How to Segment Your Email Lists for Better Results
Everyone is different, but also part of a group.
Segmentation comes up constantly in the course of marketing discussions, but sometimes it seems that nobody ever explains what it is or why you should do it. What is segmentation, and why is it so important for email campaigns?
What Is Market Segmentation?
At its most basic level, market segmentation is looking at the groups and categories to which each of your users belong and marketing to them accordingly. The most common segments with which you might be familiar are the big demographics such as: age, gender, marital status, wholesale or retail, and educational attainment. Those segments are just the start.
You can segment customers by virtually anything: geographic location, current occupation, time spent on your site, to what sites they click away from your site, from where they arrive at your site, social media usage, frequent travel, hobbies, and on and on. The internet has provided a vast, granular pile of data to sort through when it comes to your customers. You can even find more by asking your audience to participate in surveys and quizzes or by analyzing your social media metrics.
Segmentation involves sifting through the data you have about your customers and looking for categories into which they fit. Some segments are immediately obvious. Others are more subtle. It is all about what you know about your customers and what you are looking to achieve.
Segments help you run a better campaign.
Why Use Segments?
Segments, particularly in email marketing, allow you to better coordinate and better focus your email campaign. It is true that some campaigns will just be a giant send; if you have a sitewide sale or you know for a fact your entire userbase is interested in one specific item, that is easy. Segmentation has value in the specific.
For example, if you are running a social media site, your single users might be interested in your new online dating function, but your married users might not. Segmentation lets you pick out the users most interested in what you want to market, be it a new feature, a sale, or other useful item. It can also help you find surprising connections; as you segment, you will find overlap between surprising groups of people.
When Does Segmentation Matter?
Segmentation matters most when you need to deliver a narrowly focused, effective message. Not every part of every email campaign will fit this criteria, of course. Regular newsletters, press releases, and other common marketing tools probably do not need a laser focus. In others cases, you will need that focus.
Segmenting also matters in that it forces you to consider your user base more granularly, as people and as smaller groups. Segmentation helps you discover how to build on that for success. Being able to better understand who comes to your site, who buys from your site, and why they do so is the foundation not just of successful email marketing, but successful business in general.
The segments you use, as well as how you use them, will vary widely depending on your business model and your marketing approach. Segmenting means you will be able to better understand your user base, the ebb and flow of your business, and the best approach to marketing. Ready to get started? Sign up for Metasend.