email marketingFor your marketing to succeed, it needs to be relevant. Sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many companies take their relevancy for granted, and as a result their marketing efforts suffer.

According to a report from Marketing Sherpa, the reason why 40% of email subscribers mark email as spam is not because they did not know who sent it, but because what was sent was irrelevant to their needs. They just weren’t interested.

Targeting your email marketing campaigns through segmentation is one way to make your emails more relevant and grow your email marketing list. Here are five great ways to create more tailored and effective emails.

1. Geographic Segmentation

If you are going to segment geographically, think about how the buyer’s location influences his or her purchasing decision. Here are a few examples for segmenting by geography:

  • When sending invitations to special events.
  • When what you are offering has geographic limitations such as a regional sales event.
  • When you are limited to an area as is the case for local landscaping companies, cleaning services, or restaurants.

2. Industry/Role Segmentation

This applies more for B2B companies. Your customer’s company is made up of different divisions. The way you relate to a sales person is different from the way you would talk to an IT person, or marketer for that matter. They have different goals, and different interests in your company. Targeting these specific interests can increase your click-through rates.

3.  Content Interests

Determining who your customers are is often influenced by  their past. So use your analytics to determine what interests your leads. Look at the content they have viewed or downloaded and segment your lists accordingly.

A simple way to start is to pull a list of people who have downloaded a certain whitepaper or other marketing offer. Then using that content as an indicator of what interests them, create a targeted email or lead nurturing campaign that addresses that interest. Marketing software like HubSpot’s let you to do this type of segmentation by easily creating a list based on recent conversion event.

4. Behavior-Based Segmentation

Some leads are further along the sales cycles than others, and you can often determine the level of interest they have about your products based on their activity on your website.  For example, the way you would communicate with someone who has only seen a few pages on your site is different from someone who has downloaded five whitepapers and visited 50 pages.

Your analytics should help you distinguish the browsing behavior of different website visitors. Use this information to make your communications more relevant to how far along the recipient is in his or her purchasing decision.

5. Segmentation By Brand Advocates

Those who advocate for your brand want to feel the love. They want to believe you understand them. So who are they?

  • Frequent buyers
  • Social media fans
  • Customers who  have recommended you to others
  • Non-customers who have advocated for you online

These brand advocates need to be carefully nurtured. You emails need to acknowledge them, which you can do by sending thank-yous, advanced notice on new services or products, requests for feedback, and rewards. If you recognize them and show how you appreciate them, they will continue to spread the word.

When it comes to segmentation and personalization, look at what differentiates your subscribers and leads and see how you can address those needs or interests. You can start small – even the slightest segmentation can increase your email success rates.  The five suggestions above are just a starting point. As you become more involved with segmentation you will discover more ways to target the individual characteristics of your audience and your industry.

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