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Why Email Segmentation Matters

The very first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971. Fast forward to today, email has become a powerful marketing tool.

But with great power comes great saturation.

People receive countless emails every day. And they won’t care about more than half of those enough to open them because they are irrelevant. But what if we could somehow increase the emails’ relevancy to the receiver? How can we do that?

A relevant email campaign is more likely to encourage the recipient to engage with its content and will paint a positive image of the brand in their minds. The way to increase an email campaign’s relevancy? It lies in email segmentation.

This article will explain what email segmentation is, how it benefits marketers like you, and how to do email segmentation.

Key Takeaways

  • Email segmentation enhances email marketing by increasing open rates, engagement, and deliverability, leading to improved conversions and a more successful email campaign.
  • The primary email segmentation strategies are based on demographic, geographic, email engagement, and behavioural segmentation.
  • Segmenting your email lists using these methods enables you to send more relevant and targeted content to different subscriber groups, enhancing your email marketing campaigns’ performance.

What is Email Segmentation?

Email segmentation divides and groups email subscribers into smaller categories using predetermined criteria.

While the said predetermined criteria are subject to change based on the industry, brand and marketing goals, there are some frequently used email segmentation best practices every marketer should know about.

Download FREE Playbook: Email Marketing Personalisation

The whole point of email segmentation is to personalise emails. And that’s because personalised emails help build a long-lasting brand-consumer relationship.

Let’s dig deeper:

Benefits of Email Segmentation

Higher Open Rates

An email campaign’s relevance to the recipient is one of the most crucial elements in determining whether they open the email.

That’s because each subscriber is different. Each has a different perception of and expectation from your brand. But since you can’t target each individual one by one, you find common denominators and segment your email list based on those.

The real beauty of email segmentation is that the more time you spend on email segmentation, the more data you gather, the more detailed your customer segments become, and the more relevant your marketing communications become.

And in the end, more relevancy translates into higher email open rates.

Increased Engagement

Just as each subscriber is different, they will be at a different point in the customer lifecycle; hence, it’s important to consider the customer lifecycle when segmenting your email list to ensure and increase engagement.

The goal here is to talk to them at the appropriate time about the appropriate subject. Have they just joined your newsletter list or created a new account? Send them a welcome email. Is the renewal time for their subscription coming closer? Remind them about renewing their subscription.

With email segmentation, you can ensure the recipient knows each email has a distinct purpose.

Improved Deliverability

The math is simple:

  • Email segmentation increases campaign relevancy.
  • Email open rates get higher.
  • Your email sender’s reputation improves.

As pointed out above, email segmentation gets better and more precise as time passes and you collect more data, increasing email open rates and user engagement. As a result, email service providers (ESPs) begin to view you as a trustworthy and reputable email sender.

High email deliverability means your emails are less likely to be marked as spam, which means the money you’re paying your ESP becomes more than worth it. The result is that email segmentation helps increase conversions.

How to Do Email Segmentation

Here are the five main ways to segment your email lists:

1. Demographic Segmentation

Demographic segmentation relies on factors such as age, gender, marital status, family size, income, education level, and job. The easiest and most hassle-free way to collect this information is through newsletter subscription forms.

However, be mindful of what information you need because long sign-up forms can discourage users from completing them.

2. Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation involves segmenting your email list based on the geographical location of your subscribers. This type of segmentation allows for tailoring email content and promotions to specific regions, ensuring that your messages are relevant and engaging to recipients in different areas.

You can use geographic segmentation to drive customers to the closest brick-and-mortar store if that’s your goal. You already have their address information, remember?

3. Email Engagement

Segmentation by email engagement means segmenting your subscribers by how and how much they are interacting with your email campaigns.

And this is a fairly easy email segmentation strategy since all ESPs automatically track email marketing metrics like open rates and CTRs. Segmenting your email list based on subscribers’ engagement levels will increase your chances of conversion since you’ll be able to recognise users with the highest engagement levels.

Related reading: Email Subject Line A/B Testing Best Practices

4. Behavioural Segmentation

Behavioural segmentation is used to segment users based on how they’ve interacted with your brand, website, app, or emails. 

Information such as their awareness of, attitudes toward, usage of, preferences for, and responses to a product, service, promotion, or brand are used to tailor email campaigns to the subscribers’ unique preferences and actions.

Behavioural segmentation allows you to up your behavioural targeting strategy and target subscribers with hyper-personalised email campaigns, improving engagement, conversion, and overall customer satisfaction.

Final Words on Email Segmentation

Email segmentation is an indispensable cornerstone in the strategic planning of your email campaigns. In a landscape crowded with thousands of emails, the question remains: Wouldn’t you prefer your message to captivate your intended audience?

While intriguing subject lines and eye-catching visuals undeniably play their part, the true linchpin is the content within your email.

It is the content’s relevance that holds the key to garnering your audience’s active engagement. So, remember, the path to success in email marketing begins with thoughtful segmentation and content that truly resonates.

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