Segmenting Your Email List | What That Means & How To Do It

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August 3, 2020

Every business needs an email list. It’s a universal fact. We’ve already gone over why you need one in the first installment of our email marketing series. Now that we know why email lists are vital, let’s dive into how to make them work for you and bring in more sales than ever before. 

Featured image for "Segmenting Your Email List | What That Means & How To Do It"

Today we’re going to be talking about segmenting your email list. We’ll talk about what that means. Plus, we’ll add practical tips on how to pull it off effectively.   

What does “segmenting” mean?

In email marketing, “segmenting” simply means to divide your audience into groups. For instance, a few examples of the groups you might be marketing to are:

  • People who just recently purchased your product or service.
  • Those who have put your items into their shopping cart, but haven’t yet purchased from you.
  • Clients who have purchased from you multiple times before.
  • People who live in a particular area that you’re marketing to or match a certain demographic.

These are only a few examples of the ways you can segment your list. For each segmentation, you’ll be marketing to them in very specific ways with calls to action that are tailored to their situation. Each group will get different emails, such as new products that match their interests or custom offers made just for them. Sending out unique emails allows you to build personal relationships with each group by making sure the emails you’re sending them are packed with value that will specifically benefit them.

How to write to specific groups on your email list

Writing precise, customized content for each of your email groups allows you to dialogue with them. Or, in other words, to carry on a conversation. Now, we’re not saying every email you send out has to be aimed at a particular group on your list. There are different types of emails, and there is certainly a place for generic emails such as monthly newsletters. In a newsletter, you can inform your clients and potential clients what’s happening in your company. You’ll be able to keep them up-to-date on product launches and new opportunities. 

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However, today we’re focusing on shorter, more concise emails. Using these emails is commonly called “dialoguing” and that’s exactly what it is. These types of emails encourage the recipient to respond to your message. And in the end, call them to a clear choice of action.

What kind of response are you looking for?

The response you’re hoping for might look different for the different groups. For instance, if your email targets a group of potential buyers who previously abandoned full shopping bags on your website, you might be hoping they will contact you directly and ask a few questions. That would be a great outcome!  So let them know you’re open to that. Encourage them to hit that reply button and chat with you. If you are as an example a mobile home park, your marketing efforts and goals might look different. Future tenants why different ways to communicate with you including chat. 

Or perhaps the group you’re writing to has already bought your product or service. They purchased a few months ago, and you just came out with a new product they are sure to love. The response in that case could be an instantaneous sale. Or maybe you want them to be part of a beta group to test the product. Since you know these clients already love your product, sending out a customized email can move them further to becoming a brand ambassador – individuals who voluntarily share your product with their friends and family!

Tailored to fit

At some point, you’ll start to notice overlap in your groups, and that’s a sign of a healthy and growing business. Not only is overlap a sign that you’re doing things right, but it also means you’re finding niches. For example, what if the people who buy from you the most also happen to match a certain demographic? If you notice this, you can change your branding or marketing tactics to fit that demographic. Or perhaps you’ll find that most of your clients took three months to decide they wanted to buy from you. Knowing this, you can adjust your marketing to cut down on that time frame.

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You need everything about your brand to appeal to the people who will actually buy from you. By doing email marketing – and, yes, by segmenting your list – you’ll find the holes in your strategies and brand and be equipped to fix them. You may find out six months from now that you’ve been marketing to the wrong group of people all along. And that’s not a bad thing. If you adjust your website, brand, and content to fit your new-found criteria, your discovery will end up pushing you forward rather than setting you back.

Segment that list!

Not only will you grow your business exponentially when you dialogue with your customers, but you’ll also build relationships that will last a lifetime. Writing valuable, precisely-tailored emails to the individuals who need your products and services is one of the top ways you’ll earn their trust. For more about marketing and branding, check out this Marketing vs Branding episode of Leveraged Online

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