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Email segmentation:

How to segment your audience
for email marketing

In 2019, 72% of customers claimed that they only respond to marketing messages that target their interests.

We’ve all been there, right? An email pops up in your inbox and you can’t help but think: Why have I been sent this? It could be a sale on baby items when you’re in your early twenties and not even considering kids or an invitation to an event that’s nowhere near where you’re located.

You’re most likely going to send that email straight into the bin and you’re much more likely to unsubscribe too. People don’t like to feel like they’re being blindly marketed to. In fact, in 2019, 72% of customers claimed that they only respond to marketing messages that target their interests.

However, it’s not productive to be emailing each of your contacts individually. This is why segmenting your lists into smaller groups with shared characteristics makes it much easier to create successful email marketing campaigns. 

Read on to find out more about email segmentation and why it could work for you.

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What is email segmentation?

The concept of email segmentation comes from the more general term, “market segmentation” – dividing a target audience into subgroups based on defined criteria. In email marketing, the idea is the same except your starting point is your email contact list rather than your audience as a whole.

So segmentation is the process of separating contact lists into smaller sections according to shared characteristics. Segmenting your audience then allows you to target different segments with specially tailored email campaigns based on what you know about each segment of subscribers.

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There are four types of segmentation:

Market segmentation is the process of splitting a business’ target market into different groups. Audiences can be split based on things like location, demographics, behaviour, lifestyle, income and age. Businesses use these groups to make it easier for them to develop products aimed at certain people and to help them target their marketing. The four main types of segmentation are often:

Demographic: Demographic segmentation groups customers and potential customers together by focusing on certain traits such as age, gender, income, occupation & family status.
Psychographic: Psychographic segmentation is how marketers learn to position their products so that compatible customers can “discover” them. It’s how brands find the right customer match based on customer attitudes and lifestyle.
Behavioural: Behavioural segmentation refers to a process in marketing that divides customers into segments depending on their behaviour patterns when interacting with a particular business or website. For this we recommend looking at how your email contacts interact with your brand.
Geographic: Geographic segmentation is a marketing strategy used to target people who live in, or shop at, a particular location. It’s important not to spam your contact about things they wouldn’t be interested in based on their location. For example, contacts based in Scotland wouldn’t want to be bombarded with emails about an event in London.
types-of-market-segmentation

Within these segments, you may wish to filter them further. Look at things like: email engagement, their past purchase – when was it, how much do they normally spend, are they a one time customer or a frequent buyer? What is their website behaviour like and when did they last open an email. Thinking about and answering these questions will help you choose which segment your customer should be placed in and therefore which emails they will receive.

4 Reasons Email Segmentation is Important

No two people are the same and your list of email contacts is going to contain all sorts of people. This is where the need for segmentation comes in. A uniform, one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to cut it for your email marketing.

Segmentation enables you to target different groups with email content that is relevant to them and their needs. This comes with a host of benefits for your email marketing strategy. 

1. Better campaign results

More relevant emails mean a better response from your subscribers. If your email subject line catches their interest they’ll be more likely to open it. And if the content does the same they’ll continue to do so in the future. You’ll also get more click-throughs and conversions if what you’re sending fits the reader’s needs. 

On the flip side, a blanket email campaign can never satisfy everyone on your list. And if contacts regularly receive emails that don’t interest them, not only will engagement be lower but you risk a higher unsubscribe rate.

2. Improved deliverability

How your email campaigns perform directly impacts your sender reputation. This means poor engagement from a lack of segmentation could cause future campaigns to end up in spam. 

By targeting contacts where your campaign will have the most impact, you’ll avoid harming your performance statistics and in turn your future deliverability.

3. Stronger relationships

You can’t connect with individual subscribers through generic email campaigns. To sustain their interest, the recipient needs to feel like your message is written for them. 

By consistently sending content that speaks to your audience on a personal level, you’ll build trust in your brand. And this translates into more loyal customers and repeat purchases. 90% of consumers find personalised content very or somewhat appealing.

4. Increased knowledge of your audience

The process of segmenting your campaigns helps deepen your understanding of your audience. For example, you can test which content works for different profiles and identify groups with the best engagement to determine your most valuable customers.

To round off remember… 

When time is of the essence it’s tempting to resort to mass campaigns to your whole contact list. But an email segmentation strategy will get you more impact by helping you send the right message to the right people.

For more help with your email marketing, learn which automated emails we think you need to set up here or contact us for further discussions.

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