The most important tool you can use for targeted email campaigns is segmentation. This week, we will take a more in-depth look at ways your email campaign can benefit from segmentation. First, to make everyone understands what segmentation is, it’s a procedure of splitting your email address list into different categories based on well-thought criteria. To put it bluntly, the purpose of segmentation is to send different email to different people. This is obviously a great opportunity for increasing the relevancy of your campaigns. In other words, you get to send the right content to the right people. First, we’re going to see how segmentation can improve the results of your email campaign efforts, and give you a few practical ideas that will help you get started with segmenation. Secondly, for those of you who use DataValidation with a linked ESP account, we’ll talk about segmentation based on the Assurance Grades we assign to your email addresses based on the validation results, so you can benefit from our services in full.
Segmentation can dramatically improve the customer’s engagement with your email and your campaign’s conversion rate. For one thing, you can gather information regarding the customer’s interaction with your services or products. Say you run a bookstore for example, you can look at the purchase history of your customers and determine what book genre they are most interested in and segment your list based on different book genres. Then you can send more personalised offers based on what the customer is actually interested in. Below you can see a screenshot of an email I recently got from Amazon.
You can see, they tell me that the following offer is based on items I’d previously purchased. The benefits of such an approach are huge. First, the customer will learn that the emails they get from you are worth checking out, as they might find something interesting in there, and secondly chances are they might actually buy the books that you recommend, since they bought similar books in the past. In the example above, both engagement and conversion rates improve by segmenting your list. Another way you can tailor your campaigns to your customer’s interests is letting him decide what he wants to receive when he signs up for the newsletter, by including a multiple-choice section in the signup form, in which the customer can choose the topics he’s interested in. This way, the new subscriber will automatically land in the proper segment. ESPs these days offer advanced segmentation features.
Other important criteria you can use when segmenting your list is demographics such as gender and age. You will be able to predict your customer’s interest this way. You can also use segmentation to do A/B testing with your campaigns, you can send a special offer to your best customers, and many others. You just need to be creative.
If you’ve used our validation services in the past, you know we assign Assurance Grades based on the validation results. If an email address is valid, we grade it A+ or A, if an email is invalid, we grade it F, and if we weren’t able to determine the validity of an email address, we grade it B or D (for more details on our grading system, check out our Knowledge Base article here .) When a list is linked to an ESP account, we automatically unsubscribe the F graded email addresses. You can usually find them in the “Unsubscribed” category in your ESP account. The remaining email addresses are assigned a grade which you can see in a new field in your list. You have the A+, A, B and D graded email addresses in there. The only email addresses we recommend you send to are the A+ and A graded email addresses. You can create a separate segment for your list and put all these addresses in one ‘Safe’ segment. This makes it so you have a targeted list of only valid emails. When users have many B and D graded email addresses, we suggest creating antother segment and sending a reconfirm campaign to these emails. Then the subscribers that respond (positively, of course) to the campaign can be added to the Safe segment.
For DataValidation users who don’t have a linked ESP account, we provide an already segmented Safe list, which contains only the valid email addresses, and another full list with grades appended to each email address.
If you have not tried our validation services, you can still create custom segements with the data you have from your ESP. You can segment your most and least engaged users and send targeted content for each. You can also try out our validation services for FREE by signing up for an account here !
Segmentation can be a very powerful tool that is too often forgotten. I hope this article will motivate you to at least start thinking of ways you could segment your subscrber list. Take some time and look through you ESP or CRM software to see what data they provide and try creating a few simple segements.
For further reading on segmentation, check out
Using Targeting for More Effective Email Marketing
Image Credit: SCFiasco