V2 Marketing Communications Blog

Making a Segmented Email Marketing List, and Checking it Twice

Written by Chris Kelley on Tue, Dec 16, 2014

santas-email-listEmail is a cornerstone of online marketing, and shows no signs of slowing. Your contact database most likely contains a mix of current customers, as well as prospects – all of whom are in varying stages of their buying cycle. To make your email marketing more effective, as well as improve the experience for your recipients, pay attention to how you segment your list and align your email strategies to capitalize on your contacts’ personal preferences 

Email list segmentation can boost your email performance metrics significantly. According to data from HubSpot, 39% of email marketers who practice list segmentation see better open rates, while 28% have reduced opt-out and unsubscribe rates. On the other hand, companies that blast email to a single list had a lower average email clickthrough rate (7.3%) than those that segmented their overall email database into two to six lists (8.3%).

As a result, 84% of B2B marketers use some kind of segment targeting in their email marketing campaigns.

If you are looking to start segmenting your list, consider the following to begin your list parsing: 

  • Demographic data: Personal data such as geography, age, gender, job function, industry, seniority, etc. can all offer insight on what kind of email content will be most interesting to your target audience.
  • Personas: The best marketing strategies are built around detailed buyer personas that help inform their content development. If you haven’t yet built out your buyer personas, check out this article to help you create them. Once you have defined your personas, use these targeted personas to design email content that appeals to your personas’ distinct challenges and concerns.
  • Purchase history: Any past purchase or browsing history can also help focus email sends to specific interests. Purchase history can be used to target thank you and cross-sell emails. Use follow-up emails to recommend additional services or complementary products your audience might enjoy based on past purchases.
  • Lifecycle stage: Even if you don’t have explicit personas, segment your list based on your customers’ purchase cycles. Set up separate lead nurturing tracks for those at the top of your sales funnel, in the middle of your sales funnel, and at the bottom of the sales funnel. By providing information linked to questions your prospects face along their decision-making process, your content will better nurture your leads down the funnel, and ultimately help close more sales.
  • Content engagement: Look at your email analytics. Is there a specific segment that always downloads a certain kind of content? What can you infer about these content trends to improve your email list performance? If one of your segments frequently downloads information on product specifications, while another is far more interested in support documentation, you could segment your list based on the topics that contacts have expressed interest in, and make sure to offer additional complimentary offers based on this interest and engagement.

As its popularity grows, marketing automation software, like HubSpot, is making email list segmentation more efficient. New drip email campaigns, email workflows and triggered smart lists make collecting and segmenting your email database more streamlined. Use the ideas above to begin cutting up your database. You will learn along the way, and can improve your practices as you watch what works.

The Art+Science of Marketing: an Introduction to Inbound Marketing

Topics: email marketing

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