often because it will feel like that hand-written letter. The bottom line is, more people will take the action you want them to take.

Examples of how to segment your email list

There are a number of ways you can segment your email list. There is no right way, just the way that works for you and helps you meet your objectives. Here are some of the most common:

  • Customers and prospects.
  • Location
  • Interests
  • How long they’ve been on your list
  • VIPs
  • In-store vs. online customer
  • Lapsed customer vs. current customer

I’ve listed a few examples of how you can segment your email list. You will want to find the one that works best for you, so take some time to think about how you will segment.

If you’re ready to start segmenting your email list, make sure your email marketing software makes it easy for you to do it. My recommendation is Constant Contact, which lets you add tags to your email contacts, meaning they can be in more than one segment. If you want to try them out, start your FREE 60-day trial today.


Also published on Medium.

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