13006498 s (1)A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from my son’s pediatrician’s office. The title was “Schedule Your Graduating Senior’s Physical Exam Now.” What the what?!

I should note, my son just turned a year old – we’re not even close to caring about scheduling a physical exam before graduation, especially considering he can’t even walk yet.

Then a few days ago, I got an email about nutrition for four year olds. How are these emails relevant to me as the parent of a just-turned one year old? They’re not. To me, as the customer, they’re just annoying.

According to MarketingSherpa, 32% of marketers say segmenting their email database is one of their organization’s top objectives. Furthermore, 52% of marketers say they have a great need to improve email database segmentation.

From a business perspective, segmenting your email lists is relatively easy and offers huge results. There are a few key reasons why, from a marketing standpoint, you should be doing this.

1) You Can Manage Your Target Audience(s)

Lets use the pediatricians office as an example. They could start by segmenting their list based on the birth year of their patients. They know through patient records whether the children they see are toddlers (age 2-5), school aged (age 5-12), or adolescents (age 13-18), and this information makes sending relevant emails to their respective target audiences easy.

From a marketing stand point, understanding your buyer personas and what stage of the buying process they’re at will make segmenting your list easier. You’re not going to send introductory emails to a buyer who’s ready to seal the deal and is further along in the buying process. If you do, they’re just going to feel like you haven’t been listening to them and their needs, and this will do more harm than good.

2) You Manage Your Email Reputation

Since that email from my pediatrician’s office, which wasn’t the first that I found to be annoyingly off the mark, I’ve felt like their marketing is out of touch with me as the parent of the patient. You don’t want to be known for just sending emails willy-nilly to your clients, you want them to have a purpose and you want to be sure you know what you’re doing (or at the very least pretend) when it comes to email marketing.

3) You’ll Get Better Results

Say I’m the person at the doctors office who sends out that email to 1,000 clients.
Suppose that, of those clients, only 150 are graduating high school seniors. There’s no way to know how effective the email was in reaching my target audience because the open and click through rates are naturally going to be low due to the number of families of toddlers and younger children who received the email. Clearly, the goal is to get them to schedule appointments, but how does me opening the email – the parent of a 1 year old – help that goal? It doesn’t. Therefore my metrics are skewed and I have no idea how effective the email was in achieving my objective.

If you want to be more effective in your email marketing efforts, segmenting your email lists is necessary. And if you capture the data necessary, segementing your list should be relatively easy. The results and metrics you’ll find will catapult your marketing efforts to the next level.