Today Liz goes over email list segmentation incl what it is, how to begin doing it and why it’s important!

Episode 0286

Email Subscriber Segmentation

Sandro: [00:00:02] Welcome to another episode of Liz & Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. I’m Sandro Galindo & along with Liz Hersh we are here to help your small business grow with tips and ideas on All Things Digital Marketing including social media, Web sites, reputation management and more. Today Liz is going to talk email marketing specifically subscriber list segmentation.

Liz: [00:00:24] I’ve been working with a client for a few years now probably close to five years and one of the pieces we’ve been doing for them is their email marketing. It’s a pretty it’s still a pretty young organization. So they’ve been building their list over the years and it’s just been kind of a general mass email list. You know the master list in mailchimp. They’ve collected subscribers from their website, subscribers that signed up in person at events and it’s grown pretty significantly. I think they they have a few thousand subscribers at this point which is awesome but one of the things I’ve been encouraging them to do is to segment out their list. This particular organization is a nonprofit so they would have donors, they would have sponsors, you know they would be able to segment that all out.

Liz: [00:01:09] But what does that mean? Segmentation is essentially dividing your list into smaller groups with similar characteristics. So for example this could mean putting customers who have purchased hats on one list and customers who’ve purchased t shirts on another list. Or maybe your a yoga studio and you’ve got your morning yoga customers on a separate list from your evening yoga customers just as an example. You get my point. It’s segmenting them out based on characteristics and interests that they may have.

Liz [00:01:45] And this is really important because we want to be sharing content that specifically appeals to the subscribers on that list. What I think is really interesting is at the root of all of this data privacy, all of these conversations about data and privacy you know essentially what we as marketers are collecting is data that allows us to deliver very precise and targeted content and your e-mail subscriber list is no different. You want to do this because you really want to send again that personalized message. Segmenting out your e-mail list is going to ensure that you know your hat customers don’t get T-shirt promotions and vice versa. They just may not be interested in that.

Liz: [00:02:29] The other benefit to segmenting your subscriber list is I think you’ll find that you’ll turn leads into customers much faster. I pulled some stats from, I think these were from eMarketer. EMarketer surveyed a group of professional marketers and 39 percent of them said that doing segmentation gets higher open rates. They also noticed fewer unsubscribes, I know we’ve talked about that on the podcast before. And they also saw higher delivery rates and an increase in sales so again segmenting your subscribers into different groups can make a huge difference in delivery, open rates and ultimately the ROI of your email marketing efforts.

Liz: [00:03:15] So jumping back to my original example of my client who for a number of years had been just collecting email addresses maybe first names here and there. You know, how would they go about segmenting out their list? You know on one hand they’re going to kind of know who’s a donor who’s a sponsor and whatnot and that will be easy but for maybe the thousand other people on their list that they can’t remember they can’t remember if they came from a Web site or from an event. You know what do you do? Where do you place those individuals? In what group should they live in? And we’ve done some of this with clients before. There’s a number of ways to approach it. But first and foremost I would say keep it simple. As someone who tends to kind of go overboard with things and I want to create all different kinds of groups in ways that we can segment and target them. Sometimes it’s just better to keep it simple you know maybe two or three groups again of, you know. . . I’ll use my yoga example maybe you have as you look at your lips you’ve got a chunk of clients who come in the morning to your morning glasses and a chunk that come in the evening. And just keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with it. I think the simplest way to do this is to reach out to your list and very casually say hey we want to do a better job of delivering content that meets your expectations. Tell us a little bit more about yourself. And what you can do, I’m specifically thinking of MailChimp you can use some of the tools within that platform and they can kind of self select you know what describes them and those characteristics are going to dictate you know what group they’ll be in within your within your you know master list for example. So again keep it simple. Don’t go overboard. Think of a couple characteristics a couple ways that your subscribers can kind of self select and self-define themselves. And I think that is a very simple way to get started with e-mail segmentation. Again you can you can really go above and beyond just some basic segmentation but starting with you know, what are they purchasing? When are they frequenting? What kind of deals are they using most? Those are some really simple ways to kind of group them together.

Sandro: [00:05:34] Can you also segment say by purchasing power? Like say, if they buy the lifetime subscription to the studio, the monthly, the yearly. I know the Cleveland Yoga they have like the $1,300 for ayearly pass or something.

Liz: [00:05:47] Yeah I mean you could make a VIP list. And everybody who has that yearly pass gets special access to events or deals. Yes. So I mean just right there there’s three other ways that you can start to segment your list and deliver some really great content that is going to make people feel special. I like it. I like it. So yeah and every business is different. You know if you’re service based you know for someone like me I could segment out people who have hired us to do websites. I could segment out people, clients who only use us for social media. You know different different things like that. Again a lot of different ways that you can approach this and think through what’s going to make the most sense for your business.

Liz: [00:06:29] Also think through to. You know it would be great if you had four different lists you know. But I know for myself where I’m at with my business right now I’m not sure I would be able to be producing content effectively for four different lists. Yes there could be some overlap and certainly some duplicate content that can go out. But again the intent here is to deliver content that’s going to be really personalized and intriguing to them. And if I had four or five different lists I may not be able to produce really engaging content for that many lists. You know until we grow. So, something to keep in mind and you can you can always expand on these segmentation efforts as as you go.

Sandro: [00:07:09] Thank you Liz. I learned something here today. I do not do that much email marketing I know you do more than I do obviously. So thank you for that information. That’s it for us today. If you like what you hear we would love a review over on iTunes. We are also on Twitter, Instagram and have our very own Facebook group. If you have a question you’d like answered, shoot us an email. We will give you a shout out and a link back to your business. Links and email addresses are in the show notes. Thanks for joining us. And we will see you next time.