If you’re a small business owner looking for email marketing tips, you’re certainly not the only one. In fact, most business owners don’t really know what they’re doing when it comes to email marketing, and if they have a campaign, they’re flying blind and hoping for the best. It’s time to put a stop to that, and one of the easiest ways you can improve the performance of your business’s email campaign is with list segmenting.
What is List Segmenting?
Before going any further, what is email list segmenting? This is the process of taking your entire email list, and divvying it up into smaller segments. Everyone is still part of your list, you are just sorting them out in a few sub-groups.
These sub-groups can be based on just about anything. You can create randomly chosen sub-groups, and this enables you to test the performance of your emails by seeing how the groups respond to slightly different versions of the same message (more on this later).
Alternatively, or in addition, you can segment your email list based on demographic factors such as geographic location, age or sex, or you can segment the list based on their previous interactions with you, such as one-time customers, repeat clients, prospects who have never purchased, and much more.
Why Segment your List?
So, why should you take the time to segment your list? When you break down your entire list by demographic factors or other factors such as each person’s individual history with you, then you are giving yourself an opportunity to target your audience much more effectively.
If half of your email list is composed of people who have never made a single purchase from you, then why are you sending those people a sale email to buy the add-on accessory for your product, the one they don’t have? Alternatively, if half of your list is made up of clients whose business you already have, why are you sending them promotional messages meant to convert individuals who haven’t yet made a purchase?
Not only is this an inefficient way to run your campaign, but you’re actually going to turn off those segments of your list who are receiving messages that don’t apply to them. By breaking up your list into relevant factors based on your own needs, you can make sure that only your subscribers in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia areas learn about the two new Washington D.C. stores opening next month, and that only your major distributors know about your weekend wholesale discount, and so forth.
Testing and Optimizing Performance
As mentioned above, another great reason to segment your email list is that you can create random samples of the main group and send them different versions of the same email. By doing this, you can track the performance of each version, and see what people are responding to best.
Send out three versions of your next email to different sub-groups, testing different styles of subject lines. The way to track its performance is to compare the open rates of the messages, as well as the click-through rates for the links included inside. Oh, the “Super SALE!!!! THIS WEEKEND!!!!” subject had a 2% click-through rate, and the ” 0% savings, 48 hours only at my store” subject had a 12% CTR. Gee, which do you think you should use more often then?
Next time you’re ready to send out a message, use different email layouts, different pieces of content, different calls to action, different color schemes, and so forth. Before you know it, you’ll have a “best of” list for the way that all of your email marketing messages should be designed, and you’ll have a fantastic, optimized campaign that produces more than you ever would have imagined possible previously.
What is Email Marketing?