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Christopher Knight

Email Segmentation 101 - Things To Segment Your Email Campaigns By
By Christopher Knight

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Competition for the attention of your email newsletter subscribers or permission-based email marketing campaign members is rising. To increase the relevancy, deliver more value via email, *AND* increase your sales -- now is the perfect time to begin doing more email segmentation campaigns.

Here are (11) ideas for "what" to segment your email list by:

  1. Prospects that have become clients:
    Once an email list member has become a client, it's time to move them to a different level of list where they receive emails that are designed for clients and not prospects. There is nothing that can create more cognitive dissonance than for an existing client to receive an email marketing to them as if they were a prospect offering them a better deal than they just received.

  2. Product lines purchased:
    If your firm has a wide line of distinct product lines, it's best to address your prospects and clients by product line. Give this segment specific offers or content relevant to the product line they are interested in or purchased.

  3. Average ticket price:
    Many times a client that gives you a sale in the $1,000+ average ticket price is worth far more than a client that purchased products from you in the less than $100 range.

  4. Major clients:
    VIP clients need to be acknowledged, remembered and given better attention, gifts of exclusive information / content and some of your best deals.

  5. Most recent visit:
    If you have transactional customers who only purchase your type of product once every 3 years (for example), do you think it would be wise to segment this type of buyer so that the moment you identify their recent visit or click of a specific campaign from your site, that they would be the perfect target for increased attention and offers vs. other times in this type of customer buying cycle?

  6. Demographics:
    Demographics might include age, race, gender, education levels, occupation, location of residence, marital status, number of children, income or other socio-economic factors, etc.

    This is not to be confused with "Psychographics" or the identification of certain characteristics that your clients have that would influence their buying decisions. These could be factors that include measuring their attitudes, interests, opinions, cultural identity, etc.

  7. Interest-based preferences:
    If you've done surveys over the past year, then you know certain email members have different interests that can help you classify their interest levels in various offerings related to your core product or service.

  8. Open rate or CTR action rates:
    Simply stated, email list members that open your newsletter or click on something on a frequent basis are clearly more engaged than members who do not click on things... therefore, you can test sending a higher frequency to your most engaged members to increase conversion or response.

  9. Sales Creates Sales: (Follow Up Campaigns)
    As soon as you've segmented your clients from your prospects, now its time to automate the sequence of emails that they will receive as a separate email segment based on the types of products they purchased. Your goal is to reinforce the wise decision they made by purchasing from you and help them purchase the next level of product from you.

  10. Acquisition Channels:
    Where your email members came from is known as an ‘acquisition channel' and different acquisition channels have different characteristics. Example: Co-registration email list members will always respond or convert differently than organically acquired email members.

  11. Geography:
    Your prospects or clients in a foreign country really don't want to hear about your domestic holiday chit chat. Best to segment by the major countries you serve so that you can deliver geo-targeted messages that are more related to your members.

Do you see the email segmentation pattern here?

The objective of segmenting your email list members is to increase the relevancy of your messages so that they add more value to your members - ultimately, so that they buy more from you. This can be overwhelming if you're just starting out, so I recommend planning on at least segmenting by prospects vs. clients. Start there and as you begin to get improved results (better sales, conversions, etc), then continue narrowing your email segments to improve list member loyalty, confidence and improved purchasing likeliness. You can do it. Get started today!

This Ezine-Tip was submitted By Christopher Knight -- Email List Marketing Expert, author and entrepreneur. Get your weekly dose of Email newsletter publishing, marketing, promotion, management, email-etiquette, email usability and deliverability tips by joining the free Ezine-Tips newsletter:

Ezine-Tips for December 12, 2005

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