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Your email campaign is only as good as its return. If you want to ramp up your ROI, it’s time to start segmenting email lists beyond demographics.

Read on to learn the best email segmentation practices that can help you get a more robust response on your next campaign.

What is email list segmentation?

Email segmentation breaks your list into sub-groups that pinpoint the unique profiles of your customer. Think about your response when you receive an email customized to your profession, buying patterns, or interests. Do you open it? Are you more likely to take your response a step further by clicking on a link or considering a purchase?

Many businesses use demographics when targeting customers and that’s not all bad. Personalizing emails according to the age, gender, or location of your customer is the first step in sending information that’s truly valuable.

Demographics are just the tip of the iceberg, however.

Get personal and creative

Moving beyond demographics takes a personal touch and some creativity. The rewards should be worthwhile, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). The DMA National Client Email Report 2015 found more than three-fourths of email marketing ROI came from campaigns that successfully targeted their customers.

Options in email list segmentation are nearly endless, but consider the following ideas to get you started:

  • Buyer persona: You should have at least a few different buyer personas created for your customers. These allow you to personalize email campaigns.
  • Buying history: How often and when do customers typically make purchases? Break down your segmentation by buying patterns to connect with customers when they’re most ready to act.
  • Engagement: Break down segments by who clicks or opens your emails. Personalize further by targeting customers that haven’t engaged for a while or those that are brand new to your email list.
  • Interests: If you take the time to get to know of a few of your customers’ interests, use that information to your advantage by targeting those in your email segmentation.
  • Needs: Marketing is all about identifying your customers’ needs and offering a solution. Segment your emails according to that need for even better returns.

Use behavioral data (opens, clicks, purchases, etc.) in your segmentation whenever possible, since these characteristics have proven particularly helpful in customer engagement. While the data can take more time to collect, the returns are well worth the effort.

How to measure email list segmentation

Once you’ve collected the necessary data to accurately target your customers, you’ll want to retrieve metrics to find out how well your segmentation efforts worked. Tracking your emails is an essential part of the process, ensuring your future campaigns will be even more effective.

Your measurements should include:

  • Open rates: The number of customers that opened the email.
  • Click-through rates: Customers that opened the email and then clicked on one of the links inside.
  • Conversions: Customers that clicked on a link and then followed through with the requested action
  • Bounces: The number of emails you sent out that didn’t arrive in your customer’s inbox but got bounced back to you. Too many bounces can make you look like a spammer to ISPs.
  • ROI: Money made on sales vs. money spent on the email campaign.

Does it really matter?

It might seem like you’re spending a lot of resources just to break down your customers in segments. Will it really boost your bottom line? According to the market research, the answer is a resounding yes. The personalization of emails at the most detailed level can increase your opens and click-throughs while decreasing bounces and unsubscribes.

Companies can increase their revenue from email marketing campaigns by 760% using segmentation.

In a world where personalized emails are the key to successful marketing, segmentation is the top method:

In a world where personalized emails are the key to successful marketing, segmentation is the top method:

Source: Campaign Monitor

What now?

Once you’ve successfully segmented your email list, make those messages count by learning how to construct a high-performing email. The combination of the right segmentation and a well-written email could substantially elevate your ROI.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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