No two customers are alike. Your clientele is made up of tiers of contrasting characters, and they are interested in different things. Don’t expect them all to interact with your company in the same exact way.
Keep this in mind when you run email marketing campaigns.
The content of your emails must be tailored to the distinctive groups of customers and individuals that subscribe to your newsletter. To achieve this, you should utilize segmentation.
According to Market Land, when you segment your subscriber list, you send each customer the email he or she needs to see at the best moment possible. If you can accurately predict your customers’ wants and needs, you’re that much closer to making a sale or snagging their interest.
If you don’t know where to start with segmenting, we put together five tips that may help.
1. Establish identifying factors at sign up
The easiest way to segment subscribers is to do it right at sign-up. When people visit your website and sign up for your newsletter, or when they make purchases, ask them to designate their email preferences up front. You’ll learn how frequently they want to receive your emails and the right time to send them out.
If customers input such information as their address, phone number, sex, and birthday, give them the option to sign up for your newsletter on the spot. Then you’ll know where they live, what products they may like, and what day of the year you can email them to make them feel special.
If you find out about your customers at sign up, you already have all the data you need to serve them the right content. From the time you send out a welcome, you’ll know exactly whom you’re emailing.
2. Retrieve emails from content
Another step for getting segmentation going from the start is to ask for emails in exchange for access to your site’s content. If you put out a white paper, case study, or another exclusive piece of content, ask users to input their email addresses to receive it for free. This will let you know who they are and the type of content they want so you can deliver more of the same in the future. Plus, they’ll be endeared to your company for giving them content you might otherwise charge for.
3. Look at the back-end data to formulate groups
Through email newsletter services like MailChimp and GetResponse, you can create subscriber profiles and see back-end data on your customers. For instance, you’re able to find out which customers are opening your emails, where they’re located, and if one of your email campaigns influenced a purchase. From there, you’re able to designate which customers receive certain emails and when. Many email marketing platforms offer free trials, so you can try them out to see which one is right for your business.
4. Ask customers to take surveys
Instead of looking at the data, ask customers directly: “What do you want to see in our email newsletters?” Send out a short survey to gauge their interest in your current campaigns and ask what you can improve upon. According to KISSmetrics, you should limit your survey to five questions, and don’t just offer multiple choice or yes or no options. Instead, lead with open-ended questions. That way, you can truly target your consumers on a one-on-one basis. If you want to add an incentive, offer a small gift to customers who complete the survey.
5. Send emails based on website and e-store habits
If there is little to no available customer data through your email platform, you can gather it through your website. As mentioned above, you can collect data from customer purchases. You can also track their website browsing habits and see which products and pages they clicked on. If they abandoned a shopping cart, you should send a follow up email asking why, and give them the option to complete the purchase. If they clicked on certain items but didn’t make a purchase, offer them a coupon in the future for those items or similar ones to garner the sale.
Segmenting isn’t only for the commerce driven. You can use these tips to gain a wider readership for your blog, to discover what your website is lacking, and to promote future changes or test out new ideas. Think of email marketing as a knock on the users’ front door. And then give them a reason to open it.
Have you used email segmentation in your campaigns? How did you do it? Let us know in the comments section.
Header image by Manel on flickr. Embedded images by Dennis Skley, llee_wu, and loop_oh.
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