Email content is important. Marketers must make sure their messages resonate with their audiences so those contacts will want to read the email and take action.
But how are you supposed to write something that’s specific if you’re sending to a large audience that’s in all different phases of their buyer’s journey?
You need to put your audience into specific groups with customer segmentation.
This article will explain why you need to incorporate a customer segmentation strategy into your email marketing campaigns. Plus, we’ll give a few creative suggestions to segment your audiences beyond traditional demographics.
Why you need to use email segmentation
The idea of using customer segmentation is not new. Marketers have been using this tactic for years as a way to deliver more relevant emails to their customers. Most email service providers – from the most complex to even some of the free services online – allow marketers to use this strategy.
And it’s generally been a success. Segmented campaigns are proven to increase revenue by up to 760%. Marketers also say segmented campaigns improve open rates, relevance, and sales leads in their campaigns.
Image Source: Fulcrum Tech
There are a few reasons why email segmentation works so well. Your end goal of email campaigns and segmentation should be to make your customers feel like every email they receive is just for them. You probably wouldn’t want a customer who has never purchased sneakers to receive a mass email about a sneaker sale.
When you segment your email list, you are adding personalization to each message. This is important for nurturing your leads, because personalized emails generate 6x higher transaction rates than normal emails. The more you segment your lists, the greater you are able to personalize email messages and delivery times.
Email segmentation also reduces your team’s workload. This is especially true when it’s paired up with drip campaigns. This strategy allows for certain messages to be automated and sent at specific moments in your subscriber’s customer journey based on their segmented group. Depending on what action your contacts take (or don’t take), they could be moved to a different segment where they’ll begin a new drip campaign.
6 customer segmentation tricks to try today
Most marketers start their email campaigns with basic segmentation. They’ll separate their lists by age, gender, or location. There’s nothing wrong with this tactic. It will help improve engagement and other metrics.
But, there are more specific ways you can segment your groups to deliver even more personalized and relevant messages to your audience. Here are seven easy customer segmentation tactics that will help your company improve email results.
1. Email segmentation by time spent as a customer.
You might want to send different messages to people who have been a customer for years compared to others who are new. Customer segmentation is a great way to accomplish this.
If you’re running a welcome campaign, you’re already taking the first step to segment new leads in your funnel. Everyone who is included in a welcome drip list is being segmented as a new user and receiving customized messages based on that segment.
This segmented list might be one of your more successful email groups—at least at first. About half of your list will open the welcome email, which means it’s about 86% more effective than a standard message. In addition to high initial engagement rates, welcome campaigns are an extremely successful trick to determine which segments your contacts should be once the welcome campaign is over.
It’s not just new customers that you can segment with this strategy. Try segmenting a list of contacts who have been with you for five or 10 years. You could easily create a campaign to thank them for their partnership and offer special promotions and deals.
2. Customer segmentation by activity level
Another successful way to segment your customers is by activity level.
Customers who are more active and spending more money need to be treated differently than those who haven’t engaged with your company in months. If you continue sending the same emails to inactive leads as you do for active contacts, it will hurt your open rates, click-thru rates, transaction rates, and ROI. Plus, you risk these inactive contacts marking your email as spam, which can lead to even bigger problems. Consider segmenting your list by activity level to ensure that only your most engaged contacts are receiving the bulk of your emails.
However, you want to make sure you are still sending to your inactive contacts. The best way to target this group is with a re-engagement campaign to move them into a more active segment.
This email from Framebridge is a good example:
Studies show that up to 45% of people who receive re-engagement emails will read them. However, the number who will take an action will be less. Think of your contacts in this segment as last chance opportunities. If they still don’t engage with you, it’s time to let them go.
3. Customer segmentation by preferred device or platform
Every single person who opens your emails has a different viewing experience. An email opened on an iPhone in the Gmail app will look different than an email opened in Outlook on desktop. Consider segmenting your audiences based on the device on which they generally read your emails.
This tactic is especially useful if you want to try something special in an email that you know might not format or render by specific email platforms. Images and videos may appear differently (or not at all) depending on your email service provider and the CSS code used to design your email.
You can also use this trick to better optimize your emails for your mobile audiences. It’s no secret that some emails look better in mobile than on desktop and vice versa. Technology has come a long way, but there are still times when your responsive emails just aren’t responsive enough. So, if you have the email marketing resources, you could make slightly different versions of your email and send one to your mobile audience and another to your desktop audience.
4. Customer segmentation by job title
You’re not going to send the same type of email to a manager as you would an executive. You can customize the tone and technical aspects of your messages when you segment by job title or skill level.
Think of this a little bit like account-based marketing. But rather than targeting a specific company, you’ve identified a specific job title that you’d like to target across multiple organizations. You can be successful with this approach by personalizing your emails to speak specifically to individual pain points or needs that customers with this job title might have.
5. Customer segmentation by loyalty or VIP status
Although this somewhat plays into the same idea of customer segmentation by activity level, you can create a special group for your most loyal or important customers. This can be determined by a customer signing up for a program or reaching a specific level due to money spent. From there, you can cater your messages about exclusive or high-end events to your VIPs.
You can even take it a step further and segment within your loyalty programs. A recent survey by Accenture found that customers in loyalty programs value different things. While some people were excited about exclusive deals, others were more interested in programs tailored to their needs.
6. Customer segmentation by birthday
Another email segmentation trick that’s not used enough by marketers is to group by birthday. You don’t have to create 365 different segments for each day of the year, but creating 12 for each month can be just as successful.
This segmentation tactic is a simple way to show customers that you appreciate them. And customers love to receive them.
Consider this example from BarkBox:
This email does a great job segmenting pet owners by the birth month of their dogs. The email offers special birthday treats that pet owners can purchase for their boxes that month to celebrate. No wonder birthday emails generate nearly 350% higher revenue than promotional emails.
You can help improve your email performance by creating more detailed and specific customer segmentation groups.
If you think about it, you can segment your contacts by anything for which you have data. But it’s important you don’t go overboard. Consider the information and data about your customers that are vital to your business. You should base your email segmentation off of that. And you might have contacts in more than one segment.
Once you have your lists in place, target unique emails or drip campaigns to each specific group. You’ll begin to see an improvement in your performance in no time.
Ready to learn more about how customer segmentation can help improve your email performance? Sign up for a free demo today, and we’ll show you how Emma can help you create unique and successful email segmentation groups.
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