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Why We Love Segmented Email Lists (And You Should, Too!)

Katelyn Ahern Digital Project Manager
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing
Published on March 12, 2014

Learn how email list segmentation can benefit both you and your clients, allowing you to provide the best content to those who need it.

This past week the World Wide Web turned 25, and along with birthday celebrations comes lots of cake and some reflection. Looking back at how far the Internet has come got me thinking about how far email has come. Email has been around even longer than the Web, but in the early days of online communication, we didn’t have the ability to customize our email messages quite like we do today. Nowadays, there are even applications that will tell you when someone has opened your email in real time!

The value of email marketing has not diminished, but the strategy surrounding it must continue to change along with the technology. With age comes growth, and it’s time that we grow up and refine the art of email marketing, all while resisting the urge to become overly persistent or creepy. Long gone are the days of mass emailing and actually getting responses to those efforts. Clients’ expectations are higher than ever before, and we must challenge ourselves to meet our clients at that benchmark, and even surpass it. Email list segmentation is a great way to meet those expectations.

Email list segmentation is the practice of splitting your lists of email recipients into several smaller lists based on certain criteria, such as segmenting them by industry or by an action they have taken in previous emails. This not only provides several benefits for your marketing efforts, but it also presents the opportunity to better serve your clients. Here are some of the ways that using this email marketing strategy can benefit both you and your clients:

Clear Analytics

When you segment your email lists, no matter which criteria you choose to segment by, you create a clearer view of your clients’ interactions with your email content. By separating your lists into categories, you can now see how each particular segment is engaging with your content by how many people open the email, what links they click on, and how many convert on an offer that is provided in the email. These analytics allow you to see which groups of clients are engaged with your content and which are not. The latter can be discouraging at first (I know it was for me), but this clearer picture allows you to focus on those who aren’t engaged and test ways to get them there.

Refined Content

Once you open up your analytics to this clearer view of engagement, you can begin to tailor your content offers based on client engagement. Your offers need to be catered to the actions that your list members take. These smaller segmented lists provide the opportunity to do just that. You can also now tailor your messaging to the specifics that you have segmented by. For instance, if you have segmented your lists by industry, your messaging can pertain to that industry and address pain points that would not apply to other industries.

You can also use the messaging to play off recipients’ previous actions. For example, if your list has already received a tip sheet on social media, you can see who downloaded the tip sheet and send a follow up communication with a message on how they have already received the tip sheet, but maybe they would be interested in an eBook that goes into more depth on social media for business goals.

Providing more value is worth the effort

You may be starting to realize that this strategy of segmenting can become very granular based on each action that a recipient takes. This may seem overwhelming in terms of creating specific emails for each action and industry, not to mention all the other criteria you could choose to segment by. I am not going to try to make it seem like this isn’t a lot of work; changing the way you are engaging with your clients can be time consuming, but the greater value that you can provide for your clients is worth the work. Also, keep in mind that by creating these segmented and more personal emails, you are gaining even more detailed information on what interests your leads and clients. The return on investment will pay off, but you have to be willing to put in the work and continue to measure and adjust.

Have you found that email list segmentation has helped your company? Not sure which criteria to start segmenting by? Let us know in the comments or get in touch with a Marketing Specialist to discuss your email strategy.

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