How do you ensure your subscribers are getting the information they want from you? After all, the more you can tailor your information to their needs and interests, the happier your subscribers will be.


The first step you can take is segmenting your email list.


What is email segmentation?


Email list segmentation is the practice of separating your overall list of subscribers into smaller, targeted groups– like groups based on industry, location, area of known interest, etc.



The purpose of email segmentation is to be able to craft more targeted, relevant messaging. If you are a nonprofit organization who specifically wants volunteer signups to fill last-minute gaps for an upcoming event, you may want to only email your known volunteers (and not your donor base, for instance). Or if you are a healthcare organization communicating about upcoming changes to your senior care capabilities, you may want to target only subscribers in a certain age group. This saves other subscribers on your list from getting irrelevant information that may drive them to disengage from your communications.


Why do I need segmentation?


Email list segmentation is vital for nonprofits and businesses as it offers a range of benefits. Firstly, it increases engagement by allowing the sending of more relevant emails to each group, resulting in higher overall engagement with campaigns.



Secondly, it improves targeting by enabling tailored messages to specific audiences, resonating better with them. This, in turn, leads to an improved return on investment (ROI) as increased engagement and enhanced targeting result in getting more out of each campaign.


Don't overlook the potential of lapsed contacts. Instead, leverage segmentation to target them with winback campaigns and re-engage their interest. Similarly, identify your most engaged contacts to reward their loyalty and ensure they receive important updates and information from your business or organization.


David Defoe, FlavormanDavid Defoe, FlavormanAdditionally, relevant content is more likely to retain contacts, convincing them to stay subscribed. Lastly, segmented campaigns help customers feel seen, and the right promotions can inspire brand loyalty, thus boosting customer loyalty.


David Defoe, founder of beverage development company Flavorman, relies heavily on segmentation to power his digital marketing. “Constant Contact has absolutely, from our perspective, revolutionized how we send things out because we can be very specific on who gets what and how they get the content.”


Even with a list of 29,000 contacts, they manage to find the right audience among vendors, clients, consultants, and prospects, even tailoring communications to specific brands and offerings.

How do I segment my email list?


The most important thing to keep in mind is that segmentation is an ongoing process– the more you learn about your subscribers, the more you can segment, and it’s always important to keep learning about your customers!


As you interact with your audience, you can gather information from them over time. For instance, you can ask them for their email address and phone number the first time you interact with them, then ask for information like a birthday or anniversary in subsequent communications.


It’s also helpful to remember that you don’t need to know everything– focus on the information that’s most relevant to you and your business, like dietary preferences for a bakery or restaurant, plant and seasonal interests for a garden center, or areas of contribution for nonprofits building a volunteer list.


Here are some common segments that small businesses use to help personalize their outreach:


  • Location
  • Job Title
  • Industry
  • Age
  • Household information
  • Gender
  • Home ownership
  • Income


  • Education level
  • Length of relationship with your organization
  • Amount spent or donated
  • Devices used
  • Engagement level
  • Products or services purchased
  • Referral sources


It's especially important if you're running an eCommerce business to integrate segmentation with your online store (such as Shopify)  so you can better identify your most loyal customers or follow up with them if they haven't completed a purchase it looked like they were going to make.


Also, segmentation isn't something you do only in the comfort of your account. Leverage sign-up landing pages to gather information useful for segmentation. Custom fields can help you both gather and organize your customers' information, especially information that is specific to your services, products, and/or goals.


You can also use automation practices like click segmentation to create new segments effortlessly based on how your contacts interact with the links or buttons in your email.



Remember, it's an ongoing journey


We said it before, but it bears repeating - segmentation isn't a one-and-done process. If you're using outdated data to create segments, it's not going to be very helpful for your marketing efforts. Regularly review and update your processes, and conduct quarterly data clean-ups to maintain an organized and accurate customer database.


We want to hear from you! There are so many different ways to segment your contacts, we'd love to know how you go about it. What are the most important segments you focus on in your marketing efforts? Drop a comment below!


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‎03-14-2024 04:07 PM
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