In a recent report by BizReport, customer’s feelings about emails that they are receiving from brands was explored. According to this article, customers are feeling frustrated by the email messages that they are receiving from brands that they shop with and even have a relationship with, because the feel that the brand doesn’t “understand” them.

The problem isn’t that companies are sending out emails, the problem is that they are sending out irrelevant emails. First Insight (a brand consultant) surveyed customers about how they felt about the email lists that they have signed up for and found 67% felt that 6 email messages a week are too many. This indicates that volume isn’t the problem (6 messages a week is actually a lot of touches) but that, again the problem is on the lack of relevancy.

In fact, this report goes on to state that 43% of the people said that they will open emails from brands that have personalized (highly relevant) information as opposed to “sale items?

So, how can you send more relevant messages? Segment your lists is the best first step. There are a lot of ways to segment your list and no one way will work for everyone. How you choose to setup your segmentation will depend on your business, your market, and most importantly your customers.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Budget: Segment based on past purchases of people that opted for your “good” level of product as opposed to your “better” or “best” level of products.
  • Demographics: Geography, age, gender are still the most basic of segments and can still provide a great foundation for making your messages more relevant.
  • Buying Frequency: If your product is only purchased one time a year, start ramping up your sales pitch a couple months before a past customers anniversary.
  • Job Function: More frequently used in B2B settings, this gives you the ability to tailor your marketing message to be more relevant to the interest of the recipient (pricing and terms go to the CFO).
  • Buy Cycle: Setup segments based on the four primary buy cycle stages (awareness, research, comparison, & decision) and help lead prospects through your sales funnel.
  • Shopping Cart Abandonment: Create a specific segment of customers that have left a full shopping cart with the goal of reviving the interest that they had in your products before they left the cart.

These are just a few ideas for increasing the relevancy of your messaging. In the end it’s important to know that the biggest reason that your email marketing or marketing automation messages may not be generating the business for you that you thought that they would is because the people getting these messages don’t feel that you know them because you’re not relevant to what they are interested in.