Would you like to see higher returns and more engagement from email marketing?

Email is a powerful marketing channel. Sixty-three percent of marketers cited email as the channel that offers the best ROI and it’s considered the most trusted form of online communication with 77 percent of consumers trusting email over other online channels.

One simple adjustment could improve your conversion rates up to 355 percent and increase revenues by 781 percent: segmenting your email list to appropriately target your subscribers. However, as we discussed in “1 Avoidable Email Marketing Mistake Everyone Makes”, many marketers still do not segment their email lists. If you’re ready to maximize your marketing budget, generate conversions, and deliver more relevant messages to your audience, segmenting your mailing list is an excellent starting point.

To help you get started with basic segmentation and increase your email marketing engagement, here are ten recommendations.

10 Proven Ways to Segment Your Email List

1. Age

While not true for every business, many will have a relatively wide gamut of age ranges among their customer base. This makes age a primary – and some would say essential – segmentation method. By categorizing your list by age, you can tailor the messaging, imagery and offers you send via email to be uniquely tuned to the generation in question, without inadvertently alienating anyone.

2. Gender

Another devilishly simple way to segment an email subscriber list is to do so by gender. Your products and services may have different lines or models for each sex, and if that’s the case, you’ll want all corners of the emails you send to be uniquely tuned to the right audience.

3. Job role

Will an account executive really be interested in your new line of productivity tools for marketers? Probably not. If you’ve captured the job role of your subscribers, you have a golden opportunity to segment your database based on job function and assumed responsibility.

4. Industry

If you primarily operate within the B2B realm, you may offer products that span several industries. And, if you’re lumping all of your subscribers into one big list and sending them every offer and news item, much of what is received will be hugely irrelevant. Avoid unnecessary unsubscribes with industry list segmentation.

5. Purchase history

If someone has demonstrated a penchant for buying your latest products as soon as they’re launched, they’ll be hot leads again next time around. Similarly, if Dave buys a coffee machine, he’s probably going to need some additional pods in the future. Such purchase history is a goldmine of information and enables you to segment your list based on buying habits.

6. Top customers

The people who buy from you most often deserve special attention. Whether that be a simple “thank you” or a more tangible token of appreciation in the form of a special offer, by creating a list segment that only includes the top spenders, you can easily treat your most loyal customers.

7. Survey respondents

If you conduct a survey that, as part of its questioning, asks if the respondent would be interested in a particular type of product, those that say “yes” should really be placed in their own email list. That way, when the specific product arrives, you can easily target them with an announcement message, safe in the knowledge that they’re almost certain to click the call-to-action button.

8. Choice of email client

We’ve all been there – you create a beautiful email only to find that it renders poorly in at least one email client. Designing for disparate clients has never been easy, but you can overcome the problem by segmenting your list by choice of email address. This requires a bit more work, but if you can tune your email uniquely for Gmail, Outlook and iOS Mail, and send each one separately, your hard work stands less chance of being undone at the other end.

9. Referrals

What better way to say “thank you” for a business referral than to send an email to the customers who have been kind enough to pass on your details? If you run a referral scheme, grab the segment of your email list that includes the referrers and acknowledge them with a nice message or special offer now and again – it’ll be appreciated, and they’ll continue to recommend your brand.

10. In-store vs online customers

If your business combines a brick-and-mortar store with an online equivalent, it’s essential that you separate the people who visit your building from those who only enter your digital doors. That way, you can tempt the latter to make an appearance and the former to head to your website for a more convenient shopping experience.

If you’re not getting a return on your email marketing campaigns, you may be making an avoidable email marketing mistake. Email marketing is complex enough, and the nitty gritty details of segmentation and targeting are rarely addressed by your marketing automation vendor or your email service provider. It’s the marketer’s job to follow email best practices, target audiences with highly relevant messages, only send emails to opted-in contacts, and remove invalid email addresses proactively. By following these basic segmentation tips and focusing on audience engagement, you’re on your way to email marketing success!

Photo credit: Flickr