Email marketing has changed dramatically since the early days of the Internet, when all we had access to was 1990s-era AOL. It is no longer about how many emails were sent to how many subscribers; e-blast techniques are passé. Today’s email marketer knows the power of segmentation and personalization. Why? Because the focus is on quality. And segmentation and personalization are two, er, qualities that increase the value and authenticity of an email campaign.
I know, these may sound like marketing buzzwords and they are. But they are ones that will help drive results and ensure you send out emails that won’t drive people away but rather align with their interests.
You’re also likely thinking, “If things have changed so much in the email marketing world, how come my inbox is still flooded with multiple emails from companies on a daily basis that I have no intention of opening?” Yes, many brands do still do the whole send-as-many-emails-to-everyone approach. But the majority are working on sending out personalized emails to segmented audiences. In fact, 74% of marketers agree that sending out targeted and personalized emails triggers more customer engagement.
Now let’s dive deep into what email personalization and segmentation are all about.
Why segment email lists?
Email Segmentation Stats:
- The ability to segment email lists and individualize email campaign messaging are the most effective personalization tactics for 51% and 50% of marketing influencers respectively. (Ascend2, 2016)
- Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015)
The fact of the matter is that you won’t see the results you want or get the responses needed if you send out bulk mailings. Segmentation is more than just separating your email list by “active” and “inactive” users, though. It is the process of sectioning off one large list of email subscribers into smaller groups (like one might do with an orange). How do you create these smaller sections, or segments? By using the demographic and special interest details which you have gathered on your subscribers.
Demographic information like age and date-of-birth, name, gender, and location can be asked for when the subscriber signs up. Incorporating these details into the form you have people fill out will give you useful information for creating email segments for personalized or automated emails. These details aren’t likely to change frequently, right? So you have on hand a solid foundation.
You can also inquire about personal preferences. How frequently does he/she wish to be emailed? What types of services or products are they mainly interested in? The answers will help you determine what they want and further narrow down your email lists.
Behavioural data is another useful tool when segmenting your emails. For example, if you are an e-commerce business, analyzing transactional details (i.e. how frequently a person buys) provides good insights into your customers. Keeping track of the dates of his/her first and last purchase, as well as how much money has been spent, number of purchases, et cetera is important data that helps shape your buyer’s persona.
When someone signs up for your e-newsletter, their email address can be aded automatically to a specific list based on their birthday, location, or shopping preferences.
What’s so great about getting personal?
Email Personalization Stats:
- Emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher clickthrough rates than emails that did not. (HubSpot, 2014)
- The open rate for emails with a personalized message was 17.6%, compared to 11.4% without personalization. (Statista, 2014)
First and foremost, email personalization is not simply the use of a person’s name in the email subject line (although emails with personalized subject lines get 26% more opens). Personalization is more about customizing the creative content to the user and what they are interested in. Personalizing an email is done with the intention of establishing a personal connection with each and every subscriber. An email is a direct conversation where the sender (you) delivers exactly what your subscriber wants.
Implementing an email campaign to a very targeted segment of your audience is one type of personalization. Sending emails after a period of inactivity is another. E-commerce companies do this to remind past consumers that there is a sale running or to reintroduce the company
Sending the right email to the right person at the right time is no small task, but through segmentation and personalization techniques you will be well on your way to a powerful message that gets results by targeting individual’s interests.
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In case you can’t tell, data is very important. Data-driven marketing is smart marketing so rely on your data when creating the perfect segmented and personalized email!